“Trust, but verify, ”said Ronald Regan famously throughout the cold war. At the time, those words defined his leadership skills as he interacted with Russia and Iran during his presidency. The power of those three words hold true today as they have been used consistently by subsequent leaders, such as President Obama. Take a look at this article written by Ned Lamont for the huffingtonpost.com. In it, he demonstrates the relevance of the term in today’s politics.
Trust, but Verify
Last week President Obama struck the traditional pose of the commander in chief, standing on the DMZ, staring down North Korea through his high-powered binoculars. One leg of the axis of evil, North Korea, is not just developing nuclear capability, it has nuclear weapons, it has sold nuclear weapon technology, and within a month it will launch a rocket capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. Until his death, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was caricatured as a dwarf in high heels with a propensity for R-rated videos, not exactly the rational actor one can contain with embargoes, diplomacy, and the threat of annihilation.
Often dubbed ‘the most dangerous nation on earth,’ Pakistan not only has an expanding nuclear arsenal, they have shown a willingness over the years to share their technology, for a price, with the likes of North Korea, Libya, Iran and Syria. But these unstable, not always rational, nuclear armed actors are not at the top of America’s list of monsters to destroy.”I know that containment might have been viable for the Soviet Union during the cold war, but it is not going to work with the current fanatical Islamist regime in Iran,” said outgoing Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. Of course, there were similar arguments directed at the shoe-thumping fanatic Khrushchev, not to mention Mao’s nuclear-armed China, which spoke of sacrificing half of China’s population in a nuclear war to promote communism. Presidents from Truman and Eisenhower to Reagan and Clinton chose containment. “Trust but verify,” Reagan commanded, and the Iranian call for talks starting next month must focus on verification of the civilian uses of the Iranian nuclear program. Original Story Here.
“Trust, but verify” is not just a famous quote, but an intelligent and strategic tactic used by our leaders today, and hopefully, those looking to define their leadership skills.