US is Stepping out of the Open Skies Treaty
May 29, 2020
- I Spy, You Spy: The Open Skies Treaty (OST) allows 35 countries to do unarmed surveillance over each other (aka “fly and spy”)
- It’s been around since 1992 when it was first signed by NATO members and former Warsaw Pact (Soviet Union) countries
- Why?: The goal was to decrease the chance of an “accidental” war… which almost did happen in 1983 when clouds triggered the Soviet Union’s missile alert system! Such a good story… that Nena wrote a song about a similar (but made up) incident, 99 Luftballons (99 red balloons)..
- But Russia isn’t playing by the rules. A common gripe in Washington (by members of both parties) has been Russia doing things like restricting flights over suspected military facilities.
- Should we withdraw? Maybe… maybe not? Some believe that the agreement still makes us safer.