Nunn, Lugar look to pass the torch

The senators who created the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program spoke on Monday about the need for the next generation of leaders to take up the nonproliferation cause.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who plans to leave the Senate at the end of the current session, and former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) discussed the future of the program at a celebratory event in Washington. The program was originally created to aid the Soviet Union in reducing its nuclear arsenal after the Cold War, Fierce Homeland Security reports.

"We've got to skip down another generation," Nunn said, according to Fierce Homeland Security. "That's a big challenge."

Nunn said that living through the Cuban missile crisis taught him how urgent nuclear threat can be, but as the Cold War and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks fade into the past, the threat of terrorism may not seem as pressing to new legislators. He said that senators must educate new members about the importance of reducing dangerous weapons.

"(Longtime leaders have to) try to interest our colleagues really in taking more of a role in it so there's some continuity," Nunn said, according to Fierce Homeland Security.

The senators said that the Cooperative Threat Reduction program will also need to evolve to meet new threats, such as the reduction of biological agents, Fierce Homeland Security reports.