Titan II ICBM. Image: Steve Jurvetson, Flickr

A landmark anti-nuclear treaty banning ground-based cruise missiles quietly lapsed today, after the United States and Russia declined to renew it.

The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty or INF, signed in 1987, saw nearly 3000 US and Soviet nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with ranges between 500 to 5500 km destroyed.

It’s a situation that has some observers worried about another nuclear arms race – with the addition this time of countries such as China, India and Pakistan.

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