Soviet inspectors at American GLCM wing, RAF Greenham Common, Great Britain, January 1989.

By contrast, the INF Treaty required, or permitted through the exercise of treaty rights, the United States and the Soviet Union to conduct several hundred on-site inspections at operational missile sites, repair facilities, storage depots, training sites, and former missile production or assembly facilities. Effective July 1, 1988, the United States had the right to send, within 60 days, 10-person inspection teams to 130 Soviet INF missile sites and missile-related facilities in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. The Soviet Union had the right in the same period to send its on-site inspection teams to 31 U.S. INF sites and facilities in West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain, and the United States. According to the terms of the treaty, all inspection teams had to be met and accompanied throughout the inspection by national escort teams. The treaty also stipulated that both states could place resident on-site inspection teams of up to 30 inspectors at one former INF missile assembly plant or a former INF missile production facility to monitor continuously the entrance portals and perimeter. For a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 13 years, the United States and the USSR could conduct these on-site portal monitoring inspections. During the first full year of the INF Treaty, in direct contrast to the Stockholm Document, the United States and the Soviet Union had the right of conducting more than 340 INF on-site inspections.4

When the full scope of the new treaty's rights and obligations were understood, it became clear that the U.S. government had to move quickly to define department and agency responsibilities, allocate resources, and initiate preparations for carrying out the mission. Initial estimates were that the treaty's on-site inspection and escort missions would involve recruiting and training up to 400 people; establishing a headquarters and field offices in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan; setting up and managing a continuous portal monitoring inspection operation at a Soviet missile assembly plant and an escort operation at an American missile plant; and managing an annual budget of over $120 million.5 An added impetus to act quickly was the fact that negotiations for a larger, more complex arms control treaty--the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)--had reached a decisive stage in Geneva. In the spring of 1988, senior officials and arms control experts testified to the U.S. Congress that the INF Treaty was a precursor for the more extensive and complicated U.S.-USSR START Treaty.6

Consequently, the purpose of President Reagan's January 15, 1988, directive was to define the INF Treaty mission and to fix responsibility for the U.S. government's on-site inspection and escort mission in a new Department of Defense organization: the On-Site Inspection Agency.



    First Charter

Brigadier General Roland Lajoie, first Director, OSIA.
  Eleven days after the President's directive, on January 26, 1988, William H. Taft IV, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, established OSIA as a separate operating agency in the Department of Defense.7 The Director, a senior military officer or DOD civilian, would be appointed by the Secretary of Defense with the concurrence of the Secretary of State and the approval of the President. The Director would report to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. An executive committee consisting of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Under Secretaries of Defense for Acquisition, and for Policy, would provide oversight, direction, and transmit policy guidance received from a formal interagency process established by the President. The new agency would have three deputy directors--a Principal Deputy Director, a Deputy Director for International Negotiations, and a Deputy Director for Counterintelligence. The new organization's first charter stipulated that OSIA would have two principal responsibilities:
  • To manage and coordinate the U.S. INF Treaty on-site inspection activities in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, and
  • To manage and coordinate all United States activities associated with the Soviet Union's on-site inspections of United States' INF facilities in the United States, Belgium, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.8

On February 1, 1988, Brigadier General Roland Lajoie, U.S. Army, became the first Director, On-Site Inspection Agency. A Soviet specialist, General Lajoie had commanded a battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; served as chief of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission, Berlin; and had been U.S. Army Attaché to the Soviet Union and U.S. Defense Attaché to France. He was fluent in Russian and French.9 A week later the initial cadre of approximately 40 military officers and noncommissioned officers arrived, drawn from all the United States military services, as well as a few civilians from other government agencies. They started work in temporary offices in an area of southeast Washington, D.C., known as Buzzard Point.


Because of the diplomatic and military nature of the INF Treaty's on-site inspection and escort missions, extensive coordination would be required with other nations and with many federal departments and agencies. OSIA's first principal deputy director, George L. Rueckert, was appointed by the Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. A career Foreign Service officer, an INF Treaty negotiator, and a senior arms control policy advisor, Rueckert had extensive experience in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The Secretary of State nominated the agency's first deputy director for international negotiations, Raymond F. Smith, a senior Foreign Service officer with experience in the U.S. embassy in Moscow. An authority on the Soviet Union, Smith later authored Negotiating With the Soviets (1989), an analysis of diplomatic and negotiating strategies of Soviet officials. The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation selected the agency's first deputy director for counterintelligence, Edward J. Curran.10

A similar diversity of experience characterized OSIA's initial cadre of inspectors and escorts. Among the military officers, some had recent experience in commanding or serving in Pershing II battalions or Ground Launch Cruise Missile wings. A few officers had been in Geneva, assisting with the final phases of INF Treaty negotiations. Others had served in Washington on the initial task force defining the roles and missions of the new agency. Still others had been military attachés to the Soviet Union or had served as foreign area officers in the U.S. Army. Among the noncommissioned officers, many had special training and experience as Russian linguists. Many of the team chiefs were career officers with advanced degrees, especially in Soviet area studies and Russian language and culture.



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