DAVID SPEEDIE: I’m David Speedie, director of the Program on U.S. Global Engagement here at the Carnegie Council. I'm delighted and honored to be interviewing today Senator Richard Lugar.
My interview with Senator Lugar is in the context of our "Ethics for a Connected World" project of the Carnegie Council centennial celebrations, and specifically what we are calling our Thought Leaders Forum, leaders in the field of ethics and international policy.
Senator, thank you so much for being with me today.
RICHARD LUGAR: Thank you, David. It’s my honor.
DAVID SPEEDIE: Thank you.
Very briefly, Senator Lugar is the senior United States senator from Indiana, first elected to the Senate in 1976. He is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and was its chairman from 1985 to 1987 and 2003 to 2007. Before his election to the Senate, Senator Lugar served as mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana. He was judiciously chosen by Time magazine as one of the "10 Best Senators" back in 2006.
Senator, let me get right into the heart of the matter, I think, for what has taken up much—and very rightly so—of your Senate career, and that is the question of nuclear policy, nuclear weapons, and nuclear nonproliferation. Clearly, this is one of the great ethical policy issues of our time and one in which you have taken a true leadership role.
Just to underscore the ethics part, in looking up some of the other initiatives in eliminating or reversing reliance on nuclear weapons, the pastoral letter of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 1998 described the continued possession, development, and plans for these nuclear weapons by our country as a matter for grave moral concern. In the first page of this letter, they use the term “moral” or “ethical challenge” at least six times—“morally justifiable,” “morally acceptable,” and so on and so forth.
Tell me, please, what, for you, was the ethical and moral dimension in approaching this issue of nuclear weapons, beyond just practical policy issues.
RICHARD LUGAR: As a practical matter, President Reagan had been visiting with Russian leaders, and they were discussing nuclear weapons. There was the possibility, he felt, in 1986 of negotiations with the Russians to begin control, then destruction of nuclear weapons. He was excited about that. But he realized that in our system, with the treaty requiring 67 votes, this was clearly going to have to be a bipartisan business. So he invited a group of people that became known as the “observer group” for the treaty negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1986.
I mention that because it was a group formed with the leadership of the Congress, Senator Byrd and Senator Dole, but also Sam Nunn, Ted Kennedy, and Al Gore were part of that. I was there on the Republican side. I stress this because this was an initiation for all of us to the fact that there were potential practical treaty negotiations.
Why was this an ethical question? Essentially because at that time, whether the citizens of Russia—or the Soviet Union, as it was called in those days—or the United States knew it, we were all covered by tens of thousands of nuclear warheads that were aimed at all of our cities. It was a 40-year period, which I think will be looked back on as an existential moment or decade, as the case may be. It was in this context that we took this very seriously.
Now, unfortunately, in 1986, the negotiations did not proceed very far. The late Ted Stevens of Alaska, who was a part of our delegation, took it so seriously that he got an apartment in Geneva to be there constantly. But it was not to be.
Fortunately, Sam Nunn—whom I had met then and really got to know well during that period—and I visited with Russians whom we had met in 1986 on several occasions in subsequent summers. In travels we would have in Europe as a part of our work—he in the Armed Services Committee and I in Foreign Relations—we would rendezvous often, with a trip to Russia or even to Geneva, to pick up the people we had seen who were interested in the issues.
I mention that because when 1991 came, a fateful time in terms of the breakup of the Soviet Union, several of the people that we had met from Russia, both of the military and the civilian categories, came here to Washington. They met with us around a round table in Sam Nunn’s office. I kept the table after Sam left the Senate, rolled it down the hallway, and it’s in my office over here now as a memory of that.
Essentially, they made a historical plea—namely, that we provide money, troops, and technical personnel, first of all, simply to secure the areas where the nuclear weapons were. They pointed out that Russia was bankrupt at this point, that soldiers were not getting paid, the possibility of its spreading in many directions, quite apart from around Russia, into the Caucasus, where they had enemies and so forth.
It was a situation that was totally unexpected historically, that one great superpower that had the power and authority to annihilate the other superpower would invite the United States, the other superpower, to, in essence, work on its disarmament—security first, then disarmament. I can’t think of another situation of that variety, nor in terms of an ethical question, that was so profound with regard to potential destruction. If there had been accidents or a misunderstood order or something, it would have triggered something really monumental.
So from that point onward, we tried to pass legislation that would, in fact, give President Bush money to do the things the Russians were requesting. This was not something the administration sought and, as a matter of fact, it was rather alarmed that Congress was taking over such a monumental task.
