|The signing of the I.N.F. (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) treaty in 1987 marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. I.N.F. was the first treaty to eliminate a complete class of weapons. It was also the first treaty to include an in-depth verification program.
The treaty was concieved as a result of the United States' decision to deploy Pershing intermediate missiles in Europe, against strong Soviet opposition. At the same time, the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Michael Gorbachev, had undertaken a new course of external openness and internal reform. Thus, after failing to convince America to stop deploying the Pershing missile, Gorbachev agreed to negotiate the elimination of the Pershing. In return, the Soviets agreed to destroy all of their intermediate missiles. The Soviets had nearly three times as many intermediate missiles as the US Pershing inventory.
The I.N.F. treaty convinced many that it was possible to achieve a new set of agreements with the Soviets. As a result, Soviets were able to quicken the pace of what was known as "glasnost" (openess and reform). Glasnost would ultimately cause the end of the Soviet empire.