Op-ed: In the Shadow of Reagan’s Legacy, Trump is Failing

Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell writes in Inkstick that President Trump is not living up to Ronald Reagan’s nuclear legacy — but he has time to change this. 

Hofdi House, the site of the 1986 Reykjavik Summit, is a small, unassuming place — a more likely setting for a fairytale than a showdown between the two most powerful men in the world. It was in that little house, though, that Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev overcame decades of entrenched animosity and nearly agreed to eliminate all American and Soviet nuclear weapons. While a disarmament agreement never came about, both leaders used the momentum from that meeting to complete the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The INF Treaty eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons, requiring its parties to destroy all ground-launched missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The significance of this achievement cannot be overstated. It was a diplomatic game-changer, creating the foundation for an arms control regime that rolled back massive nuclear stockpiles that threatened the entire globe. Read more