Skip to main content

tv   Nunn- Lugar Act 25th Anniversary  CSPAN  January 28, 2017 10:00am-11:17am EST

10:00 am
nasa spokeman, in watching the television screen a few hundred launchpad 34.m the screen went blank. and he said there was no theunication from astronauts. they died silently and apparently swiftly. president's views on slavery. >> the fight must go on, hey. would write to a friend after his defeat to douglas in the 1858 senate race, because of civil liberty, must not be surrendered at the end of one or even 100 defeats. announcer 1: for the complete "american history tv" schedule, go to on december 12, 1991, president george w. bush -- george h.w. bush signed the soviet nuclear threat reduction act also known as the nunn-lugar act. it began cooperative storage of
10:01 am
dismantling, destruction of soviet nuclear and chemical weapons. next, former senators sam nunn and richard lugar marked the 25th anniversary of the initiative in the historic kennedy caucus room on capitol hill. hopehour and 15 minute discussion and award ceremony was hosted by the national security archive, the carnegie endowment, and the nuclear threat initiative. thomas blanton: ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, just a few words of welcome today. i am tom blanton, i am director of the national security archive at george washington university and honored to be one of the organizers of today. this is the day that 25 years ago president george h.w. bush signed the nunn-lugar legislation into law. now being document fetishists,
10:02 am
we scoured the bush library for the photographs of that extraordinary moment, and none exist. there was not a signing ceremony, which gives you a sense of the kind of mixed opinion in the bush administration about this congressional initiative in foreign policy. but the judgment of history is in. the wall street journal called the nunn-lugar legislation one of the most prescient pieces of legislation ever enacted. today on the national security archive's website, you can see the declassified documents and the real danger of that time, the first ever declassified list strategic9 soviet nuclear warheads that were outside the boundaries of russia at the end of the soviet union.
10:03 am
rounding them up, securing nuclear weapons, cleaning up the legacy of the cold war arms race, that was and it still is a heroic task carried out by many. and many of those heroes are here today with us. not least richard lugar and sam , nunn. you have their biographies and many others in your program. others couldn't be with us but send their greetings. that is general yvgeny, who is in the hospital recovering from surgery. but also greetings from friends and colleagues like rose and ash carter, many heroes. our thanks also to senator john cornyn, the majority leader of the united states senate, who secured this room for us. he was a champion of the freedom
10:04 am
of information act and one of our close allies on opening the u.s. government, and i want to thank him for this. isles a want to thank the staff of this archive, not the least our extraordinary program director and all of the others who really make this work, bringing this usable history, to the present. we also appreciate the nuclear threat initiative founded by sam nunn, its first president is here with us, fantastic organization. my thanks to the loser center -- lugar center. my thanks to the carnegie international endowment for peace. george perkovich is with us today. i need to say thank you to the carnegie corporation of new york. carnegie's visionary funding back in the 1980's creating built the research on preventing
10:05 am
nuclear war and methods of cooperative security that gave rise to the nunn-lugar idea. it was present at the first meeting when the legislation took shape, and carnegie is with us today, not just the president of that time, and vartan gregorian. they are with us to understand this effort on what we did right and what we did wrong and bring that history to now so that we can really build mutual security in today's dangerous world. so it is a particular honor for me to introduce dr. vartan gregorian to bring the nunn-lugar reward tonight. vartan. [applause] vartan gregorian: thank you very much. join me, george.
10:06 am
i have the easiest job. introduce to people with no introduction, about that. dig lugar and sam nunn. i not going to use the others because someone else will present them. but i want to today tell you that i feel at home here. all this organizations, nuclear archives,tiative, carnegie endowment, all of them are grantees of carnegie corporation, but most importantly of all, usually successors do not normally give i want to give credit to the only one who started with me, namely david hamburg. without this, it would not have happened. thank you, david. [applause] last but notian:
10:07 am
least andrew carnegie was , against war. war capitalist, he thought was not necessary. there is plenty of competition available an opportunity for everyone. he labeled war the foulest blight that has ever disgraced the earth. his decision was to eradicate war and force all conflicts into arbitration. therefore he found carnegie corporation of new york and the endowment for national peace, international affairs. so it is my delight and pleasure to introduce a distinguished social scientist who has done so much on nuclear nonproliferation. george perkovich, vice president of carnegie endowment for international peace, who has a few words for other leaders pursuing is with great effort. so, george perkovich.
10:08 am
george perkovich: thank you, vartan. [applause] george perkovich: i have learned that it is a fools errand to try to follow him, so i will be brief and add a knowledge and two other people -- add acknowledgments to mr. hamburg and others. bill burns cannot be here today, but he sends his regards to all of those especially the honorees. i would just say, i remember when the legislation was passed. i was working in the senate in fact in this building for senator biden, and i was thinking about it coming over, and particular senators nunn and lugar, i was thinking about the exemplars you were then and remain of the integrity and
10:09 am
commitment to ascertain facts , to understand deep-seated challenges in a bipartisan way and in an internationally cooperative way, and that program and your leadership were then truly exemplary as i think all of us now are hoping like something like that could be rekindled as we go forward even as we are a little worried that perhaps it may not be the case. again, i am so grateful for you to be here and for vartan for making this happen. vartan gregorian: the carnegie corporation of new york and the endowment established this effort which comes with a $50,000 award for two individuals. the past founding effort was made to none other than dick lu .ar and sam nunn who was the other one? i forget now.
