By Lt. General Dirk Jameson, U.S.A.F (ret.)

As the former commander of the U.S. ICBM force, I was personally responsible for making sure that the hundreds of land-based missiles, each carrying as many as ten warheads, stayed on alert and ready to launch against targets half way around the world at a moment’s notice, if deterrence failed.

Working at the sharp end of the nuclear spear taught me to respect the skill and wisdom needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation. It made me a strong believer in the kind of tough, pragmatic arms control diplomacy that President Reagan practiced to reach the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia in l981, when he said we should “trust, but verify.” For a military commander, arms control aggressively negotiated and constantly verified is just smart security.

Unfortunately, we now risk turning our backs on President Reagan’s warning.

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