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Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011

IU symposium marks anniversary of Nunn-Lugar Act

Nov. 3, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will mark the 20th anniversary of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program with a symposium Nov. 11 on the IU Bloomington campus.

"Loose Nukes: Lessons from 20 Years of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program" is sponsored by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs with the International Public Affairs Association, a student group. It will feature a discussion with Sen. Richard Lugar, co-author of the program to secure and de-activate weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.

Richard Lugar

Sen. Richard Lugar

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The event will take place 2:30-4:30 p.m. in room 167 of the SPEA Building, 1315 E. 10th St. In addition to Lugar, panelists will include Kenneth A. Myers III, director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which oversees U.S. efforts to restrict weapons of mass destruction; Sumit Ganguly, an IU faculty member in political science, India studies, and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and director of research for the Center on American and Global Security at IU; and Dina Spechler, an IU faculty member in political science and an expert on U.S.-Russian relations.

John Karaagac, a visiting assistant professor in SPEA, will moderate the discussion, which is free and open to the public.

"The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is an extraordinarily important effort to address the challenge of weapons stockpiles left over from the Cold War," said John D. Graham, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "This 20th anniversary of the program is an appropriate time to examine its success and discuss how we can meet new and evolving threats to America's safety and security."

Kenneth Myers

Kenneth A. Myers III

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Lugar, R-Ind., and then-Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., authored the Nunn-Lugar Act establishing the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program in November 1991, at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The program has provided U.S. funding and expertise to help safeguard and dismantle stockpiles of Soviet nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, related materials, and delivery systems.

A partial list of the program's successes includes 7,599 strategic nuclear warheads deactivated, 791 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) destroyed, 498 ICBM silos eliminated, 180 ICBM mobile launchers destroyed, 670 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) eliminated, 670 SLBM launchers eliminated and 33 nuclear submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles destroyed.

The Nunn-Lugar program also has worked to re-employ scientists and facilities related to weapons of mass destruction in peaceful research initiatives. In May 2009, Lugar celebrated the Nunn-Lugar Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility in Shchuchye, Russia, which will destroy nearly 2 million chemical weapons shells and nerve agent stored there since Soviet days.

Senator Lugar is the senior-most Republican in the Senate and serves as the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. He is a former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs

SPEA is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2009 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Six of its specialty programs are ranked in the top 10 listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are ranked by the National Academy of Science as the best in the country.