Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Can the President withdraw from a treaty? Surprisingly, he can. While treaties must be confirmed by Congress, there is little precedent for Congressional approval for withdrawing, particularly when the treaty provides for this.
This seems inconsistent, but perhaps it is not:
- Confirmation is needed for the Presidential Cabinet, but the President can fire these officials without approval of Congress.
The “Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty” was negotiated by President Reagan in response to the danger of missile attacks on Europe with no warning and no defense. Nothing has changed since then; the danger remains. As a TV pundit noted, the Russians can violate the existing treaty, but they have been reluctant to do so and would bear responsibility if they did, but with no treaty they can do what they like. The onus is then on us.