UPSC Current Affairs - 2019
Latest Current Affairs 2018-2019 for UPSC IAS / Civil Services Examination. This category comprises the current affairs short notes useful primarily for UPSC preliminary examination and upsc mains as well as state civil services examinations.
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With the formal announcement by the United States about the withdrawal from the INF treaty, Russia has followed the suit and declared the suspension of the treaty. Defence analysts fear about the arms race due to the suspension of the treaty.
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
The features of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1987 were:
- The treaty prohibited the United States and the Soviet Union from possessing, testing and deploying ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles of ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (300 to 3,400 miles).
- The treaty covers all types of ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles whether their payload is conventional or nuclear.
- The treaty exempted the air-launched and sea-based missile systems in the same range.
Under the treaty, both US and Russia had destroyed 846 and 1,846 missiles respectively.
How the INF treaty aided in Diffusing Tensions?
Due to the limited range, Short flight times and unpredictable flight patterns, It was difficult to detect the short and medium ranges missiles. As a result, there was a threat of nuclear war in Europe which is sandwiched between Russia and US.
The missiles were designed chiefly to fight a theatre nuclear war in Europe. It exacerbated crisis instability and increased the chances of an accidental nuclear war.
Hence the destruction of these missiles under the provisions of the INF treaty was highly beneficial towards enhancing both regional and global security.
What would happen now?
Both Russia and US would indulge in the development of these short and medium ranges missiles. There could be an arms race with EU joining the race as a third entity. Since these missiles are mobile, hard to detect, nuclear-capable and can reach European cities, they have hardly any warning time at all so they reduce the threshold for any potential use of nuclear weapons in a conflict. This would lead to instability and trust deficit.
Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian asylum-seeker detained in Papua New Guinea under Australian asylum laws has won the Victorian Prize for Literature. Behrouz Boochani was awarded for his work “No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison”.
The astonishing fact is that Boochani wrote the work on his phone and sent it to Omid Tofighian bit-by-bit in text messages. Omid Tofighian is the book’s translator who worked with Boochani over five years to bring the stories to life.
The book “No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison” narrates experiences and fear Boochani felt in the guarded camp, which was shuttered last year after a local court ruling and the asylum-seekers moved elsewhere on the island.
Australia Detention Policy
The Australia Detention Policy deports asylum-seekers who try to enter the country by boat to Manus Island or Nauru in the Pacific for processing, with those found to be refugees barred from resettling in Australia.
The international community is criticising Australia for its attempt to use remote Pacific islands such as Nauru as a ‘dumping ground’ for people seeking asylum and protection by boat to Australia.
This offshore processing policy of Australia is giving rise to a completely avoidable health crisis and needlessly destroying lives due to serious levels of mental illness, trauma, depression, self-harm, sexual assault and suicides.