An Epic Fail

U.S. President Ronald Reagan surely is turning in his grave. As is Richard Nixon…

Both men had foreign policy success over nuclear weapons with their international opponent. Moreover, each went to the negotiating table with a clear objective in mind. Reagan in fact summarized his negotiating philosophy.

“Trust, but verify”

I agree that this may be too simple. Yet, for Reagan who signed the INF treaty with the Soviet Union and Nixon who signed the SALT treaty with the Soviets, it was not. It took years for both presidents to build the trust with their opponents in the Kremlin. Also, both Nixon and Reagan opened negotiations from perceptions of strength and each had ‘hard’ reputations where they were willing to walk away from a deal if the conditions did not favor the objective. Reagan at Reykjavik comes to mind.

We have a disastrous nuclear agreement between the West and Iran.

In addition to not preventing Iran from enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons in the near future, the agreement gives Iran hundreds of billions of dollars for terrorism and in their secular (soft power) war within the Middle East which endangers the peace of the entire world. This sentiment is shared by Brig. Gen. (res.) Michael Herzog who outlined major concerns about the deal in the Financial Times on 29 June, writing: “Iran’s nuclear threshold status could trigger nuclear proliferation. Regional rivals, not least the Saudis, may race to catch up. It could also embolden the Iranians to advance their radical and sectarian agenda.”

President Obama himself, admitted after the announcement of the framework in April: “[the] fear would be that in year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.”

I fear that in the rush to make a short-term ‘historic’ agreement, the West has mortgaged its future to regime that is antagonistic towards its regional neighbors, outright hostile towards Israel, and in U.S. and Iran bi-lateral relations; an agreement has been made that is not based upon trust and does not guarantee verification. A long-term epic fail.

About the Author
Dr. Aaron Walter teaches International Relations. He writes on American foreign policy towards Israel. In addition to topics directly related to U.S.-Israeli politics, he has written on the presidency and security studies as linked to U.S., Europe, and Israeli studies
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