To make a long story short, we took David Hamburg, of Carnegie Corporation, with whom we had been visiting during a number of sessions that Carnegie had had for members of Congress interested in Russia, sometimes including Russians—members of their legislature or other experts. We also took General Burns, who was a major factor in advising the president on these affairs, the father of Bill Burns, who is now serving in our State Department. They flew with us to Russia and Ukraine and Belarus on this particular trip. As we all say, we all got religion. We saw the dangers; we saw the possibilities for rapid security arrangements that might be made. Thus began the Nunn-Lugar program. There was legislation in 1991, but actuality in 1992.
We came, however, rapidly to a situation in which, after the election in 1992—President Bush lost; President Clinton won —as we met the Russian leadership, they said, “We’re not seeing anything of the American leadership.”
We said, “Well, here we are, Sam and Dick.”
They said, “Well, you’ll have to do. We want you to go down to see President Kravchuk in Ukraine." It was unprintable, what they said about the president of Ukraine, but in essence, “If he doesn’t do what we’re going to do, we’re really going to blast the hell out of him.”
We were planning to go to Ukraine in any event. We did have dinner. I mentioned to the president of Ukraine that the United States was prepared to spend $150 million working with Ukraine to get rid of its missiles and nuclear situation. He sort of jerked me up by the nape of the neck, and Sam likewise, took us out to a press conference with two people, one journalist and one radio, and said, “Senator Lugar has just offered Ukraine $175 million for our program,” elated that he had such a victory.
On the way back, Sam said, “Dick, where in the world did you get such a crazy idea?”
I said, “Easy, Sam.”
I went back and I talked to President Bush, who was a good sport after the election. He signed a letter to the president of Ukraine saying $175 million. This began a very important situation.
Once again, the ethics of all of this really are sort of existential. What we’re talking about is that Ukraine wanted to know what Kazakhstan was going to do, quite apart from what the Russians were going to. Everybody now was separated. They had pieces of the puzzle, and that’s why they were inoperative in these other countries. But at the same time, their legislatures and their publics said, “We’re the seventh-largest nuclear power at this point,” or ninth or whatever it might be.
So we visited over in Kazakhstan and saw President Nazarbayev. He, of course, wanted to know what Ukraine was doing. We were communicators sort of, shuttling back and forth, so that each one knew it was in their best interest to get rid of the stuff. They knew if the United States was prepared to work with them to help finance all of this, this was going to be inordinately helpful.
I mention all of this just in background, because it has been going on for 21 years from the first appropriation. And there were often difficult battles on the floor of the Senate. The question was, why should we be giving any money to the Russians at all? Why should we be giving them any help? As time went on and the Russian economy recovered, this became more intrusive. Furthermore, why are we giving up any of our missiles, any of our warheads? Is it not a security interest, really, for us to have the dominant power and so forth?
We had to argue this every year—and when Sam left the Senate, I had to argue it alone for quite a while—that it was in our best interest, as a matter of fact, to keep working systematically with the Russians on the ground, with the other countries, and then with other countries in NATO or around the world, so that they would not harbor thoughts of developing these programs. There would not be any need to do this, and their experience was likely to be a much better one in terms of relations with us and with others around the world.
This led, then, to some offshoots that I mentioned. Nuclear warheads were one part of the weapons of mass destruction. But we ran into the fact that, as we went out near Shchuch’ye in Siberia, there were chemical weapons, nerve gas, in hundreds of thousands of shells stacked in old warehouses and so forth, sometimes lightly guarded. Likewise, although the Russians claimed they were never involved in biological weaponry, we visited a number of laboratories, saw pathogens in the iceboxes, things of this variety.
We may be getting, systematically, the nuclear thing under control—we’re not at zero, and this is the goal of many who have sought this—but as a practical matter, that’s not within the realm of the possible for a while.
But, nonetheless, we still are working our way through with the former Soviet Union and Russia, and likewise attempting to control the situation with North Korea or the incipient program in Iran or working with our NATO allies that still have some nuclear weapons on what is the proper way to handle a huge menace to society, while at the same time now we are looking at the biological and chemical situations that may be more convenient for terrorist groups—not nation-states, but others who do not wish the world well.
I think this is a big ethical and moral issue. It’s a life saver. There are people, unfortunately, in this world who are not in a one-on-one situation—that is, attempting to shoot one person or being shot—it’s a question of people thinking about massive annihilation of large sectors of countries or populations in this manner.
