Senator Richard Lugar’s leadership on national security issues is unparalleled. In the uncertain months following the fall of the Soviet Union, Senator Lugar, together with Senator Sam Nunn, worked quickly to address the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in former Soviet Union States. The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program has a remarkable record of success and is still relevant to today’s security environment.
Senator Lugar also championed many treaties that address some of the most serious threats to U.S. and international security. From the Chemical Weapons Convention to the New START Treaty, Senator Lugar’s leadership has made the world safer.
For his many contributions to national security, the American Security Project honored Senator Lugar in an awards ceremony today. ASP was joined by Sen. John Kerry, other members of the ASP board, and leaders of the nonproliferation community.
Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, CEO of the American Security Project, presented Senator Lugar with the first ASP award for Leadership in National Security. The Lugar Award will be presented annually to a person who follows Senator Lugar’s example of tireless efforts on national security issues.
BGen. Cheney highlighted Sen. Lugar’s many achievements, noting in particular the Nunn-Lugar program, through which thousands of nuclear weapons of nuclear weapons have been dismantled. Thanks to Nunn-Lugar, BGen. Cheney noted, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus – once the third, fourth and eighth largest nuclear weapons powers in the world – are now nuclear weapons free.
Senator John Kerry spoke to Senator Lugar’s legacy of bipartisanship. In today’s highly partisan environment, the phrase “politics stops at the water’s edge” seems to have lost its meaning. Not for Senator Lugar, however. “The Senate would be a stronger institution if more of its members really understood the difficult, substantive work he performed so skillfully for decades to bring both parties together in common cause on issues of national security,” said Senator Kerry.
In closing Senator Lugar commented on the importance of recruiting young policymakers to take an interest in foreign policy- which in the end can affect every American.
Bringing attention to national security issues is crucial, Senator Lugar said, applauding the efforts of the American Security Project in bringing together policymakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as many former military leaders, to support effective, bipartisan answers to foreign policy problems – and by doing so enhance our national security.
To read the ASP press release on the event with Senator Lugar, click here.
To read the ASP fact sheet on the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, click here.