Lessons Learned from Past Negotiations to Prevent Nuclear Proliferation

| June 24, 2015

Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor to speak with you on a matter of surpassing importance to U.S. national security.

Attempting to gain knowledge from experience in nonproliferation negotiations is a laudable goal, but one that is best approached with humility.  Alan Simpson, a late and distinguished historian—not your wise former colleague from Wyoming—cautioned regarding historical analogy that, “our present state of knowledge is one of mitigated ignorance.  In such situations, the honest enquirer always has one consolation—his blunders may be as instructive as his successes.”

Bearing this warning in mind, the history of negotiations to prevent nuclear proliferation suggests interrelated five lessons.

The full text of the testimony may be downloaded below.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Tobey, William. “Lessons Learned from Past Negotiations to Prevent Nuclear Proliferation.” Testimony to United States Senate, Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 114th Congress, 1st Session, Washington, D.C., June 24, 2015.

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