10:10 am
minister evano, and two other important individuals. we are given four minutes for two of us, and we have saved only three minutes. i would like to introduce steve dell row so who is here from carnegie corporation who is handling our project. the other person who is working on the university could not be here. i would like to get a handle. so steve delroso who is doing the real work here. [applause] vartan gregorian: with that, thank you very much.
10:11 am
>> senator nunn, i believe you have a citation to read, then we will have senator lugar read his citation, and then we will turn the panel discussion. and then david hoffman will take control of the proceedings. you, tom well thank blanton. you and your team have done a tremendous job of looking at the nunn-lugar program. i am sure dick and i will be a lot of surprised with the things that are there. you have done it all with the -- legally without any leaks. these days that is pretty darn significant. i am delighted to be here. it is also a wonderful privilege to be able to say thank you to so many people in this audience and play such a big role in this whole history of the nunn-lugar program. it is a great honor to be with carnegie, you and david hamburg and carnegie and the whole team
10:12 am
done a tremendous job. not only did you have the analytical studies done that me tod dick lugar and convince the united states senate to pass this in december 1991, but i also when i first , came up with this idea of we had to do something, i was at a conference in budapest, hungary, and my friend left when gorbachev was taken captive. and he went straight back. it was the first day of the congress. he went back to the soviet union and called me after gorbachev was released. i spent five or six fascinating days and surrogate was my interpreter when i -- sergei was my interpreter when i was there. that was when it became apparent to me that we had to take action. friday played a huge role, and
10:13 am
vartan, for you to bestow this award on me and dick lugar in the first place, and now we have two honorees today, it is indeed i think a tremendous thing for carnegie to do. i have often said that the only downside in all of this in partnering with dick lugar, is, like his wife charlotte, i had to give up my last name in many parts of the world. that is the only downside of being a partner with dick lugar. so it is my great honor today to be able to present an award, this award, to general mattson. i will be making it directly to the general. it is appropriate he received the award. as tom said, he had surgery and could not be here, but general esin has played a huge role in u.s.-russian relations and the
10:14 am
nuclear arsenal. ,e headed the russian strategic provided strong leadership. will be accepting the award -- [indiscernible] he served in the soviet and russian defense ministries for over 40 years. he was the commander of the 12th named directories, general staff from 1992 to 1997, acting as the person responsible for all munitions and security. in 1993, when president boris yeltsin ordered military forces into the parliamentary building, russia and the former soviet republics were in a violent .tate of upheaval ever vigilant, general mattson conducted aggressive testing of the nuclear response program throughout russia ensuring any terrorism would be countered by
10:15 am
exhaustive safeguards and ironclad preparation. general mattson's absolute accountability for the testing, rail transport, storage, dismantlement, and repatriation of every single nuclear warhead for the duration of its service life cannot be overstated. his comprehensive expertise were -- was instrumental in successfully transferring thousands of nuclear warheads by rail to russia from belarus taconic stand and from ukraine. kazakhstan and from ukraine. inhough he stepped down 1997, his commitment to non- proliferation has been unwavering. as one of the leading authorities on the clear security and verification, his cause is immeasurable, even continuing today.
10:16 am
membern executive board at the center for policy studies in russia, a director of the aspect conversion group of companies, and advisor to the senate for energy and support studies. general mattson has offered several publications on nuclear nonproliferation and he added book, security of nuclear arsenals in the russian federation, to his acclaimed roster. his accomplishments have been acknowledged with multiple governmental honors, including the laureate of russian state, the order of the red star, an order for service to the fatherland. today we give tribute to this distinguished leader and the guiding force behind russia's nuclear nonproliferation efforts. we honor his expert sees -- his
10:17 am
expertise, we honor his service, we honor his wisdom and conscience, and integrity. we are eternally indebted to perform with grace under fire. it is a great privilege and honor to present the third annual nunn-lugar award for promoting nuclear security to colonel general mattson. [applause] >> accidents happen, which is why we have to be so careful with the nuclear arsenal. [laughter]
10:18 am
[speaking russian] viktor esin: the realization for the nunn-lugar program helped solve pressing tasks in the
10:19 am
threat of nuclear security and environmental protection in russia, and then also helped develop context between the representatives of the nuclear industry in both of the countries. this year is also the 20th anniversary since the last nuclear warheads were withdrawn belarus thatand stayed there after the dissolution of the soviet union, which cleared the way for these two states as well as kazakhstan for which these nuclear weapons were withdrawn earlier to join the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons as nonnuclear states. this technically means of securing weapons and materials provided with the help of the nunn-lugar program played an important role in solving this task. it won't be an exaggeration if i
10:20 am
say that in terms of its importance to security, the collective work within the framework of the nunn-lugar programs, especially in the early years, is comparable to the military and economic cooperation between moscow and washington during world war ii. let me express my gratitude and appreciation for the award. i would like to know that i see this award as the praise for the work of all russian material officers, workers and servicemen who participated there and i'd -- and directly in the destruction of nuclear warheads, international ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines, and chemical weapons. sure, russia could have carried these tasks out on their own, the soviet union did create and test an atomic bomb
10:21 am
in 1949, just four years after world war ii, but it would have measurably more time. increased environmental catastrophes and would have demanded colossal expenses. thanks to the efforts of both sides, we were able to complete the task of destruction with maximum safety and in a very short timeframe. here in the new year, new opportunities will open up for reviving relationships between the countries. twoin my view, one of the priority tasks would be the creation of a joint mechanism to prevent accidents in the nuclear sphere in the air and on the high seas. let me express that hope that these opportunities will be used effectively. in the history russia and the , united states have never been at war with each other.
