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Thomas Graham, Jr. Oral History Interview, October 28, 2015

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CHRIS PETERSEN: Today is October 28, 2015. We are with Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr., in the Valley Library at Oregon State University. Leading the session today will be Linda Richards.

LINDA RICHARDS: I'm so excited that we have a chance to talk with you about your life, because you've done so many different things for non-proliferation and for controlled nuclear weapons. It's hard to actually know where to start. I thought maybe we'd start with what's going on currently and maybe you could speak a little bit about your work on the book that you're working on nuclear weapons-free zones.

THOMAS GRAHAM: Well, the book I'm working on for OSU Press. The title of the book is The Alternate Route, and the concept of the book is that given the fact that nuclear disarmament is a goal that we want to continue to pursue and given 00:01:00the fact that traditionally the way nuclear disarmament has always been approached is first there's agreement between the United States and Russia, or the Soviet Union before, as to what we both can accept, as most of the nuclear weapons are owned by the two of us. Then we expand the agreement to other nuclear weapon states or other countries in possession of nuclear weapons. Today we live in a situation where the relationship between the United States and Russia is as bad as it's ever been and we're really not doing business like we used to, even during the Cold War. Further disarmament progress with Russia does 00:02:00not seem to be possible, certainly not likely as long as President Putin is in power, which is expected to be a very long time because he seems to be, at least at this point, fundamentally against any further disbarment work or progress with the United States. Therefore, perhaps an alternative approach should be explored. The one I suggest in my book that I'm working on, I hope to publish next spring, is that perhaps the nuclear weapons-free movement could be expanded, and progress made toward disbarment through that medium, in which we 00:03:00would not have to work with Russia or if we did it would be just on the margins. Half of the world's territory, the southern hemisphere and a small part of the northern hemisphere, is already legally under treaties, nuclear weapon-free, so why not consolidate those regimes in Latin America, Africa, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia and then try to expand the further. The principle candidate areas would be, and I only need to mention them to indicate how difficult this will be: The Middle East, Northeast Asia, and South Asia. If, somehow, over the next many years it would be possible to reach agreement on a 00:04:00nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East, in Northeast Asia, and in South Asia, then all that would be left would be the P5, or NATO Russia and China. Then a lot of time would have passed and seeing that the rest of the world was nuclear weapon-free it might be that serious progress could be made among the NPT nuclear weapon states, the five, the P5, at that time and bring the effort to conclusion. But the idea in order to have any disarmament you're going to have to include these zones anyway, so why not try to move ahead that way? That's the subject of the book.

LR: Well, thank you. Maybe we could jump back in time now. I'd like to hear a 00:05:00little bit about the 1995 extension of the NPT. I'm very curious about how that went for you personally as well as what you learned in that process that has led you to believe in nuclear weapons-free zones as well.

TG: Well, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the NPT, when it was negotiated was built on three pillars, as we all know: disarmament, peaceful uses, and safeguards. Article 4, Article 6, Articles 1 and 2 being the principle articles in that regard. But there's also an Article 10. The reason Article 10 was there is because the original negotiators, which consisted of some 17 countries in 00:06:00Geneva at the 18-nation disarmament group, there was only 17 that was there during the negotiations because France refused to take part. Those 17 nations negotiated the NPT and then later the entire United Nations general assembly approved it after the text was complete. Three of the negotiating parties did not want to make the NPT a permanent treaty, as all other multi-lateral arms control treaties are. They were concerned that the treaty might not work, that 00:07:00many of the other countries of the world would not sign on as nuclear weapon states. They were concerned about the safeguard provisions, whether or not the European states in particular would be putting themselves at a disadvantage, a commercial disadvantage because of the cost of safeguards, which the nuclear weapon states would need to have since they already had nuclear weapons.

