The Long Road to On-Site Inspection

By Ifft, Edward | Arms Control Today, November 2004 | Go to article overview

The Long Road to On-Site Inspection


Ifft, Edward, Arms Control Today


The effort to achieve broad acceptance of on-site inspection (OSI) is a story of high diplomacy, creativity, and determination through several U.S. administrations. The ambitious but somewhat naïve Baruch Plan, put forward by the United States in 1946 as a result of the Acheson-Lilienthal Report, was the first great effort to control nuclear weapons.1

The Baruch Plan called for unlimited inspections of all atomic energy-related facilities by personnel from an international inspection organization, as well as complete international ownership and control over fissionable materials. It was rejected by Soviet leaders, whose progress in developing nuclear weapons was not fully understood at the time. Soviet leaders soon developed the rationale that OSI could be used to monitor disarmament, but not armament. In 1948, Jacob Malik, the Soviet Union's permanent representative to the United Nations, stated a view that would guide Soviet policy for many years: "It would be folly for the USSR to disclose everything and then have others invent conditions as a pretext for dropping the whole question of armaments after they had found out everything they wanted to know."2

The Soviet obsession with secrecy, combined with the fact that the United States was sometimes not above using proposals for OSI to embarrass the Soviets, made progress almost impossible for years.' W. Averell Harriman, a long-time U.S. interlocutor with Moscow, recalled that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met his arguments for OSI to verify a comprehensive test ban with one of his typical earthy analogies, saying, "You remind me of a cat saying that he would only eat mice and not the bacon lying in the room." He added that he would not trust such a cat, "as it would undoubtedly snatch the bacon when no one was in the room...he knew what cats were like."4 It is interesting that Khrushchev himself later regretted Soviet intransigence on OSI during this period.5

During the 1960s, the development of satellites and other forms of national technical means (NTM) of verification gradually made OSI less essential for monitoring certain kinds of constraints. President Lyndon B. Johnson, trying to convince the Soviets that negotiating an end to the most dangerous forms of military competition would be in the interest of both sides, informed General secretary Leonid Brezhnev that the United States would be prepared to place "maximum reliance" upon NTM, that is, the decades-long insistence upon OSI could be set aside, at least for certain kinds of constraints. This was probably a key factor in the Soviet agreement to begin the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT) negotiations in 1969, during the Nixon administration. For the next 10 years, difficult but productive SALT I and II negotiations proceeded without recourse to OSI.

In the area of multilateral negotiations, however, OSI gained fairly rapid acceptance. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1968, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, and the more ambitious Stockholm Accord of 1986 all permitted some form of inspections. In addition, the U.S.-USSR Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty of 1976 and its subsequent protocols provided for quite intrusive inspections under certain circumstances. Nevertheless, none of these agreements could be said to impinge upon vital interests or allow inspections of the most important weapons systems.

The Reagan administration from its early days placed much greater emphasis on verification, changing the stated U.S. goal from "adequate" to "effective" verification, although the distinction was never made clear.

When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in Moscow in the mid 1980s, he soon began to match Reagan's rhetoric about effective verification.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Long Road to On-Site Inspection
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.