Global Double Zero: The INF Treaty from Its Origins to Implementation

By George L. Rueckert | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
On-Site Inspection

Since INF missile systems are relatively small, mobile, and easily concealable, the U.S. proposed an extensive on-site inspection (OSI) regime to reduce Soviet incentives to cheat. OSI permits a degree of intrusiveness-- such as the ability to inspect inside buildings, vehicles, and missile canisters--not obtainable by any other means.

Prior to the INF Treaty, OSI had been used only to a limited extent. For a few years after World War I, it was used to monitor military activity on German soil prohibited by the Versailles Agreement. 1 The Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty permits limited on-site inspections of nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In addition, the Stockholm Agreement, concluded in 1986 by the Conference on Confidence-Building and Disarmament in Europe (CDE), provided for limited on-site inspection of military maneuvers in Western and Eastern Europe and in the western section of the Soviet Union. However, the OSI provisions of the INF Treaty go far beyond these earlier precedents and mark the first use of OSI to monitor a nuclear arms control agreement. Moreover, acceptance by the Soviet Union of intrusive on-site inspection for verification purposes in the INF Treaty established OSI as a major new verification tool, complementing NTM, for monitoring arms control agreements.

The INF Treaty's on-site inspection regime is set out in the Treaty text, the Protocol on Inspection, and the Elimination Protocol. The Treaty permits on-site inspections wherever INF weapons were based in the United States, the former Soviet Union, or Central Europe. Altogether, INF sites in nine countries are subject to inspection under the Treaty. In

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