Citing Russia’s failure “to comply with its obligations,” Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Weapons Treaty. President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to the treaty in 1987, while Gorbachev was general secretary of the then-Soviet Union. It limited the number of short- and intermediate-range nuclear weapons — to include ballistic and cruise missiles and missile launchers — that each nation could deploy. The treaty applied to both nuclear and conventional payloads. Now that the treaty is dead, Esper said that the U.S. would move forward with development of more such weapons systems.