DAVID SPEEDIE: You know, you’ve covered so much territory, including my, probably, second, third, and fourth questions. I was going to ask about how Nunn-Lugar was set up. You’ve answered that very eloquently and fully. It was described in The Hague, where you and Senator Nunn were honored with the first award from Carnegie Corporation. President Gregorian of Carnegie described it as one of the most important pieces of legislation in the latter half of the 20th century—not just security or foreign policy legislation, any kind of legislation. Likewise, the issue of the remarkable achievement of bringing nuclear weapons and components from Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine into Russia, largely at your behest and urging.
An obvious question that must be asked, Senator, as you leave the Senate in January, is whether now the whole question of Nunn-Lugar, Nunn-Lugar-Domenici, and so on and so forth—where does this go? Will there be good stewardship of this most important initiative?
RICHARD LUGAR: I’m very hopeful that that will be the case. No one has stepped forward. Perhaps they do not wish to did so, felt that it would be intrusive before I left the Senate. But it’s an important question. We have defense appropriations, authorizations each year. The Cooperative Threat Reduction money, the Nunn-Lugar money, has been a part of that for many years.
There still may be arguments, as there have been. We recently went through—a year ago—a debate on the so-called New START treaty. This was a treaty to literally once again authorize American boots on the ground in Russia to work with the Russians as we continued on all sorts of procedures and safeguards. It was a very controversial moment, in which we hardly had unanimous consent. Eight days were spent on the floor before Christmas, much to the sadness of many who wanted to go home after the election of 2010. But we finally got 71 votes.
I stress the rigor of the exercise because it had to be a bipartisan exercise once again. Sixty-seven votes were required. We had had a very controversial election, in which a huge number of new Republicans had come into the House of Representatives and a large gain of Republicans in the Senate. So there were many on the Republican side who said, “We don’t want to discuss this now. We want to wait until all of our people are seated next year. And we’re not enthusiastic about it to begin with.”
Democrats took the position, “Many of us are headed home anyway. This is not our battle anymore,” and so forth.
Nevertheless, a bipartisan stance was formulated. John Kerry is the chairman of our Foreign Relations Committee. I was ranking member. We were there constantly trying to work the membership on both sides of the aisle. And that is what it takes.
It’s a different ballgame. I stress again, whether it’s the Nunn-Lugar progress or things that have to do with ways of keeping the peace, this is going to require bipartisan leadership— hopefully from the top, but at least in the chairmanship and leadership of the relevant committees.
DAVID SPEEDIE: Speaking of bipartisan leadership, in January 2007, President Bush, at that time, signed into law the Lugar-Obama Proliferation and Threat Reduction Initiative. This obviously was a next step in your work with Senator Nunn when he was in the Senate. This focused on terrorism and the possible use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists. Obviously this was a very important piece of across-the-aisle bipartisan—and Nunn-Lugar has always been this, as you say. It has kind of been implicit in what you said before. But do you see a future for this when the stakes are so high?
RICHARD LUGAR: I believe so. And I appreciate your mentioning Senator Obama, now President Obama. He had come on to the Foreign Relations Committee when I was still chairman. He was a junior member on the Democratic side—conscientious, waited all the way through the hearings, because we went in order of seniority and he was the last one maybe after two hours, and just the two of us sitting there.
That first summer that he was in the Senate, he asked whether he could go with me to Russia. He says, “I know you go over there, Dick, every year. I’d like to go with you.”
I said, “That would be great.”
To make a long story short, we met in Moscow, saw some laboratories with pathogens and so forth, but moved on out to Perm to see some activity. They had been very constructive. They were getting rid of missiles that had been on railway trains. These were especially dangerous because, unlike the fixed ones that we could hit with our air force if we needed to, these were moving around back and forth.
In any event, after some experiments at Perm, they had had some success. As a result, they wanted to celebrate this—that is, the Russians and the American contractors and military. We went back to the airport and had a celebration for a little while, went down to get on our plane, and found out we were not going to go anywhere. It was a now-noted situation of “being delayed” —I won’t say “incarcerated”—in Perm.
It turned out that the Russians were very suspicious of our air force plane. They were trying to board it. They were unsuccessful because the so-called Ravens, the enlisted personnel who guard these planes, wouldn’t let them on. I told Barack, “Just cool it. We might as well just take a nap. This may last for quite a while.”
It was a Sunday afternoon. There was no one we could reach by our cell phones at the State Department, Defense Department, anyplace.
