The United States (US) withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, signed by the US president Ronald Regan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, has stunned the world. The INF treaty proved instrumental in diffusing the arms race between the two cold war rivals. However, some security analysts fear that the Washington move will cause another security dilemma between the two sides.

The US blames Russia for violating the treaty. And it is not alone in accusing Russia of violating the agreement. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) also believes so. Mike Pompeo argues that Russia has been violating the treaty; however, no one in Trump’s administration gives any specific example of Russian violations.

But was withdrawal the only option that the US had? Indeed, it was not the only way out to find a solution for the fears of the US and NATO. They could have hold dialogues with the Russian authorities. However, the US decision will lead to a spiral of arms acquisition and widening of mistrust between the two sides.

Contrary to the belief of some experts that the decision will not be a cause of any arms race between the countries, the US move has opened the doors for Russia to deploy more missiles on European soil. And this will not stop with this. The US withdrawal also opens the door for a new European missiles race.

But there’s more to the US withdrawal from the historic treaty. It isn’t just Russia that the Trump administration is worried about.  The US feels that regional competitors like China and North Korea, not bound by the INF treaty, are now able to endanger both it and its allies.

There may be various explanations for the US withdrawal from the agreement. However, the new arms race will not be limited to one between the former cold war rivals. It will attract new players as well.