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Nunn Calls Nuclear Terrorism Top Problem

By Jenny E. Heller, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

In a private interview this weekend, former Senator Sam Nunn discussed his life since retiring from the Senate, his future political plans and the Nunn-Lugar legislation, which gives money and aid to Russia to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into other hands.

"This is our number one national security problem," Nunn said. "This does not just involve the United States and Russia, but terrorists all over the world...Accidents can still happen. There is more danger now than ever before."

Nunn said he believes strongly in improving the situation in the United States by training young people and explained that he helps to educate America's youth by speaking about public policy around the country.

Nunn said these day he divides his time between policy speaking engagements, working with think tanks and working at the Atlanta-based law firm King and Spalding.

Nunn emphasized the importance of the Nunn-Lugar legislation and the potential danger of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union.

Nunn said the USSR was the first country or empire to collapse with a large stockpile of weapons. According to Nunn, the danger that these weapons will fall into the hands of terrorists is great.

Nunn said the Russian government is not aware of the number of weapons it possesses and, consequently, would not know if some were taken.

"We need to increase awareness in Congress and among the people," Nunn said. "These dangers will come back to haunt the next generation."

Nunn said support for his legislation from the Russian and American governments was mixed.

"The Russian government like our own was very slow to engage in this program. Our government was slow, and Russia was even slower," he said.

When asked if he would ever again run for office, Nunn said, "I wouldn't write it off. It is possible, not probable."

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