In due course, to make a long story short, they let us go. I suppose it was only three or four hours, but it seemed like an eternity, since we had no idea, really, what was going to happen to us there. We flew on to Kiev.
But it was kind of an initiation for Barack, his first trip to Russia, to be held in that way.
We found that there were in Russia and Ukraine, and especially in the latter country, lots of stashes of armament left over from past wars—huge amounts. There were some funds, we felt, in the State Department budget and there was an attempt being made by the European Community then to try to round this stuff up before it really became toxic. This was the basis for the so-called Lugar-Obama arms control situation. It came back in the presidential campaign in a big way, as I anticipated. When Barack was questioned in one of the debates, “What, actually, have you ever produced in terms of legislation?” he said, “Easy. The Lugar-Obama arms control act.” I went, “Oh, my.” My Republican friends listened to all of this.
But, in fairness, he took the initiative and became part of the project, understood it well. During the time we were trying to pass the New START treaty, for example, the president and Vice President Biden were extremely helpful.
DAVID SPEEDIE: One last question, if I may, on the nuclear issue. It really follows from the Lugar-Obama work, the focuses on terrorism. Your distinguished collaborator Senator Nunn, along with former Defense Secretary Perry, former Secretary of State Shultz, and Mr. Kissinger, began writing a series of op-eds in The Wall Street Journal back in 2007, basically looking towards final elimination of nuclear weapons. But they did, back in 2007, highlight the fact, as they put it, that “the world is now on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era.” And Paul Bracken, a professor at Yale, is about to produce a book that talks about the second generation of the nuclear threat.
You spoke a few minutes ago about this, that this is by no means a done deal.
We’re sitting in a room, by the way, that’s sort of wall of fame of Nunn-Lugar, including a scorecard that’s immensely graphically impressive—we can’t see it, obviously, in an audio interview—and pictures of you in the whole Nunn-Lugar initiative.
How gravely do you take this second wave, if you agree with such a definition of nuclear threat? Or is it just a continuum that has changed somewhat over time?
RICHARD LUGAR: I see it as more of a continuum. I believe that the threat is clearly there so long as the weapons are available, or they could be stolen or purloined by somebody else in the process. Fissile material moves from country to country. Some of our Nunn-Lugar safeguards at the borders of Ukraine, as well as Russia and elsewhere, try to stop these movements. We, as a matter of fact, have worked with other countries in terms of intelligence services to try to fortify our own embassies, to have a better idea of those who might be moving materials or something beyond that.
But I respect very much what Sam Nunn has done with setting up the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a group that brings together people from Russia, from China, from India and Pakistan, from lots of countries. These board meetings are very international. The next one will be held in China. They are people who have had experience on the ground with regard to the nuclear threat to their countries or production in some cases of nuclear materials. So they take it very seriously. I have continued to serve on that board from the beginning to stay in touch with all of these people who are allies while we try to fight the good fight on the Senate floor and in the Congress.
There are many places where we’re going to have to be much more observant of what designs people might have. My impression is, however, that we are still moving towards a nuclear-free world. I’m not one that signed on to the letter with my good friends, because I was still negotiating in a practical manner right back here on the Senate floor. If I pushed Sam or George Shultz or Henry Kissinger very hard, they would say, “Well, now, listen, this is sort of like a mountain. The top of the mountain is the zero for nuclear. We’re at the bottom of the mountain. We’re setting up the camps of the people who are trying to determine how you ascend the mountain.”
That’s a pretty good way of looking at it. A nuclear-free world would be remarkable. But in the meanwhile, it’s very important to set up the encampments right, to know what you’re doing as you are making the climb, so that the situation is successful.
DAVID SPEEDIE: Perhaps with your good offices with Senator Nunn and others, we’re at the base camp on the way up the mountain rather than still at the bottom.
RICHARD LUGAR: Yes, I think so.
DAVID SPEEDIE: If I may just change gears a little, Senator, in your eloquent and very moving statement after the Indiana Senate primary of May, you gave a list of critical issues that you saw as priorities: job creation, deficit reduction, energy security, agriculture reform—your other great work in the Senate in the area of agriculture—and Nunn-Lugar. You listed these as ongoing priorities. It seems that all of these really do need bipartisanship to have any significant chance of moving in the forward direction that you would like. Yet the obvious face, at this point, of Congress is division rather than bipartisanship.
I guess two questions. First of all, is there hope for bipartisanship in these issues?
But how do we get to this point? At another point you spoke of President Reagan and the days of working with the other party. You said this would be ridiculed today. How did we get to this, and how do we dig out, if that’s the appropriate image?
