The West has been frustrated since 2012 over Russia’s decision to violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by testing a new ground-launched cruise missile. The treaty, which eliminated nearly 2,700 missiles on both sides, prohibits production or flight test of any such missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. According to public reports, the Russians now have gone beyond testing and deployed the missile, further violating the treaty.
It is now time to stop scolding and up the ante. There is no reason for Russia to deploy these missiles. The Russians face no serious threat from west, east, or south—no nation on the planet wants to attack Russia. While diplomacy should not be abandoned, it will have to be backed by the only type of power Russia really understands: principled strength.