CND Conference 2018 in Bristol this weekend has condemned Donald Trump’s INF withdrawal announcement, and called for popular action to prevent a return to Cold War nuclear escalation.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“This is a reckless move by Trump. Tearing up the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty will mark the end of the restraints on nuclear arsenals achieved in the 1980s. The danger is that we will see spiralling arsenals on a Cold War scale.

“We utterly condemn the Defence Secretary’s comment that the British government’s support for the US administration at this time is ‘absolutely resolute’. Britain should be voicing strong opposition to this dangerous move rather than fanning the flames that can lead to nuclear war.

“This is just the latest in a growing list of rash US positions. Only this month we saw the US ambassador to NATO threaten to use force to ‘take out’ Russian missiles in breach of the treaty. Trump has already broken received wisdom on nuclear weapons, deeming them no longer ‘defensive’ weapons but weapons that can be used in conventional warfare scenarios. Trump announced a move to develop so-called ‘usable’ nuclear weapons earlier this year.

“Trump has also withdrawn from the successful Iran nuclear deal and there is speculation that the New START Treaty signed by Obama and Medvedev may be next. We also recall the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 which has done so much to damage US-Russia relations and hinder the possibility of major arms reductions.

“The INF Treaty was in large part a result of massive international protest against nuclear escalation in the 1980s, including CND protests against cruise missiles which mobilised hundreds of thousands of people. The iconic Greenham peace camp was part of that wave of protest. We stand resolutely against this return to the nuclear escalation of the Cold War and we call on all peoples once again to reject these moves.”