Trust, but Verify: the Case of Writing a Specification

10 January 2020

In the ‘80s, the United States and the then Soviet Union were involved in extensive talks about nuclear disarmament. Ronald Reagan was President and he was taught a Russian proverb as part of an effort to bridge the cultural gap between the two countries. The proverb was “Trust, but verify” (Russian: Doveryai, no proveryai), which he used in several meetings with his counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan used the proverb to emphasize the need of procedures to verify compliance with the agreements being signed.

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