Trust, but Verify
By Amie Hoeber, Candidate for U.S. Congress
My former boss, President Ronald Reagan, famously adhered to the maxim “Trust, but Verify” in his diplomatic dealings with the Soviet Union. It was a simple yet important principle that guided many aspects of his foreign policy.
Although it has been some time since I served as President Reagan’s Deputy Undersecretary of the Army, I still have not forgotten his wise words. Unfortunately, as I watch the foreign policy dealings of the current president, I cannot help but think that he has.
There is no greater example of this than the recently implemented Iran nuclear deal. Touted as a
cornerstone of President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry’s foreign policy, the agreement with one of our greatest international adversaries is dangerously ill-conceived.
Although key parts of the deal have not been presented either to Congress or the American people, the details that have been released are very concerning. Put simply, this deal is heavy on misguided trust and short on meaningful verification.
To start, the deal concedes far too much to the hostile Iranian regime. Through this agreement, we would allow Iran to receive more than $100 billion over the next decade – an economic influx that, along with other provisions, would enable Iran to continue research and development in their nuclear program over the next decade. We would also lift the embargos that have so far prevented them from developing a usable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). These capitulations far outweigh the vague promises Iran gives us in return.
Beyond that, the deal is sorely lacking when it comes to verification. The inspection process established in the deal is insufficient to ensure Iran cannot cheat and surreptitiously develop nuclear weapons. Plus, the agreement falls far short of providing “anytime, anywhere” inspections. Some areas are immune from any inspections and, moreover, the agreement gives Iran the ability to delay inspections for more than three weeks – plenty of time to remove and hide material it does not want discovered.
The recent testing of a nuclear device – alleged to be a hydrogen bomb – by North Korea shows just how dangerous this deal is. President Bill Clinton negotiated a nuclear deal of his own with the North Korean regime in 1994. At the time, Clinton promised the agreement would “help to achieve a longstanding and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula.”
As with the Iran deal, Clinton’s lofty expectations were coupled with weak inspection and enforcement provisions. Now, just two short decades after signing the accord, North Korea is closer than ever before to having a dangerous nuclear arsenal, and history is preparing to repeat itself.
I don’t want to allow that to happen. That is one reason why I have decided to run for Congress. As Americans, we cannot afford to continue down this path. It’s about time we have strong voices in Congress to advocate the changes necessary to our foreign policy in order to restore and maintain our heretofore respected leadership position in the world.