10:22 am
[speaking russian] [applause] richard lugar: it is now my privilege to give an award to a brave man. it has already been said today, we owe the carnegie corporation for these wonderful ideas. we owe a lot to those who carry forward those ideas. i appreciate especially my partner sam nunn who was conducting hearings, looking for partners that might be helpful. i appreciate especially even five years before that, president ronald reagan asking
10:23 am
16 members of the senate to go to geneva, switzerland. there were eight republicans eight democrat. reagan knew that not only was bipartisanship important, but you needed two thirds majority to pass a treaty. turned out that 1986 was not a time for a arms-control treaty that we anticipated, and time went by until the year of 1991 we celebrate today. but the facts are and have been suggested -- pardon me. december 12, of 1991, exactly 25 years ago, there may not have been enormous enthusiasm in the white house in signing the legislation. as a matter of fact, sam and i found out pretty rapidly that
10:24 am
there were some who felt that we overstepped our bounds altogether, that the president of the united states was the person that deals with the grave situations of this sort, or the secretary of defense and secretary of state. to have two senators putting putting together a coalition of senators and passing legislation of this variety, it seemed a little upsetting. it is reassuring to be here today with bill perry and to see david hamburg here and asked -- and andy weber. asked carter was on the trip, the plane trip back to russia, ukraine and belarus in april of gotnext year, and we all religion together. we saw the problems that were faced by the former soviet union
10:25 am
and now by the states that, two weeks after the signature of the nunn-lugar bill, had divided into 15 countries, and for very large --four very large nuclear powers. action didn't occur right away. some had pointed out that the first 800 million or so that was appropriated by the first two congresses that dealt with this resulted in $50 million of expenditures. this was not easy to get underway. this is why it is so important today we recognize those who really helped it get underway, who knew the nitty-gritty of the problems, who were with us in our trips to russia, to ukraine, to belarus, to cause extent, and then -- cause extent --
10:26 am
kazakhstan and then to others. so for many of you who played an important role in russia and the united states in the nonproliferation program and all that followed. specifically, it is my privilege to recognize bill perry. i will start by saying william j. perry's extraordinary career began in 1947 when he joined the army corps of engineer at the age of 18. then he moved on to the army occupation in japan, and his efforts in the reserve officer training corps earned him the rank of second lieutenant. after his time in the army, the secretary perry became one of the original silicon valley hiseers, further broadening knowledge of technology, trained as a mathematician. his eventual specialization in digital and rennaissance
10:27 am
systems caught the attention of u.s. government officials, who sought his counsel, and most importantly during the cuban missile crisis. in subsequent years, he applied his high-tech expertise to ambitious and -- business and entrepreneurial initiatives. in 1977 as undersecretary of defense for research and engineering secretary perry , brought the united states military into the stealth area . smart weaponsith and gps, american forces were prepared to stand tall in the face of adversaries. in 1994, secretary perry became the 19th secretary of defense and the first enlisted man to serve in that role. with a range of expertise drawing from his experience as a
10:28 am
soldier in his time in the highest ranks of the pentagon, he was instrumental in the dismantlement of 8000 nuclear warheads, 4000 in the united states and 4000 in russia. throughout his career, secretary perry has devoted himself to protecting our nation's interest. his book, my journey at the nuclear brink, chronicles his endeavors with equal measures with eloquence and starving alarm. he also continues to generously share his wisdom with the next generation of nuclear nonproliferation advocates. this commitment to the cause is steadfast and unstoppable. secretary perry has received countless rewards and decorations from the heads of state around the world. ironically it is thorough
10:29 am
understanding of war that makes him a consummate peacekeeper . his visionary leadership has been highly beneficial in the objectives of the nunn-lugar mission. it is a real privilege to present the third annual nunn-lugar award for promoting nuclear security to secretary william j. perry. congratulations. [applause] william perry: thank you. i would like to say how pleased i am to see so many longtime friends here today. dickspecially proud of lubar, sam nunn, vartan gregorian and tom blanton who
10:30 am
are all great, great americans. i also want to acknowledge the extraordinary actions we have seen in the nunn-lugar program. i see two of them here today. i see gloria duffy and susan cook. there may be others here, but i believe those two, and the leader of the team, ash carter, is off on a victory to her's -- victory tour of the world as secretary of defense. brief commentsry troublesome, a very problem which is the deterioration of relations between the united states and russia today. when the cold war ended, and we had a brief, shining moment, a brief shining moment where it
10:31 am
was possible to conceive the united states and russia became -- could become not only friends but possibly even allies. believedof us actually that was going to be possible and worked to try to make it happen. we started in that direction. i remember the first time i invited the russian defense minister to eight nato defense a nato defense ministers meeting. to make sure he was really all come, i invited him to a dinner the night before, which was a warm warm gathering. ,anything at that time seemed possible. later on when we confronted with the problem not of writing the nunn-lugar legislation but of implementing it, i helped advise