RICHARD LUGAR: Essentially, my fear is that we are still moving toward greater polarization of the political parties congressionally, as may be observed elsewhere in politics. But the people that are being elected frequently are taking pledges never to raise taxes or never to do this or that or so forth. In other words, the political process is informed by groups outside of the Senate or the House who have huge sums of money and who have agendas.
Decisions are being made by people who are making political contributions. Given a recent Supreme Court case, this is almost uninhibited. The political campaign of this year that we’re in is an example of this. In my own state of Indiana, more money is being spent on the Senate election than on any election ever in the history of the state, because there are people outside of the state pumping in millions of dollars to affect the result.
The effect of this has thus far been polarization, in which people have moved farther to the left or farther to the right, and the number of people, supposedly, who visit in the center are disappearing in the House and the Senate. I wish the trend was not still there.
My impression is, however, that these things don’t go on forever. For example, at a time in which Congressman Newt Gingrich was the leader of the Republican House of Representatives and pushed the situation too far with regard to the shutdown of the federal government, the government was not shut down for long, but it was a shockwave to the American people that such a thing could happen at all. They reacted by defeating a whole raft of Republican candidates in the following election.
I’m afraid, at least in this particular election we’re involved in now, that the trend toward polarization is going to continue. But it need not forever. The dilemma for people who are serious in trying to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of huge tax increases, so-called sequestering of funds for the Defense Department and others, another budget ceiling debate, and so forth—this is a very, very awesome period for our financial markets, for ordinary Americans, who are going to be vastly affected by this. Yet if you have people, either on the Republican or Democratic side, who say, “My way or the highway. By golly, we’re not going to give in,” this is going to be a very tough period of time for our own domestic history, quite apart from perceptions of our strength abroad.
My faith is, however, that the American people eventually remedy this. But “eventually” doesn’t mean next week or next month or even next year. This trend has gone on now, I would say, for the better part of 10 years’ time. It’s not a new factor. I don’t know that we will be able to remedy it and head back for 10 years the other way. But I pray—and I see this happening, for example, where so-called “gangs of six,” “gangs of eight” meet, bipartisan, to talk about how we’re going to get through the fiscal crisis.
At the same time, the leadership in the Senate would say, “We don’t necessarily countenance what these folks are doing. In a way, we’re happy that somebody is talking, but we are not in a position politically to endorse this.”
But then in the House of Representatives, people may say, “Well, that’s all right for the Senate. They love to talk to each other and so forth. But we don’t, as a matter of fact. For us, there’s still almost a theological question. No more debt ceilings.” How will you pay the bills? “Too bad. You just don’t pay them. We finally have to come to a conclusion that we’re not going to have more debt.”
These extreme views are being publicly expressed and are being publicly supported by people who are electing these folks to office.
So I’m not totally optimistic about the next few months or the next year or so. But I have a feeling at some point the American people will say, “This is too much. We really have got to take up a different course,” and they will.
DAVID SPEEDIE: Let me just finish, if I may, Senator, with just a few questions about this issue of the global ethic. I know that your early childhood memory of being a Boy Scout—and reaching great heights, by the way, in that movement—you’ve always held positions where, it seems to me, that ethics matter, whether it be the code of conduct of a Boy Scout, a member of the U.S. Senate.
What does moral leadership mean to you personally? What do you understand by moral leadership?
RICHARD LUGAR: It’s informed by my faith. I’m a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, a founding member, with our family, of the church—with from boyhood, Sunday school, church every Sunday, the oratorical contests, people suggesting, “You ought to go into the ministry,” and so forth. Whether I ever should have or not, I took seriously discussions and studies in theology. I come from a standpoint that this is my faith. This is what I believe I ought to be doing on behalf of my family and the people around me and the world, for that matter. It has, I think, been the right course.
This is always more difficult in political situations or dealing with other countries or other regimes and other faiths, for that matter. I think, even if you have strong convictions, you always need to be a good listener. You always need to be looking for avenues that are going to bring some hope, some progress to a great number of people.
I have found that one avenue has been in what I would say is sort of the “feeding of the world” movement, trying to think through, from my background in agriculture and managing a 604-acre farm for my family for years since my dad died 50 years ago—we have corn, soybeans, and hardwood trees. It’s close to Indianapolis, downtown. People come to celebrate Earth Day and all sorts of things there.