Third, the question of a security assurances for those countries that gave up the bomb, they needed, in the view of these three countries, some kind of assurances that in giving up the bomb they weren't giving up their security. It 00:08:00was agreed in the original negotiation that the treaty would exist for 25 years. At the end of 25 years, after entry into force, which was in 1970, that the parties would meet in a conference and decide by majority vote, we didn't say it, but it was the case, without reference to national legislatures, the treaty wasn't being amended, because this was operating under existing article, on a one-time basis only. The parties would meet and by majority vote would determine how much longer the NPT would be in existence. Indefinitely? For a period of years? Or a series of a period of years? Or termination. It was of the highest 00:09:00national interest of the United States that the NPT be made permanent because so much depended on it. So many security interests depended on it. Many commercial humanitarian interests depended on it, nuclear medicine and so forth, nuclear power for areas that didn't have electricity. Also, in terms of proliferation and threats, the United States believed it was very much in the front line of any future disasters with nuclear weapons because it was who it was.

This was very, very important to the U.S. Most people, most observers, most 00:10:00diplomats did not think it was possible to make the treaty permanent because many of the non-nuclear weapon states, particularly those that were members of the non-aligned movement, the NAM, many of them would be opposed because they want to condition the extension on some future act or acts. The treaty will continue for 20 years if the United States reduces its nuclear weapons to 300 and the others do as well, I mean Russia does as well. Something like that. Of course, the U.S. was extremely against that because #1 it was blackmail and #2 we didn't know if we could do that. Something we might be negotiating, and we 00:11:00might be for it, but the other side might not or something like that. The NPT was just too important to risk. But the non-aligned countries wanted to have leverage over the nuclear weapon state programs and I must say their concern was well-taken because to this date because the performance of the nuclear weapon states and their part of the bargain, which was in part to drastically reduce and eventually eliminate their nuclear weapon stockpiles has not been good. Many people thought this was impossible. I took the position that it was possible, and I was given the assignment by the Clinton Administration to make it happen if I could. I was given the title of Ambassador to do that and to head other 00:12:00negotiations as well and so I began the effort in late '93. At that point, we had NATO for indefinite extension and some positive interest in the South Pacific, but nothing more. I decided that it didn't make sense to pursue it, I didn't think, to pursue it in the normal way in Geneva and New York and just talk to delegations at conference and make speeches and that sort of thing and I decided what I was going to do was a standard lobbying campaign, like you do on Capitol Hill to get votes for legislation. Go see them. Go talk to them. I decided I would go to capitals and talk to the relevant players rather than talk 00:13:00to their disarmament officials in the field.

Well, there are two reasons, at least two, well maybe three reasons I thought that was a good idea. First, if you go to the capital you're going to be talking with people who best know the subject, because they're advising the head of government. Second, you're going to be talking to people who care about the broad relationship with the United States, not just this issue, which was also important. And third, I hoped that they would appreciate the effort. As it turned out I was right on all three points, especially appreciating the effort. 00:14:00They all said so. in the course of three years I visited in the range of 50-60 countries and many of them, multiple times, I made 7 trips to Egypt, for example to talk to the foreign minister there who was very hostile to the process. His argument was, which he presented with extreme vigor the first time I met with him, he said why should I care about the NPT? I have living next door to me a country that can destroy the entire Middle East in 15 minutes.

What guarantee can you give me that some crazy ludicrous, like the one that 00:15:00killed all the people in the mosque, 29 people a few months ago, won't come to power some day in that country. Our relationship is fine now, but that's for now. What guarantee can you give me that won't happen in the future? I said, well, it can't be just Israel that's an issue. You don't want Libya to have nuclear weapons, do you? He said, they'll never have nuclear weapons. They haven't got the people to do it. So, I'm just not going to support you unless Israel does something significant towards eliminating its own weapons. He said this with, as I said, extreme vigor and not a whole lot of friendliness. As I was leaving his principal aid, later ambassador to the United States, Nabil 00:16:00Fahmi, and a good friend, said, well now Tom I don't want you to think that your visit to the foreign minister was a failure. I said, well, Nabi, what other word would you use? [laughs]. Egypt remained a difficult problem to the very end.

