Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty or ABMT) was a treaty between the United States of America and the Soviet Union on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems used in defending areas against missile-delivered nuclear weapons.

Signed in 1972, it was in force for the next thirty years until the US unilaterally withdrew from it in 2002 however after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 the status of the treaty had become unclear. Supporters of the withdrawal argued that it was a necessity in order to test and build a limited National Missile Defense to protect the United States from nuclear blackmail by a rogue state. The withdrawal had many critics as well as supporters. John Rhinelander, a negotiator of the ABM treaty, predicted that the withdrawal would be a "fatal blow" to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and would lead to a "world without effective legal constraints on nuclear proliferation."

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