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Cotton Statement on First Test of Post-INF Ballistic Missile

December 12, 2019

Contact: Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 224-2353
December 12, 2019


Cotton Statement on First Test of Post-INF Ballistic Missile


Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement after the Department of Defense conducted its first test of a conventionally-configured ballistic missile since the Russian Federation rendered the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty defunct:

“This is a firm statement to the Russian Federation. They cannot violate international agreements without consequence. Now, I urge the Pentagon to regain the strategic advantage we lost due to the INF treaty by expediting the development and deployment of a new generation of ground-launched missiles. Today’s test signals to Moscow and Beijing that the United States will no longer ignore their threats.”


For years, Senator Cotton advocated for the United States to bring Russia back into compliance with the INF Treaty or to leave it altogether. A brief timeline is below:

March 2015: Cotton talks about INF Treaty in Maiden Floor Speech

October 2016: Cotton Statement Reports that Russia is Advancing its Missile Program in Violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

February 2017: Cotton, Johnson, Rubio, Poe, and Rogers Introduce Intermediate-Range Forces Treaty Preservation Act

March 2017: Cotton Statement on Reports that Russia Has Deployed a Banned Missile

April 2017: Cotton Op-Ed in the Washington Post: "Russia has subverted our treaty on cruise missiles for years. It's time to act"

July 2017: Cotton Warns Russia to Comply with INF Treaty in CSIS Speech

July 2017: Cotton Questions General Paul Selva on the INF Treaty during Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

December 2017: Cotton, Colleagues Urge Appropriations Committee to fund measures to bring Russia into compliance with INF

March 2018: Cotton Questions Pacific Command Chief Admiral Harry Harris on INF Treaty

October 2018: Cotton Statement on Reports the U.S. is Preparing to Withdraw from INF Treaty

December 2018: Cotton Statement on NATO Confirmation that Russia is in Breach of INF Treaty

February 2019: Cotton Statement on U.S. Withdrawal from INF Treaty

August 2019: Cotton Statement on Formal End of the INF Treaty