I also complied a short list of countries that I thought I really had to spend time with and Egypt was one of them to further this project for various reasons. Columbia because they had long been a leader in nuclear disarmament matters and also were the outgoing, the former chairman of the non-aligned movement. The non-aligned movement we had then about just short of 180 parties in the NPT and they had 110 votes. As you can see, they were important. In fact, it was very 00:17:00important that the NAM, the non-aligned movement, not take a position against the United States, a unified position, because then we were lost. Another country as Indonesia because they were the then chairman of the NAM, also a long-time leader in non-proliferation disarmament activities. Then another nation was South Africa, which is the only nation to have built nuclear weapons and then dismantle them and also was going to be the next chairman of the NAM, and then Mexico because of their close relationship with the United States and their heavy involvement in nuclear disarmament over the years and their leadership in establishing the nuclear weapon-free zone under the Treaty of Guadalupe in Latin America. Those were really high priority countries that I 00:18:00really thought I must visit and perhaps more than once.

But I went to many, many others. Just as an example of some of the kind of things that came up: I'm sitting in my office one day and an ambassador from Kazakhstan arrived to see me and he said we're going to be with you from the start. The Soviet tests and their test range, which is now in Kazakhstan calls 500,000 radiation-related sicknesses in my country and we want the NPT to be permanent. I did a lot of work in Latin America, particularly with Argentina. At 00:19:00the beginning very emotional. We had the first meeting in New York. Sorry, not New York, in Washington at the State Department and the deputy, a high-ranking defense official, I think maybe #2 or #3 accompanied by a high-ranking foreign minister official were present and the senior person made the talk and he said that for years Argentina has maintained the option of perhaps going in the direction of nuclear weapons on the thought that this would add to our security, but we found that all it really did was cut us off from the countries with whom we want to be friends.

We're ending that, and we're ending that for that reason. There was actually a 00:20:00tear or two in people's eyes during this talk. Later on, after Argentina had joined the NPT and therefore had a vote, I went to see the Argentine ambassador in Washington, a very senior official. Not surprising, given the assignment. I asked him if he was going to be with us, if Argentina was going to be with us in the effort to achieve indefinite extension or permanent status for the NPT. I've always remembered his response. He looked me in the eye and he said, we will be with you all the way. So, there are many experiences like that where countries 00:21:00appreciated the effort that I made. They understood how important it was to make the NPT permanent. They understood how important it was for their security as well as everyone else's.

Another aside, which might be of interest, I spent a lot of time in Latin America and went to many countries there and often talked to either the foreign minister or the deputy foreign minister about this issue and they all had, most of them had, pretty much the same response. Those that were NPT parties, they said, well, yes you make sense. NPT's important. It needs to be permanent. We will support you. Now let's talk about what's important to my country, and that's the avalanche of guns that's coming from your country into dangerous elements in my country. That's what we care about. I got that everywhere. The 00:22:00countries that I worked especially closely with who were a great help were Japan, who took it upon themselves to do something similar to what I was doing, have their diplomatic officials canvas many countries. And the French, the French were just tremendously helpful. In effect, they delivered French West Africa, and that's 12, 15 votes, I'm not sure how many countries. We actually had an approved, I actually did an approved intelligence exchange with France at one of the preparatory meetings where the CIA gave me information about what 00:23:00western Africa English-speaking was thinking and they gave me back, the French ambassador gave me back information on what the western Africa French-speaking was thinking. There was cooperation of that type.

Then as I mentioned to you at lunch, Linda. We had a small group that met every evening, which we referred to ourselves as the board of directors, but never mentioned ourselves in public. That was composed of Britain, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany. We invited China to make it a P5+1, like with Iran, but China remained aloof and would never tell us what their position was, although they hinted that they wanted to see the NPT permanent. Later when all 00:24:00of this was over I was in Jakarta meeting with Ozion, presenting the U.S. position on the emerging South Pacific nuclear weapon-free zone. We had a break of some half hour to have coffee and I spoke with the deputy of Singapore ambassador and I told her how the Chinese always seemed to behave. We had a meeting of the P5 in Geneva during the process and the French ambassador says, now Ambassador Ho, referring to the Chinese ambassador, the rest of us here are for permanent extension. What's the position of the Chinese government? Ambassador Ho said, well, indefinite extension, indefinite that's a good word. That really is a good word, but we don't have it in the Chinese language.

