The INF Treaty: An Overview
The INF Treaty signed in Washington consists of four separate documents which make an integrated whole and are equally binding. These documents are the Treaty text, composed of a Preamble and 17 Treaty Articles, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Data, a Protocol on Inspections, and a Protocol Governing Procedures for Elimination of the Treaty's Missile Systems. The basic provisions of the Treaty and the MOU on Data are discussed below. Provisions in the two Treaty Protocols are covered in subsequent chapters covering on-site inspections, portal monitoring, and eliminations.
The Preamble states the INF Treaty's general goals and objectives. These are broadly platitudinous. Recognizing the devastating consequences of nuclear war, the Treaty seeks to strengthen strategic stability and international peace and security. It also recognizes previous obligations to reduce the production of nuclear weapons. The primary significance of the Preamble, however, is that it explicitly identifies the United States and the Soviet Union as the only two parties to the Treaty, excluding any reference to third party INF systems. Recognition of the bilateral nature of the INF Treaty represented a major success for the U.S. and Alliance negotiating position. As in the previous SALT I and SALT II negotiations, the Soviets had tried hard during the INF negotiations to