10:32 am
dick lugar and sam nunn when they were writing this legislation. i soon found out it is easier to advise that it is to implement. it was a tough program to implement. we had this extraordinary team to do it. but we could not have done it without very close cooperation from russia and from ukraine. and i still remember the last meeting when the last warhead had been dismantled, the ukrainian defense minister, the russian defense minister, and the american defense minister all posed for a picture with a three-way handshake. very hard to imagine that today. that is where we were in 1996. i also recall vividly negotiating with the russian defense minister the
10:33 am
participation of russian troops in a peacekeeping operation -- peace enforcement operation in sendinghere america was individual troops, and russia wanted to send a brigade of troops in. france and germany and other european countries were sending troops in we insisted it be a unified command, unlike what we .ave in syria today so after a long intensive negotiation, we ended up with the russian brigade working cooperatively with an under the direction really of an american major general with the division of our first army division, who was the commander of our first army division, and that worked so well that after the third together,heir working i presented the russian general a medal for having the best brigade in bosnia, the most effective brigade in bosnia.
10:34 am
as i said, there was a brief shining moment when this seems be- actually seemed to working. this is not time for me to get to my sad story, the litany of what happened after that, caused us to go down so discouragingly, but the conclusion that i come to is that it can happen. it has happened, and if we resolvingd a way of the disagreements that tara support today -- taylor us apart today -- tear us apart today, we still have the desire a strong , desire to prevent nuclear proliferation and also nuclear terrorism. a bomb to go off in moscow as much as washington d c. the countries working together
10:35 am
would be the most effective way of reducing probability of that catastrophe ever happening. many people, both in russia and the united states, tell us it is impossible to work together because of other issues separating us. i want to point out i have training in mathematics. in mathematics, when you are trying to solve a very difficult equation, there is a technique known as the separation of variables. separation of variables. so somehow or our diplomats in russia and the united states have to find a way of separating out the problems begin agree on from the problems we not only can't agree on but it is important we agree on when we are together. so the separation of variables can work in diplomacy as well as in mathematics. thank you. [applause]
10:36 am
david hoffman: all right, thank you secretary perry. thank you's senators nunn and lugar. now we will try and have a panel discussion revisit some of these , issues and perhaps lift our spirits a little bit. but i would like to begin in the hopes that we learn from lessons from the past with a reminder 1992,n 1991 and in senators nunn and lugar took a gamble with history. back then, there were many skeptics who told journalists like me it would be best to let the soviet union drown in sorrow . there were high-level officials in the government that said the soviet union should be left to freefall. senators nunn and lugar did not
10:37 am
agree. they helped us and the other former soviet republics cope with an inheritance from hell. this was probably the most successful congressional initiative since the marshall today, i would like them to start off this panel, given the difficulties of 1991 and 1992, including the political mood then -- the american people are not interested in another program helping a longtime adversary far away. the american people had a cold war sensibility about our security. they did not understand that what happens over there could affect us. i would like to start off by asking senator nunn and that senator lugar how did you make , it work? and how do we get it to work again?
10:38 am
sam? sam nunn: the answer is, we didn't make it work. dick lugar and i formed a another personer and i try to put what was the nunn-lugar bill in the senate authorizations bill. i was chairman of the senate armed services committee. we had already passed both bills. we were on the august recess. that is when i was in budapest, hungary when i went to the soviet union which was collapsing at that stage. when i came back, we took the essence of nunn-lugar and put it in the authorization conference report. now that happened to be out of scope so to speak, because it did not even pass the senate or the house. we knew that, but we thought we could persuade our colleagues that this was urgent. we could not explain that to them because they were, as you said, david, they were still in
10:39 am
the framework that the soviet union is the enemy. let them fall. why should we help them? why should we use american tax money? we had to pull out the opposition bill from the floor of the senate, take that position out of it, then go with the authorization bill without it. we came back in december and passed it in the appropriation bill as an amendment, persuading robert byrd that it was urgent. he cut it from $500 million to $400 million, but we were grateful to get that. it was an authorization, not a n absolute mandate. the reason we got it passed was because of two important factors. it was analytical, and most joined in.dick he brought republicans to the table, my round table in my office.
10:40 am
ash was out for many of those meetings. we persuaded people in twos and threes and fours, we were able to persuade the vast majority of the senate that was in that interim. so it was in our interest and the soviets' interest. that is the way it happened. we turned around the senate in a 2.5 month period, but that was back in an era when people saw facts lead to conclusions. i am not sure that is always existent in washington today. but that is the history of it, and of course dick and i worked very, very hard on it, not only on that stage but the other stage we did. we spent several years oversight and giving oversight to implementation there the folks in this room that were in the executive branch, having been in the legislative branch, it is much easier to pass legislation than to implement it. it would not have been a
10:41 am
program without an awful lot of folks in this room and other places that really made it work. and a lot of those people were in russia. a number of those people were in kazakhstan. a number of those people were in ukraine, and a number were in belarus. i would like to see at some point maybe tom blanton and the archives are going to do that, sort of an honor roll of the people who were out in the field and implemented it. i remember in march after we passed the legislation, bill perry, david hamburg and i, ash would and dick lugar, we to each of those countries and talked about what was coming, what they could expect, and why it was important to fully cooperate. it was the of limitation as well as the legislation itself. and it wasn't easy, but it had to be done on a bipartisan basis , and it was.
10:42 am
the analysis that was furnished was absolutely key. david hoffman: senator lugar, share with us when you joined sam at that lunch in, what made this so urgent? what did you see? richard lugar: i was a student of the subject, and i had observed sam's work and admired the dimension. we had been together five years before in geneva. i got to know sam pretty well at that time. we went over to the russian consulate, and we got to meet some russians. i can't cite all the russians we talk to in the next five years, but there were quite a number. because frequently we went abroad, and we went to russia on some occasions, and we became acquainted with the situation in russia. they seem to think things were deteriorating and difficulties are coming, so it was not a terrible surprise when 1991 came
10:43 am
on the trail. i stress as sam did the importance of what occurred than politicals in part apart from being technical. the dilemma itself we faced, and sam has described, is there were a great number of senators, many in my party, who said not a dime for the russians, not a dime. that is ridiculous even considering such a thing. this is a very strongly felt sentiment by many of their constituents. that sentiment did not go away altogether. after nunn-lugar passed, we had struggled in the first few years to get things going. we had an appropriation bill to face every year, every year to come up with the $500 million or thereabouts to be required.
10:44 am
as i have stated, the two years, million, but$500 only about $50 million spent on implementation. it was very difficult. i mention this because this went on for 20 years. it was not a one-year situation. for all of the warheads to be taken down, the destruction that had occurred, the safety measures and so forth, there are ideas. of new endless numbers of new senators, new members of the house came aboard. they had not been there from the beginning. and yet each one had a vote, each one really had to be dealt with. so the politics of nunn-lugar here in the united states were very, very important and success from this. but i would think finally it was also important that we have
10:45 am
opportunities to travel to visit , russia and ukraine and belarus and kazakhstan, and really to get to know a lot of people in those countries throughout the years. in addition to countries in europe and asia who are affected by all of this, we came up senate,a time in the and some of you are aware of this who have been working with us. some senators, members of the house set up, i am not even going to get a passport. i owe my time to my constituents back home in the states and districts. we came almost to a matter of pride that you were not involved abroad. and we continue to face some of that even presently. i mention that because as we reach out today in our
10:46 am
understanding as we talk about russia and the united states' relations or any other, we are going to have to find members who will share this enthusiasm and the vision, and we hope will be backed by scholars in the room and elsewhere who already have very good ideas. they can be implanted in the minds of those who are negotiating. let me tell just one story, finally, and that is after the elections of 1992, in which president bush had signed the december of 1991, and two weeks later, the soviet union came apart. bush lost the election to bill clinton. sam and i went over to russia after that election. we saw the russian leadership, and the russian edition said in
10:47 am
no uncertain terms what they were repaired to do to do to ukraine if it did not give up its nuclear weapons. i am not trying to repeat the translation of the profanity that came in that particular conversation, but sam and i did go to the person. there was an opportunity to review this, so i think my fax are right. -- facts are right. there were quite a few people in the room, and i leaned over and said, mr. president, the united states is prepared to spend $100 million to help you get rid of your nuclear weapons, which i know you want to do. they were members of the legislature in ukraine that did not want to give up. they say we are the third-largest nuclear power in the world, my goodness. but the separations that occurred with russia, the
10:48 am