That's the kind of answer I get. I said why is that? She said well, Singaporeans 00:25:00are all Chinese, of course, she said, well they're a little more open with us because they consider us part of Chinese civilization, but they deeply mistrust the west. The United States is ahead of the west. That's not going to change. You might as well get used to it. I said, you mean because of Korea and Taiwan? She looked at me and said, oh, no, not at all. Because of the Boxer Rebellion and the Opium Wars. They have long memories. I found that quite enlightening. I mentioned that Egypt was a problem, and so we tried to address that problem. I actually went to Israel and talked to them about doing something. All that Egypt 00:26:00is asking, Mr. Secretary and Mr. Minister in Israel, all that Egypt is asking is a small step in the direction of eventually joining the NPT. It was acknowledged that eventually one day Israel would get rid of its stockpile or something like that, and they said, well, we recognize the importance of the NPT, but we may not do anything right now. This went on for a year and a half and then it finally ended up Egypt was joined by Saudi and Syria and other Arab states in their effort. Finally, it ended up the night before indefinite extension was to 00:27:00be voted on by the full membership of the NPT, and we were trying to work on a resolution on the Middle East which would ask that all parties, all countries that were in the NPT in the Middle East region would join the NPT and would also establish a weapons of mass destruction free zone as a way to try to assuage Egypt and others.

This was the best we could do after a year and a half, after a lot of effort. It was just, of course being discussed verbally at this point, and the Egyptian, it 00:28:00was in the basement of the UN. The chairman of the conference, Dhanapala, was in the chair. On the U.S. side it was Madeline Albright and myself and Robert Einhorn from the State Department. We had the Egyptian ambassador and an assistant, the Syrian ambassador and an assistant on the other side we were trying to work something out with. Their basic insistence was that they wanted Egypt named as not being a party to the NPT, which they were not. Of course, reports were being made every half hour to the Israeli mission on the telephone in the corner, so they knew what was going on. Oman and Djibouti at that point were not yet parties to the NPT even though they were considered part of the 00:29:00Middle East. In the middle of the discussion their ambassador show up in flowing robes and said, we don't want to be named either and walked out more or less. The Egyptians were disgusted, and they said we're not even going to co-sponsor this resolution. It's useless. We all looked at the president of the conference, Dhanapala. He said, don't look at me. I'm not going to do it. How about the depositaries doing it? Traditionally, this was before, this was when we still had countries on both the east side and the west side that weren't recognized by the other, so you couldn't have a single depositary. We didn't recognize East Germany, they didn't recognize South Korea, and so on. Until the end of the Cold War we had this triple depositary approach where you deposit your estimate of ratification with U.S., Britain, or Soviet Union and that's good.


The three depositaries of the NPT had over time it was such a complex treaty with so many parties. Over time they had emerged as the managers, sort of, of the treaty and that's why Dhanapala made that request. I said, well speaking for the United States, we'll do it. I don't know about the other two, but I know where they are. They're having a very nice dinner together where I would be if I wasn't with you people doing this in the basement of the United Nations. But I'll call them up. I went over to the telephone and called up the restaurant and said will you put me through to the room upstairs. The British ambassador got on the phone and I put the question to him and he said the UK would co-sponsor. 00:31:00Then I got Sergey Kislyak, a longtime friend and colleague, the Russian ambassador on the phone. He said well maybe we will Tom, but I have to check with Moscow first. Remember this is all verbal now. We didn't have anything written yet.

I reported that back and over the night one of the assistants of the president of the conference was designated to write it up, not that it was that long, just about four paragraphs. The next morning at 7:30 in the morning as I'm having room-service breakfast in my hotel room I get a telephone call, and it's Sergey Kislyak and he says, Tom, he says I've heard from Moscow. Oh, that's good Sergey. They say I can co-sponsor. That's great, Sergey. But there's a condition. I said, oh, what's that Sergey? They say I have to read it first 00:32:00[laughs]. Anyway, had to have an extension. It did go through. The idea was, and I'm going back up here a little bit. I know this is a bit long answer, but it's a long subject. I'll just mention two things. The president of the conference in the third week of the conference established the president's committee of 25 nations and they worked out the essential political compromise, which was a statement of principles of non-proliferation and disarmament that everybody 00:33:00would adhere to and an amendment of procedure for the review conferences so there'd be preparatory meetings in between, and then of course the text of the indefinite extension resolution itself. He had everyone on there that you could imagine, including Iran and the P5 and so on. That's how the package of three items was developed.

