On-Site Inspection in Theory and Practice: A Primer on Modern Arms Control Regimes
Powell, Bridget, Air & Space Power Journal
On-Site Inspection in Theory and Practice: A Primer on Modern Arms Control Regimes by George L. Rueckert. Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road West, P. 0. Box 5007, Westport, Connecticut 06881-5007, 1998, 275 pages, $74.00.
With this book, George Rueckert has written a definitive text on the on-site inspection (OSI) process as part of modern arms control regimes. The key to understanding and appreciating Rueckert's work lies in focusing on his organization and attention to detail. He states in the introduction that he is striving to "simplify understanding of the modern on-site regimes by taking a broader, more generic look at their construction and operation" (4).
The book consists of four parts: "The Evolution of On-Site Inspection" (two chapters); "Fundamentals of On-Site Inspection Regimes" (two chapters); "Types of On-Site Inspection" (four chapters); and "Implementing On-Site Inspection" (four chapters). Additionally, the book contains two valuable appendices: "Implementation and Compliance Bodies for the Major Arms Control Agreements" and "Basics of the Treaties and Agreements." Rueckert organizes his chapters to give the reader a broad overview of on-site inspections, followed by a discussion of the basics of how the process works. The majority of his book then focuses on the details of the different types of regimes before concluding with a discussion of the OSI implementation process. The appendices enhance the primary text and provide a quick-reference too) for future use, This organization is one of the book's strengths.
Rueckert spent 27 years in the State Department working on national security and arms control issues as a Foreign Service officer. Upon implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty; he served as the first principal deputy director of the newly established On-Site Inspection Agency (OSIA). After retiring from the government, Dr. Rueckert became a senior manager and program director for DynMeridian, a major arms control issues contractor. This extensive background in the field of arms control and on-site inspection certainly makes him qualified to write this book. In addition to his professional experience, Rueckert draws from a previous book he authored, Global Double Zero: The INF Treaty from Its Origins to Implementation (Greenwood Press, 1993). This cross-referencing adds to the depth of his current book and indicates the extent to which Rueckert researched this subject. Attention to detail is another of the book's major strengths. Rueckert does not try to cover all arms control agreements and OSI regimes; instead, he focuses on those agreements that contain OSI provisions, concentrating particularly on those concluded after 1980 (since arms control agreements prior to that date rarely contained comprehensive OSI provisions).
One finds this attention to detail in chapter eight, in which he discusses on-site monitoring regimes. This type of regime, explains Rueckert, differs from other on-site inspections because it involves the continuous presence of the monitoring team or equipment at a "specific location on the soil of the inspected party" (135). He devotes 25 pages to this particular subject, demonstrating a thorough, in-depth knowledge.
He goes on to provide a detailed discussion of the role of national military structures in chapter nine, devoting a good deal of attention to the role of the Department of Defense as well as OSIA. Chapter 10 discusses the roles and responsibilities of civilian agencies such as the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the Department of Energy. He mentions the formation of the Threat Reduction and Treaty Compliance Agency only once, which is curious because this is the federal agency that recently absorbed OSIA.
This attention to detail, though, is somewhat distracting because Rueckert seems to have included more information than one needs in a primer. …