The exit of the United States of America from the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty: explanation through realism and constructivism
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In 2019 the United States confirmed its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (hereafter INF) with the explanation that Russia violated the INF Treaty by developing intermediate-range missiles. According to the INF Treaty, both parties had to eliminate and ban the development of intermediate-range missiles while being a part of this treaty. The objective of this thesis was to explore the United States’ decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty even though the treaty had served the interests of the US for several decades, and afterwards find out which theory, realism, or constructivism, explained the reasoning of this withdrawal better. Analysing the statements of withdrawal through two different International Relations theory will help to understand the different aspects that are connected to the withdrawal. The main reason is to fully understand which theory explains the reasoning of the United States to withdraw from the INF Treaty better. The findings were supported by statement, speeches, and reports by the United States’ government officials who stated different reasons why the United States decided to withdraw from the INF Treaty. The analysis in the empirical section of this thesis showed that the United States’ reasoning to withdraw from the INF Treaty was mainly driven by the realistic logic. The United States was mostly concerned with its security interests, balance of power, and post-treaty arms race. These all fall into the category of realism. In contrast, the arguments related to the constructivist logic were less frequent and central.
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