Now, and this all came from a proposal on the first day by South Africa. South Africa was always seen by us as the one key country in this because they had had nuclear weapons and had gotten rid of them. They were the next chairman of the NAM and President Mandela was their president. I wrote a letter to President 00:34:00Mandela. I didn't write it. I drafted a letter for Colin Powell to sign. I had asked the African desk of the state department which Americans would President Mandela be most likely to listen to and they said Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell. I knew General Powell a little bit. He was then out of government. Even out of government wasn't much easier than calling him when he was in the government. I had to make an appointment as to when I would call him with his staff. I did call him. I told him what I was doing and what I would like for him to do if he was willing.

I said that I'd gone to the State Department desk, Africa desk, and asked which 00:35:00Americans might President Mandela listen to, and they had told me, and you were one of the two, Chairman Powell, and I hope you'd be willing to sign this letter. I'll draft it and then you can approve it. He said, who's the other one? I said Henry Kissinger. He said, well, I've made the big time at least. So, he signed the letter. Nobody in the government would touch it except the Whitehouse because it was written by "the chairman," and it went to Mandela. I don't know much difference it made, but in the end South Africa decided to be the broker between the first world and the third world, where they played a decisive role.


We didn't know how that was going to happen until two months before the conference. The South African ambassador asked to see the director of the agency, John Holland and me the negotiator in director Holland's office about two months before the conference, and he told us what had been decided in Pretoria. He said we had Africa national congress people on both sides arguing. This took a long, long time to work out for us. We've decided to be the bridge between the NAM and the first world and to try to bring this to what Ambassador Dhanapala wants. He wants it to happen unanimously, a parliament or at least by consensus, by a parliamentary consensus, which is of course different from 00:37:00unanimous. A parliamentary consensus is a no objection, which doesn't mean everybody supports it, but no objection. So, we're going to try to help make that happen, but we want to do it in a way that's constructive. Therefore, we're going to have proposals on disarmament and arms control that we hope everyone will agree to for the future and an improved review process. We talked about that for a while.

The ambassador was with us for a while, so then he started reminiscing. He was very close to Mandela and was at Rikers Island with him and so he began talking about his relationship with Mandela. He said one thing I've never forgotten. He 00:38:00said you may have noticed that the president, referring to Mandela, he never makes biblical allusions in his speeches because the Bible was used to support apartheid. He never does that, but rather what he does, he just tries to understand what it is that Jesus would have him do and then he does that. Wow, I thought. In the end South Africa did make this proposal the first day and then evolved into the president's committee which eventually became the text of the three fundamental documents. Two of those three fundamental documents on the 00:39:00final day of the conference, well, the next to final day. We still had some administrative things for one more day, but the penultimate, the ultimate day of the conference, everybody was in their seat. The Middle East resolution had been essentially agreed as was on the table since the Arabs didn't have to be co-sponsors and Sergey came through with Moscow. Chairman Dhanapala first brings up, alright now we'll vote on the resolution to indefinitely extend the NPT, any objections? Hearing none, bang. It was just like that.

Then the other two things, the principles for arms control and disarmament and 00:40:00non-proliferation and the approved procedures. Then he said now we have a proposal by the United States of America, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain to have a Middle East resolution. It sounded really weird. Then we had a two-hour long argument where Iran raised objections to it because it referred to the peace process obliquely. Finally, those were settled, and it happened. That's an overview of the story.

LR: What comes across to me is all the experiences you must have had while you were negotiating all these other treaties starting as early as 1970, so by the time you're working on this in 1995 you just have so much knowledge about what 00:41:00you need to do and it's really an honor to hear your recollections of what you've done.

TG: Well, Linda, if I can make one comment here-one thing I did very much learn is I learned that what diplomacy was was definitely something other than rocket science. Diplomacy is human relations 101 is what it is. I was on the floor when these final votes were cast sitting with several arms control officials, Madeline Albright and myself. After that vote took place, I left because I had to do something. I had to give a press conference. It wasn't quite over. There was still things to do. I wandered through across the floor and would stop at a 00:42:00few of the delegations and the first stop was with the Mexican delegation and the foreign minister was there plus my opposite member. We had been featured that very morning by the Washington Post, the Mexican ambassador and me in a mono-mono looking picture about fighting to the last over indefinite extension, and the relationship with the Mexican delegation had always been difficult. Actually, that article was published the first day of the conference. I asked the foreign minister if he had seen the article. He winked at me, he says oh yeah, we all read it. Anyway, I said goodbye to them and I put my arm around the Russian ambassador and the Kazakhstani ambassador and four or five others as I 00:43:00walked out. The next day somebody said it looked like you were running for office out there, but that's what it is. It's human relations 101.

LR: Well, you probably didn't start out knowing how much you would end up working on non-proliferation and arms control. I'm very curious about what set you on this path.

TG: Linda, it's like most things in life. You know you have a general idea of what you'd like to do but what actually happens is serendipitous. I knew from when I was in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton that I wanted to do international work and I went to school in Paris for a year at the Institute of 00:44:00Political Science and then I went to Harvard Law School. My parents convinced me that was the right thing to do, so I did. In between I was drafted and spent two years in the Army. Then I had a series of jobs that were all very interesting, but they weren't quite what I wanted. I worked on the Nixon campaign in '68 and was in the Air Force General Counsel's office afterwards and while I was there I heard about a small agency that specialized in arms control negotiations, particularly on nuclear weapons with the Soviet Union and other countries.

They were looking for a lawyer with Hill experience because they were a small legal office there which doubled as both the legislative and legal 00:45:00representation office of the agency. I had spent a year working for the house banking committee as its council on sort of a chance situation. I went over there, and I applied. I met with the general council. I sought an appointment and told him I was interested in the job. He said, well you meet all the requirements that we have but this is a very political agency. It's located in the State Department but was a separate agency, a direct line to the president. He says it's a very political agency and a very political administration, the Nixon administration. So, you have to show political support. It just happened 00:46:00at that time the two Republican senators were two of my father's closest friends and they were both Republicans. One was Republican national chairman and the other was the ranking Republican on foreign relations. I asked for them to write letters. The wrote them. I got the job. I arrived there thinking this will be pretty interesting. I said to myself you've had 6 jobs in 9 years you probably ought to stay a while here 3 or 4 years. I stayed 27. That's how it happened. Just pure chance but with an overall interest but what specifically happened was pure chance. I'm very happy about it. I loved every minute of it. At times I was 00:47:00considered very controversial. I was attacked by Senator Helms on the senate floor in the debate over the interpretation of the ABM treaty in the 1980s. The other side led by Richard Perle and others tried to discredit my views. They concocted on two occasions bogus charges and I had the FBI come interview me and read me my Miranda rights twice, which of course never amounted to anything, because there was never anything there. Even then. I was attacked in the 00:48:00newspapers too by Washington Times, the conservative side. Even then, even at those times I still loved it, every, every second.

LR: I was curious about how hard that might be for you when you were attacked by Helms, because weren't you?-I mean, you had worked on the Nixon campaign, so you were a Republican yourself.

TG: I was a Republican.

LR: Yeah.

TG: That doesn't make any difference. In the middle of all that I had a friend on Senator Helms's staff and he calls me. Dave Sullivan was his name and he said, Tom, he said, you may have noticed that the senator said some unfriendly 00:49:00things about you in a couple of his speeches. I said, well Dave, actually I had noticed. He said, well, Tom in life we each have a role to play and right now you represent something that the senator hates, but he doesn't hate you. He hates what you represent. So, you shouldn't take it personally. I said, well, Dave I wouldn't if it didn't hurt so much. That was part of the general campaign to discredit me because I was the principle voice for the traditional interpretation of the ABM treaty which is what was negotiated, and Richard Perle and his friends were trying to convert it to something else other than it was or that the senate approved so that the Star Wars Program would fit under it, the 00:50:00Strategic Defense Initiative.

In the end when SDI had been defeated the head of the SDI Office said the greatest problem we had was that attempt to change the interpretation because it got the senators angry too. The Perle group was telling them that they didn't know what they did when they ratified the treaty. You were confused. It really meant this rather than that. People like Senator Nan really didn't like that much.

LR: Have you run into that through all these different treaties? They're so dependent on how they're interpreted. Was this a common thing that would happen?

TG: That was very unusual and that was only done to accommodate this very I 00:51:00think strange idea about a Strategic Defense Initiative and the creation of an astrodome over the United States. They could fend off Soviet missiles which is physically impossible.

LR: Have you spent a lot of time while you're working on these negotiations, you would probably also have to have a certain technical background in nuclear weapons and how they work.

TG: I didn't have any technical background at all and most people that I worked with, well some did. Some didn't, but a lot didn't. There were no courses then like the one I'm teaching here at OSU. There were no courses then to even acquaint people with these subjects, so we had to learn on the job.

LR: So, you were self-taught?

TG: Yeah.

LR: I'm wondering if Chris has any questions that have come up that are burning?


CP: Well, a name that's very prominent on this campus is Linus Pauling. I'd be very interested in your perspective on his work as a peace advocate and obviously there's some intersection between things that he was interested and the areas that you worked in as well.

TG: Who was that?

LR: Linus Pauling. The peace activist.

TG: Oh, Linus Pauling. The only man to get two Nobel Peace Prizes in different subjects. Well, I'm a former negotiator and policy worker and I tend to think in terms of what's realistic and what's possible, and so I don't usually participate in peace demonstrations, but I do think they're of great value, particularly in the United States, in Democratic countries, to keep the pressure 00:53:00on the government because that's important to do that. Like FDR said once meeting with a friend of his about some controversial subject, he said alright I agree with you completely. That should definitely be done. Now go out there and make me do it. In a Democratic society you have to build up support, reasons why things should happen, especially when big bureaucracies are involved and major industrial companies and it's certainly true of the nuclear sphere and many others. I think what Dr. Pauling did during his life was a great contribution and very important. I'm close to many at these organizations, Bob Wash, for 00:54:00example, is one of the oldest and a number of others. I'm on the board of several, too, now, but of course I didn't do that when I was in government. As an aside, I just want to tell a brief little story. It has nothing to do with me. President Kennedy gave a dinner for all Nobel Prize winners that lived in North America in 1962, before a concert at the Whitehouse by Pablo Casals and there were about 50 or 60 attendees and he said in his little talk before, he said this is probably the greatest collection of intellectual capability ever 00:55:00assembled under this roof, except possibly when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. I've always loved that. That's kind of an aside.

LR: I liked when you were talking about how important human relations 101 was for diplomacy. But I also wondered while you've been talking you've talked about the different impact of different people and just that personal connection between people making things be different than they might have been. I wonder how you feel about, maybe, for example, of Obama's speech that he made in Prague and his receipt of the Nobel Prize if you felt that that was getting the country 00:56:00back on track with what you had intended the 1995 extension to be.

TG: Well, President Obama has tried to get the U.S. back on track to where we were in 1995. The NPT has never been stronger then. The speech was magnificent. All the right things were said during it. However, it has been much more difficult to implement. As far as the granting of the Nobel Prize to him that year, #1 there really wasn't anybody else, and #2 it was kind of a payment in advance. Sometimes that happens. I think he has delivered. He did the New START Treaty. He did the Iran agreement and neither of those were easy. In fact, 00:57:00that's a considerable understatement, but there's other things he hasn't been able to do. He's not been able to get the test ban approved by congress so that he can ratify it. There's not going to be any more nuclear disarmament because of the relationship with Russia. The U.S. has decided to do an update of its nuclear forces, costing a trillion dollars over the next 30 years. From the standpoint of arms control disarmament, I think it's been very good but not quite as good as I would have liked it to be. But I do think Barack Obama has 00:58:00been a great president and I think historians will judge him to be great.

LR: Going way back, I was curious about what it was like to work for the different presidents you've worked with and to negotiate for them. You mentioned how you were working with a direct line to the president and I wondered what that was like as well.

