Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

America Can't Be Trusted Anymore

| Apr. 10, 2018

It's hard to be powerful when nobody believes a word you say.

One of the most overused cliches in contemporary U.S. diplomacy is Ronald Reagan's invocation of a Russian proverb: "Trust but Verify." Originally used in the context of the Cold War, it conveyed that Washington should be willing to reach agreements with its adversaries but only if it could be sure the other side would live up to its commitments. It was a nice way to indicate both flexibility and toughness, which is of course why people refer to it whenever the United States is contemplating new negotiations with one of its adversaries....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Walt, Stephen M.“America Can't Be Trusted Anymore.” Foreign Policy, April 10, 2018.

The Author

Stephen Walt