Weapon testing

U.S. tests missile previously banned under arms treaty with Russia

The Defense Department conducted a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, Calif.
The Defense Department conducts a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California. Photo: Defense Department

The Pentagon said Monday it had successfully tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 300 miles at San Nicolas Island, California.

Why it matters: Sunday's test is the first of its kind since the U.S. officially pulled out of the Cold War-era Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia, under which it would have been prohibited.

  • Per Bloomberg, this signals a determination by the U.S. to develop intermediate-range capabilities. The Pentagon plans to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile in November.

Go deeper: U.S. exit from INF Treaty frees Russia from key nuclear constraints

U.S. officially withdraws from Cold War missile treaty with Russia

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shaking hands at the G20 Summit in Japan
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The U.S. officially pulled out of the Cold War-era Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement with Russia on Friday, saying "Russia is solely responsible for the treaty's demise."

Why it matters: Some are worried the failure of the treaty could lead to a renewed arms race between the two countries. Both the Obama and Trump administrations have accused Russia of repeatedly violating the terms of the treaty, and neither country was able to ratchet down tensions during the six-month period after the U.S. announced its intention to withdraw.