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Conn Carroll: Obama’s ‘Trust, But Don’t Verify’ Approach to START

Conn Carroll, assistant director for the Heritage Foundation’s Strategic Communications and editor of The Foundry blog, takes us back to the time when the U.S. and the former Soviet Union embarked on a new journey toward trust and cooperation. President Ronald Reagan sometimes used the Russian phrase “doveryai, no proveryai,” translated “trust, but verify,” when referring to our relations with Russia.

Carroll says the slogan in the Obama era seems to be trust, but don’t verify.

“Like everything else the Obama administration does, their approach to arms control is the exact opposite of President Reagan…the point in having a treaty?…Only in the bizarro world of the Obama administration is this country made any safer by signing a treaty that the counter party has no intention of following. And that is just the beginning of New START’s many fatal flaws. Not only has it been clearly established that New START’s verification mechanisms are completely inadequate to protect our country, but it is increasingly becoming clear that the Obama administration significantly weakened our missile defenses in order to get the Russians to sign.

“From the beginning it was clear that New START’s preamble, which is a binding provision, linked our missile defense capabilities with Russian arms reductions. The Russians also made it clear on the day the treaty was signed that they believe New START limits our missile defenses. Since then, despite Obama administration claims to the contrary, experts have uncovered more and more limitations to our missile defense capabilities throughout the treaty’s other provisions. Now there are reports that U.S. negotiators actually told the Russians that the U.S. had no intention of deploying strategic missile defenses in Europe. The Senate cannot in good faith sign off on this agreement until these statements are verified. The full negotiation records must be released.”

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