Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

March 3, 2014

BRIAN HOWEY: Bipartisan lessons from Sam Nunn, Dick Lugar

Senators' weapons reduction program still making difference.

(Continued)

It wasn’t quite the same as U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Texas, wheeling from cocaine parties to House conferences where he figured out how to steer millions in appropriations to fund the mujahedin. That was the story in the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

After the Soviet collapse in 1991, Nunn and Lugar were able to attach an amendment to a funding bill for $400 million. There was no way it would have survived a straight, up-or-down vote. “What had been wildly opposed in September 1991 was passed in December 1991,” Nunn said.

Nunn and Lugar had spent years developing relationships not only in Congress, but with the Soviets. Around a round table in Nunn’s Capitol Hill office, the two found themselves with Soviet military leaders who told them, “‘You need to know that security is breaking down around nuclear weapons aimed at you. Our troops are not getting paid, and that’s why they are deserting,’” Lugar recalled.

The Indiana Republican and the Georgia Democrat found themselves in Moscow, as it careened into financial crisis with unpaid military and weapons researchers overseeing an array of loose nukes, chemicals and biological weapons stored behind chain-link fences with padlocks and in chicken coops.

“We went to see Boris Yeltsin, and he told us in no uncertain terms” Ukraine would have to give up its arsenal. Lugar and Nunn subsequently met with Ukraine President Leonid Kravchuk. The Indiana Republican suggested divesting the arsenal might bring a $150 million check from the U.S. “At a press conference with two reporters, one radio, one print, Kravchuk said he had just been offered $175 million,” Lugar said.

“I came to see President Bush and he was very sad over his election defeat to President Clinton, but he wrote a letter to Kravchuk offering $175 million. Every single one of those weapons went to Russia,” Lugar said, with much of the highly enriched uranium recovered and shipped to the U.S. to fuel nuclear power plants. “It made a huge difference.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Schools need kids' parents For school-age children in southern Miami County — and their parents — this is a seminal week. Classes start at Maconaquah schools on Friday.School starts for the rest of the Kokomo area next week.Before your children head back to school, ensure they

    July 29, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS: No excuse letting trimmings rot at curb No excuse for letting trimmings rot at curbWe live in a recently annexed, east-side subdivision — a nice, clean, well-kept subdivision where almost all homeowners take pride in and maintain their homes and lawns.Before the annexation, we paid for our

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: Legal marriages should be honored Legal marriages should be honoredAn eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.The couple has properly obtained a marria

    July 28, 2014

  • Right-to-work unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 27, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll