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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 546-95
October 10, 1995

STATEMENT FROM DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM J. PERRY

Senator Sam Nunn has made an enormous contribution to the nation's security, and his legacy will live on long after he leaves the Senate next year.

The key to Sam Nunn's success is his ability to build a bi-partisan consensus for a strong national defense. His belief that good security policy is a matter of principle, not politics, has made him a valuable counselor to me and to the nine other secretaries of defense who have served since he was elected to the Senate in 1972. Presidents and world leaders also seek his advice.

In the 1970s, Sen. Nunn helped pass the Nunn-Warner legislation that set higher recruiting standards and boosted pay and benefits for the new all-volunteer military. The changes laid the foundation for the professional, highly capable force that defends our nation today. During the same decade, his report, "NATO and the New Soviet Threat," led to a series of changes that strengthened the North Atlantic Alliance. He never lost sight of the central role that NATO and Europe play in America's security.

In the 1980s, Sen. Nunn worked tirelessly to pass and implement the Goldwater-Nichols Act that has led a major improvement in our ability to conduct military operations. These reforms strengthened the warfighting capability of commanders in the field, enhanced joint operations and insured that the president and the secretary of defense get the best military advice.

In the current decade, Sen. Nunn's vision and legislative creativity produced the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. This has helped former Soviet states dismantle their nuclear arsenals and convert former defense industries to civilian production.

The United States is stronger and the world is safer because of Sam Nunn's bold and far-reaching policies. I will miss his leadership when he leaves the Senate next year, but I and others devoted to a strong secure nation will continue to rely on his wise judgment and sound advise.