Donald Trump’s decision on Friday to withdraw the United States from a nuclear agreement with Russia is being spun as a positive for Vladimir Putin. But the truth is that Putin has just as much to lose from this decision as the United States does, and the only real winners here are the defense contractors. They stand to make even more money than usual as we once again enter a Cold War-style arms race. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

On Friday, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty with Russia, the INF treaty, we’re no longer a part of it, and so that means that both countries can go ahead and create these long range nuclear missiles if they choose to do so. Now, this was a treaty that was signed back by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. They worked out the deal and when they had worked out this deal at that time, at the height of the Cold War, there were roughly 70,000 nuclear warheads across the planet. Thanks to this treaty, that number actually went down to 15,000 nuclear warheads, not a bad reduction. Kudos to Reagan for getting it done, and then Trump comes along and says, you know what? We don’t need this anymore. Let’s get more nukes, more nukes for us, more nukes for Russia, and immediately everybody out there saying, this is Trump’s gift to Putin. This is Donald Trump. Given his puppet master Putin everything he wanted, and to that I say wrong. That’s absolutely wrong. I know we want to look for the Russia angle and every story and yeah, this one actually does pertain to Russia, but this actually has nothing to do with whether or not Donald Trump, uh, sought aid from Russia to get a, like, whatever. No, this is not a gift to Putin in any way. And here is why Vladimir Putin

and everyone in Russia, by the way, has just as much to lose from the US pulling out of this treaty and launching a new Cold War than we do here in the United States because they understand that if they were to launch a nuclear strike against the United States, do you know what would happen? We would nuke them back so there would be equal damage on both sides until both countries are just obliterated. Vladimir Putin does not want Russia wiped off the map. So no, he’s not going to do something or at least I would think he wouldn’t do something. Who knows? The man is evil. Let’s be honest about that. But he’s also not stupid, not by any stretch of the imagination. So he has just as much to lose from the US pulling out of it as we do. So no, this is not a gift to Putin. There is one group, however that stands to benefit greatly from the United States pulling out of this treaty and that group happens to be US military defense contractors.

They are the ones who are going to benefit from this. They are the ones who are going to get everything they want out of this deal and they are the ones who are going to line their pockets as we enter this new cold war. And what’s funny about this is that you had a lot of people saying that the kind of establishment Democrats, we’re starting this new cold war with Russia, the election nonsense, and now it turns out that it’s actually Trump who’s basically going to start this new arms race, a new cold war with Russia. And again, the defense contractors are salivating at the opportunities right now. They have been given a blank check to do whatever the hell they want, develop any kind of missiles they think the United States might be interested in because they’re are no longer bound by the terms of this treaty.

They can do whatever they want and whoever does it the fastest makes that presentation to the White House, the joint chiefs, whoever it is, they’re going to be the ones to get those contracts, so if you don’t think that today, right now, as you are watching this, that defense contractors aren’t sitting there at the drawing boards trying to come up with the best, fastest missile before their competitors do, then you’re absolutely kidding yourselves. They are the ones who understand what a great opportunity it is for them having Trump pulling out of this treaty, the rest of US citizens, both in the United States and Russia in every country on the planet. We understand how dangerous this is. I think Vladimir Putin understands how dangerous this is. The only people who don’t seem to know how bad this is going to be. Our Donald Trump himself, and again, every single member of the defense contracting industry.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced