Sam Nunn Speech

Last week, former Senator Sam Nunn spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations (video, and audio) on proliferation of nuclear weapons (or the prevention thereof).

I meant to post about it last week when I remembered my thoughts on the speech, and I have no desire to watch the 56 minute speech again for this blog’s purpose. That said, I did enjoy the speech and recommend watching it.

While on the subject of the CFR, I would strongly recommend their campaign blog to anyone interested in foreign policy, especially how it relates to this campaign.


  1. joe says:


    I realy don’t want to watch 56 minutes of anything unless I have some idea about the content. Would you care to expand and perhaps provide a synopsis and some commentary?

  2. rugby_fan says:

    The speech draws on his experience with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (one of the finest things a Georgian has ever created) and outlines his plan for eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation.

    More after watching it again, or at least skimming.

  3. The 40 minute Q&A was more informative, here are some highlights:

    Sam Nunn Quotes & paraphrases from Q&A:

    1) “Democracy is a lot more than winning one or two elections.”

    2) US-Russian relations: “Isn’t diplomacy about understanding where the other side is coming from and trying to mold the debate to that.” Would Georgia & Ukraine coming into NATO start another cold war? Ukraine doesn’t want to join NATO. “Glad Pres Bush didn’t take congressional advice to kick Russia out of G8.” “Below Bush & Putin, no institutions working on real issues that have real meaning.” “US Russia, need Nuclear/Biological transparency.” “Mobile Nuclear, highly enriched nuclear reactors are against Russian interest, they are starting to listen.”

    “Nunn-Lugar scorecard re helping Russia get inventory of nuclear arsenal. On a scale of 1 to 10, this effort gets a 6.” US Bureaucracy is responsible for lack of progress, no one is in charge, Bush has reprioritized it. Resist impulses from left and right to make Russia an enemy.

    3) “US has lost a lot of credibility in the world, we’ve got to begin restoring our credibility. We need to show the world that we are interested in the welfare of the world via non military action. “Nuclear, energy & environmental issues should be on the agenda.” We need to be talking about Human rights and the rule of law.

    4) “If we militarize space, it’s going to have a HUGE destabilizing effect on our economic system.”

    5) “Watch Fred Thompson movie “Last Best Chance.” 45 minutes on Nuclear Threat, put out two years ago on HBO. They are giving it out free now. “We have a huge education challenge. 30 second ads got attention in New Hampshire & Iowa before the elections. It didn’t get national attention but candidates picked up the themes & echoed it.”

    6) “If nuke goes off in Europe or US, how can we track the origin? A lot of nuclear material is Missing.” “Give US scientists a budget to work on verification. Give our top scientists something else to do besides build more weapons.” Administration has thrown in towel on verification, despite Reagan’s policy of Trust but verify.

    7) “Nuclear energy has to play a huge role in cleaning up our environment. Less reliance on Fossil fuels etc.” Geothermal, wind, solar and major conservation efforts needed.

    10) “India building a huge number of power plants. “Supplying India with a lot of nuclear technology, while we are discouraging Iran & Korea is wrong.” “It’s tough getting info out of Pakistan.”

    11) South Africa still has large stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

    12) Form a consortium of think tanks around globe. Would like to see a Film made with Schultz, Kissinger, Perry & Nunn addressing the issues.

    13) “Without US leadership, none of this will happen.” “Step by step transition.”

  4. Jarod says:

    Can he ever be talked into running for Governor in ’10? He’s just what the GA Democrats need to get their house in order. Even though his forte has always been foreign policy his leadership may trickle down ticket to the party at whole.

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