dangers of having that around, he was so excited by that talk that he grabbed sam and me, took us outside to the hallway where he noticed the press corps, which amoued in that day to two reporters. they were developing one. he said, senator lugar just made a very exciting proposal for ukraine. he has offered us $150 million for our nuclear weapons. [laughter] richard lugar: i hope i don't betray sam. sam said something to the effect -- i think it is a crazy idea. i said it will all work out. i hoped that it would. i got back to washington, went back to the white house, and president bush, still somewhat disconsolate over his loss and was willing to see me. we talked about old business, and he did support it. he wrote a letter to the man
10:49 am
stating $150 million. ultimately i suspect, and others may know this better than i do, we may have spent $750 million. because this was a huge, huge huge job that went on for years , but nevertheless, i remember it that way. and i remember the fact that we were privileged, sam and i, to have both the conversations in russia and ukraine as senators, as people who believe in what we were doing, believe we can persuade others back in washington weather at the presidential level or at the senate level. i hope that over treat -- situation will repeat itself now. richard lugar: senator -- david hoffman: senator lugar thank you. us, wet example shows have seen this was not one-sided. the entire history required to partners and two sides -- two
10:50 am
partners and two sides, and the golden shining moment is that they work together. i would like to introduce esin, who i have known for many years and was kind enough to review recently. i would like to hear your perspective on what you have heard today about the origins of nunn-lugar. what did it look like from moscow? [speaking russian] viktor esin: thank you, david. i will share my ideas. today, i believe, it is very important to stress the following circumstances, and thanks to the efforts undertaken by senators nunn and lugar for 1991, for the congress to
10:51 am
the the law on reducing soviet nuclear threat, the world was saved from disintegration of the huge nuclear arsenal remaining after the soviet union broke apart, fell apart. at the time, the threat was quite realistic, the threat of nuclear weapons were staying in the territories of belarus, russia, and ukraine. the thefact that proliferation of these weapons could be stopped was largely due to the assistance provided by the united states under the program -- under the nunn-lugar program. not only assistance to russia but also will arrest -- bill of
10:52 am
rights, ukraine and other -- also to belarus, ukraine and others. i am certain that was a historic mission of the nunn-lugar program. it is a successful implementation, assisted by the close cooperation between the department of united states and russia, which the effectiveness of which was proven by the prestigious awards just awarded generalal esin and perry. i would like to stress the program went on for two decades 2013 the extension
10:53 am
expired of the realist russian agreement on the nunn-lugar program on june 14, 2014. -- 2013, russia and united states signed the cooperation on agreement framework on the multilateral nuclear and environmental program and the protocol of the government on this framework. indeed, these new russian -american documents handled much smaller number of topics than the nunn-lugar program, but it allows us to continue the joint efforts on the reduction of nuclear materials and to address the related environmental problems not only in russia and the united states but also in other countries. also very encouraging was the cooperation between the nuclear
10:54 am
laboratories and the respective agreements signed in 2013. unfortunately, not everything that i have so far enumerated could have been, could have been transformed to life. the problem was the rapid deterioration of russian -u.s. relations because of events in the ukraine and the sanctions. us, a history teaches crisis in the relations between our two countries do not stay forever, and we can always hope for better, better times when the successful experience of nunn-lugar program will be used in full to renew the cooperation between russia and the united states to reduce the nuclear threat and threats from other
10:55 am
mass -- weapons of mass destruction. i do hope that will come, and i believe these times will arrive soon. this is all i have to say. thank you for your time. [applause] david, can i add one other point here? in 1994, sitting around this table, we had charlie curtis in the audience, we were at that stage getting more and more a physician -- opposition, why do we continue to fund this? we got together and said, do you think it is more of an effort to pass a subsequent piece of legislation that if pete were a part of it, that would basically help explain and address the problem of nuclear terrorism as if limited by the united states?
10:56 am
-- implemented by the united states? we passed what was known as the nunn-lugar diminutive bill, which was the first act that would really begin to prepare local and state law enforcement officials for help on chemical and biological warfare. that helped reinforce an awful lot in terms of understanding in the countryside by the nunn-lugar program was important to america's own security. there is a new book on the program that came out of that. pete had a huge role in encouraging the lab to lab program and the history of that with help from his russian colleagues. so that is another very important part of this whole dimension. david hoffman: secretary perry, help us understand what works, and i detected in your comments before some serious thought
10:57 am
about where we ought to go now very where do we go? what work we did to get rid of the 3000 weapons, the last -- the first week that ash and i met in 1993, we agreed that would be our first top priority, and the top priority was to get them all out of there during the first term. we did not know what sector we would be in. we did not know if the funding would continue and what was going to happen in ukraine and russia. we wanted to get them all out during the first term, which we were able to do. quite a big shock i had after the agreement, we have the authorization to do this, but we did not have any money. so i had to redirect other programs, the funding of other programs to this program in 1993, which was unpleasant.