We began to talk about how do you move, as we have on that farm, from 40 bushels to the acre for a corn crop to about 170 now—so in my lifetime, a fourfold increase on the same land. A critical problem for African states and some Middle Eastern situations—huge debates over genetically modified seed, for example, with purists sometimes in European capitals saying, “We don’t want any part of this seed. It would, as a matter of fact, poison our citizens and maybe the ground,” and so forth.
Yet everyone welcomed the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, the fact that the Chinese finally had a chance to eat and exist. My dad predicted that that wasn’t going to be the case, that there would always be a need for our farm because the folks in China would never figure out how to do it. But they did.
But even now, there's a huge debate around—it’s an ethical and moral question, although I don’t claim each one of us is perfectly right on each seed. But the fact that we want to make sure that everybody on the earth, at a time when we are exploding in population, exploding in demands on our food situation, has an opportunity to eat, is very important.
This moves right along, it seems to me, with weapons of mass destruction. On the one hand, we are trying to contain an existential disaster, on the other hand, in a positive way, figure out how the corn, the beans, the wheat, other things can get to people and how they can learn how to grow it. I applaud the Gates Foundation and USAID [United States Agency for International Development], which are doing some great things. But these are small efforts, relatively, to what has to happen on this earth.
DAVID SPEEDIE: Two other quick things. One you have just led into, and that is the question of a global ethic. I think obviously we’re in a situation where there is a recognition that there is at least a moral minimum of how we conduct ourselves as a planetary species, as it were, a concern for the planet, everything from climate change to feeding people in Africa and elsewhere—in sub-Saharan Africa. Is this how you see the global ethic? Is this a global code of conduct, whether it be seeing adequate provisions for people, protecting them from nuclear annihilation? Is this how you might approach the idea of a global ethic?
RICHARD LUGAR: I do approach it in a positive way, that we ought to be thinking about nutrition for every human being, keeping people alive so they have a chance to learn and to be productive. I couple this with an intense interest in energy development of all sorts, energy that makes it possible for people really to have lights or heat—in other words, having gotten some food for people, then to try to help them stay alive, given the elements and the changes of weather and climate in this world.
How to do this, thinking about CO2 and the atmosphere and the whole quest for a situation in which—climate change, I think, is apparent. How it all bobs up is still a mystery to most of us. But the fact is that we are all going to affect each other’s lives in the various ways that we handle the food problem and the energy problem.
So even as, in a humane way, we’re attempting to provide these basic elements of life, we have to be sophisticated enough to understand the science and the political judgments, therefore, that have to be made, which are very tough for countries, which have various different ways of going about things and are not really prepared to compromise any more than Republicans and Democrats are on the Senate floor.
DAVID SPEEDIE: That bad, huh?
RICHARD LUGAR: Nonetheless, it’s that kind of a quest. So there are many opportunities, and you try to move where you find them and then set good examples of how things might change constructively and press on with others to make the argument.
DAVID SPEEDIE: Final question. We are, after all, the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, set up by Andrew Carnegie, as I mentioned earlier, almost 100 years ago, along with Carnegie Corporation, which is where you and I first met, of course,and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. All of these institutions are celebrating a centennial either now or in the coming year or so. They all had, of course, a mission to promote global peace.
Andrew Carnegie was optimistic in this regard, a little bit like you. He didn’t think it would happen today or tomorrow, but he thought it was certainly worth the effort and the effort would prevail. In fact, in setting up the Endowment, I think he made it part of the articles of incorporation, as it were, that when this has been achieved, you may move on and apply resources elsewhere. Of course, we’re all still in business.
Is world peace possible? Carnegie envisioned this 100 years ago. Looking 100 years from now, or 50 or whatever, do you see the chance of a peaceful world?
RICHARD LUGAR: I do. I think we really have made considerable advances from the time I described when the Soviet Union broke up, for example. Whether people in the United States or the Soviet Union were acquainted with the destruction that might face them imminently, that was the case.
We have moved, thank goodness, well beyond that. We have moved away from nuclear annihilation, mutually assured destruction. Whatever may be the battles going on in the world now—and there are numbers of them—these are reasonably small and manageable in comparison to the total annihilation of the United States and the Soviet Union that we faced, whether we understood it or not. I think we do in perspective.
And I don’t want to diminish for a moment the Arab Spring or winding down the Afghanistan exercise or the South China Sea presently or a good number of things where there are people who are in arguments. But at the same time, these are within the realm of being solved, or at least contained. We need to be assiduous in our solutions.
DAVID SPEEDIE: On that uplifting note, thank you, Senate Lugar. It has been a great pleasure and privilege.
RICHARD LUGAR: Thank you, David.