8/25/15 Trust But Verify

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Controversy has surrounded the recent nuclear weapons agreement negotiated with Iran.

Put aside for a moment, the issue of whether or not this is a good agreement.

I’d like to address the report that Iran will be permitted to conduct its own inspections to determine if it’s complying with the agreement.

Ronald Reagan famously said, “Trust but, verify.”

That was the mantra of the arms reduction treaties the U.S. negotiated with the Soviet Union that began during Reagan’s presidency.

The INF treaty called for the destruction of short and medium-range nuclear missiles by the U.S. and Soviet Union.  The treaty allowed Soviet and American teams to conduct no-notice inspections of each other’s facilities to ensure compliance.

I have some experience with this.  See the photo of this young fella?  That was me nearly 25 years ago sitting on top of a Soviet T-72 battle tank.  I was a U.S. Onsite Inspection Agency verification inspector.  I was stationed in Germany.  And would fly to military bases to verify compliance with another arms reduction agreement, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty.

Treaty promises are great.  But only if they include a rigorous inspection component.

Allowing Iran to certify its own compliance is irresponsible.  Take this from someone who used to certify treaty compliance for a living.

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