10:58 am
thereafter, we got the full $400 million funding in the senate, so that made that part of it very much easier. much- i was expecting either opposition or lukewarm support from many people we were dealing with it in russia and ukraine. that did not happen. not only did we get support, we got enthusiastic support from almost everybody we worked with over there in the ministies, right down to the field, dealing with the officers of the strategic rocket forces were based their about to be put out of a job. but everybody came to understand the importance of what we were doing, and that was one of the biggest prizes on the day when we got that kind of full support.
10:59 am
have told you about the problems within the congress . i don't have much to tell you. after that first year, that was the problem for me. whatever problems there were, they took care of it, and we would get the $400 million appropriated. but the number one big surprise was the absolutely enthusiastic support of all the people that worked for us on the program, all the people we had to work with in russia, all the people we had to work with in ukraine, they all understood the cosmic significance of what we were doing. they all got behind it magnificently. david hoffman: mr. hoffman: a big question that has occurred throughout this project is what reusable history is there in the last 25 years. if you had to write a handbook
11:00 am
for the policymakers who will face the next nuclear crisis, what is the lesson you would put on the front page of that handbook from 25 years of experience with nunn-lugar? i'm not going to say what country or what time this crisis will be in, but suppose it happens soon and people want to know, what did we learn? what would you tell them? sam, you want to go first? mr. nunn: we learned a lot over the course of the cold war about red lines and where the red line should be drawn, and exercising forces and discussing nuclear equations in terms of threatening nuclear. that is extremely dangerous because the people on the warning systems, the people in the silos, they look at the atmosphere when they are trying to judge whether something is an accident, a mistake, or really an attack. another thing we have learned but have not cured is the danger of hairtrigger alerts and having
11:01 am
so many weapons on alert that can be fired very rapidly. but the most that i have taken away and the thing most applicable to today, to what we are facing in terms of disagreements with russians over the syrian, the middle east, as well as the ukraine, is that we are not having anywhere near the kind of military discussions we had back during even the cold war. we have got to renew military to military discussions. people say, how can you do that when you are disagreeing over ukraine? how can you not do it when you are flying ships and planes near each other, when you have the possibility of an accident every day, when you have the chance of escalation, and nuclear rhetoric is being thrown around? it is extremely dangerous. i would say resume military to military communications. the secretary of defense should be authorized by the president to talk to his counterpart. chairman of the joint chiefs
11:02 am
should be talking to his counterpart. the head of nato forces should be talking to his counterpart. we have got to resume military to military communication. it is not macho or wise to cut off communication because of disagreements. that is the time you need to communicate. we have a russia-u.s.-nato -russian council. bill perry started it, both in response to georgia and in response to ukraine. nato took the position and russia did also that we won't communicate. why do you have it if you are not going to communicate in a crisis? the other thing i would say, while we are really trying now to figure out -- or at least we should be -- trying to figure out where to draw the red lines in the cyber area, we are accusing the russians of interfering with u.s. elections, etc., etc. it is apparent that u.s. and russia and other powers in the
11:03 am
world, not just the u.s. and russia, have not developed understandings and red lines in the cyber area. we have got to do that. we have got to talk to do that. i think it would be the supreme irony if while we have not developed redlines in the cyber area, which can interact with nuclear warning systems and so forth -- while we are not developing redlines in the cyber area, we seem to be forgetting the redlines we have learned in the nuclear area. how d-u-m dumb is that? it doesn't make sense. it is not in the interest of u.s., russian, or world security. those are a few observations that i think we need to make progress on. mr. hoffman: viktor, would you respond? what do you think about sam's suggestions?
11:04 am
gen. esin: [translated] i will tell you my opinion about today's situation between russia and the united states. the main danger as i see it is that we are starting to lose mutual trust between the military. there was a period of cooperation under the nunn-lugar program, and it was a successful program. and it was based on mutual trust. this gave us an opportunity to remove many obstacles standing in the way of this program. today, this mutual trust is
11:05 am
being gradually lost. just because, as sam nunn has just said, when there is no cooperation, there is no trust. indeed, we have a lot of disagreements. however, these disagreements may be resolved only on the basis of cooperation. i fully support sam nunn in that we should restart close cooperation between the military. in this case, we will be able to find means and ways of overcoming whatever problems that keep arising in military incidents.
11:06 am
i am convinced that if military cooperation was enforced -- let's take the example of syria -- we would have found a chance to use our mutual efforts to reduce the threat that comes from the so-called islamic state. we would have found opportunities to agree on cooperation aimed at meeting the interests of both the syrian opposition and the current government of syria. and the example of the nunn-lugar program tells us that when we have cooperation, we can
11:07 am
solve such an important issue as nuclear security in this period of the early 1990's. i believe the time will come when we realize that such cooperation must be resumed. thank you. [applause] mr. hoffman: dick, do you have thoughts about lessons for the next generation? mr. lugar: i recall in 2012 that viktor said the nunn-lugar program was coming to an end in russia. i went to see the foreign office. there was talk about several ways we could extend it. that was not the case with the military, and as a matter of fact, the feeling on the part of the russians -- although i did
11:08 am
not see president putin at the time -- is that they were tired of having americans prowling around russia. they didn't want us around. furthermore, they had gotten oil money at this time. they did not need the $400 million a year or whatever it was that we were sending. as a result, i tried another tack. i had a press conference, well attended by the russian press and likewise by the "new york times" and reuters and so forth. i said, we have had cooperation together when it really counted. we have both got a problem with the chemical weapons of syria. i suggest that we come together and go after those and get rid of them. this was something we could be helpful to the safety of russians and the safety of the world. i heard not much more about it
11:09 am
for quite a while, because as you recall, there did come a day when president vladimir putin indicated they would have a cooperative program to go after the syrian chemical weapons. kenny myers was very instrumental in trying to think through methods of how you extract chemical weapons from all sorts of places in syria, get them out to ships so they can be destroyed and so forth. at that point, a whole group of russians from the russian press corps in washington came to my office at lugar center. they started out by saying, are you pleased your idea was taken? i said, it was president vladimir putin's idea. he is the one who made the possibility. the fact is, there are ways in which we can bring about cooperation -- and sometimes not through regular direct negotiations, since these are
11:10 am
difficult for the time being -- but indirectly. russia and the united states both need to, with regard to all of the bits and pieces of nuclear, chemical, or biological materials left on this earth -- with the nuclear threat initiative under sam's leadership, they really went after this and published a remarkable publication that goes country by country as to who has what at this point. it illustrates how many countries have either shipped back their stuff to russia or to the united states. and we have destroyed it in both cases. the world is a lot safer because of this. we could do a lot more of it. whether we have conferences about this specifically, there are ways, clearly, in terms of public communication, in which we can hope to get the job done. i compliment president obama on having these summits each year
11:11 am
in washington in which people have talked about ridding the world of materials of mass destruction. unfortunately, the last couple were not attended by the russians, but they could come back. i hope there would be more conferences of this variety. we have not just the problem any longer of nuclear weapons that might be shot by rockets across continental and so forth. we are in a situation with terrorists, who could go into particular areas, scoop up the material that is required, and create havoc in any city or situation all over the world. this is a big problem but one that is not without some solutions and potential for cooperation. mr. hoffman: thank you. secretary perry, you want to add something? mr. perry: i want to comment
11:12 am
about a question i'm asked all the time. questions i'm asked by my students. all right, so you needed strategic deterrence during the cold war. how did that add up to 70,000 nuclear weapons? what deterrence argument led you to 70,000? they did cap it, so let's say 30,000 roughly. i try to answer the question. maybe we think to have deterrence, we need to be able to destroy 100 targets. to be safe, let's double that, make it 200 or 250. then you assume that maybe some of our missiles won't work, so we better double that. now we get up to 500, 1000.
11:13 am
then you say, but we are going to be responding to a surprise attack. that surprise attack is going to destroy 90% of our silos and most of our airbases, and the bombers left are going to be shot down by the soviet air defense. somehow, the soviets are going to have a magical solution which is going to attack our submarines at sea. never quite explained what that is. some magical solution. so they are going to be gone, too. pretty soon, you have got the numbers. you better multiply it by 10. after all of this elaborate calculation without substance, you have got 10,000. how do you get to 30,000? all i can say from that point is, after a while, you watch what the soviets are doing, they
11:14 am
watch what you are doing, and it becomes -- we want as many as they have, plus a little more. and that gets you into what is called a feedback loop that gets uncontrolled. if i put my hand on my hearing aid, i get a whistling noise, which maybe you can hear. that is an uncontrolled feedback loop, which theoretically can be infinitely many. we never got to infinitely, but we did get to 70,000, which is a lot. to answer the question for the future, can we learn something from that past? in a logic i cannot possibly explain to my students getting to 70,000, can we learn something from that? if we modernize our nuclear weapons, build new ones in united states and russia, if we feel we have to do that, at
11:15 am
least can we find a way of doing that in a restrained, logical way, so we don't find ourselves once again going to this surrealistic number of 70,000 nuclear weapons, each of which has destructive power about 10 times to 100 times the hiroshima bomb. that is what i have to say. thank you. [applause] mr. hoffman: i think we will close this panel with the optimistic thought that that feedback loop at least was broken, and we are now down to many tens of thousands fewer, but we have not completely gone to zero. >> only have 15,000 now. mr. hoffman: now we are going to move to a panel to discuss implementation, but i would like to thank all the panels for what they have done for joining us in the celebration of this important moment. [applause]
11:16 am
announcer: on december 12, 1991 president george h.w. bush signed the soviet nuclear threat reduction act, also known as the non-lugar act. beginning a formal process between the russians and the united states of cooperative storage, dismantling and destruction of soviet nuclear and chemical weapons. next, in commemoration of the act's 25th anniversary, a panel of government officials and policymakers discuss their role in implementing the legislation. this 80 minute program was cohosted by the national security archive. the carnegie corporation, the carnegie endowment and the nuclear threat initiative. >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your attention. we have some real heroes of the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on