TG: Well, of course you didn't meet with the president every day and I didn't meet with him that often. But I spent a lot of time with secretaries of state. The president that was the most interested in arms control non-proliferation was George H.W. Bush. Every other president negotiated one major arms control or 00:59:00non-proliferation agreement. With JFK it was the limited test ban. With Johnson it was the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. With Nixon it SALT I. With Carter it was SALT II. With Reagan it was the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. With Clinton it was the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. With President George W. Bush, it was basically nothing, but there was this 4-line casual agreement called the Strategic Operational Arms Agreement, which I never thought much of, but for the purposes of this, I'll assign that to him. Then there was the New START Treaty that Obama negotiated.

With H.W. Bush it was START II treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the 01:00:00Conventional Armed Forces of Europe Treaty, and the START I treaty. No other president's been close. He was the president who understood arms control and really cared about it, probably better and more than anyone else. Clinton's great strength was the peace negotiations, like in the Middle East. He had it. He had it done. He had Middle East peace done except for Arafat's unwillingness 01:01:00to go along at the very last second, even though he was urged by the King of Saudi Arabia, the President of Egypt. He had it done with North Korea, too. His successor threw that away. That was his great strength. President Reagan's great strength was his strong feeling against nuclear weapons and how terrible they were and how they should be eliminated and his desire, his very strong desire, to end the Cold War. Nixon's strength was the strategic arms negotiations. Johnson had much he cared about the non-proliferation, which of course Kennedy cared about even maybe more, but of course didn't live to carry out that policy, 01:02:00but he did do the test ban with Khrushchev.

I'll tell you a story about, there's a rumor at the State Department. I don't promise it's true, I'm saying it's a rumor at the State Department. Kennedy made the proposal and a speech in June of 1963, well if we can't solve testing as a whole at least we can ban it in the atmosphere. That was the speech and negotiations followed not long after and U.S. sent Averell Harriman as our representative. The British sent Douglas Home who later was prime minister and Khrushchev negotiated personally for the Soviets. About halfway through the negotiation, Harriman became convinced that if he just made one concession that 01:03:00they could wrap the negotiations up. They'd be over. They'd be done. They'd have agreement. He had this very secret channel with Washington, probably with the secretary of state for himself alone. He didn't have authority to make this concession, so he asked for authority in this secret channel. The next morning a replay from Washington came back and said request denied. Harriman being Harriman when he went to the meeting with Khrushchev and Douglas Home he made the concession anyway. As the rumor goes Khrushchev looked him in the eye, and 01:04:00he said you've exceeded your instructions [laughs]. I'll leave it to you to sort that one out.

LR: Actually, it made me wonder what kind of negotiation-how were you trained to do these kinds of negotiations?

TG: How what?

LR: Did you just learn by doing them? Were you trained in negotiations?

TG: Learned by doing them and worked with people who were really thoughtful and capable and learned from them. Paul Nitze who I worked very closely with for a decade and for whom I had a very, very great regard, he told me once, he said, whenever I enter one of these negotiations with the Soviet Union over nuclear weapons I try to imagine in my own mind that narrow strip where both sides can 01:05:00stand comfortably.

Then I try to stand U.S. policy toward that strip. That was very good guidance. Another thing Paul told me, this has to do more with management, but it applies to negotiations too because delegations have to be managed so they work properly. He said if you're the head of an organization or a delegation, if you're the head if you don't spend a third of your time on personnel you're not doing your job. I try to follow that axiom. Believe me, even in negotiations when you're working on strategic arms with the Soviet Union you have just as many personnel problems as anywhere else. It's always something.


LR: One of the treaties that, well, it's actually not so much called a treaty but was really interested in what your take was on the chemical and biological bans that you worked on.

TG: What my take was, and do I think they're good treaties or what?

LR: Well, yeah, because these are more-I'm thinking of a nuclear weapons ban, what that would look like, and I'm wondering how the chemical, biological bans inform that or if you think they don't. I'd just be interested to hear-

TG: I don't think they really do. Biological Weapons Convention has essentially no verification provisions. It's more a statement of, a normative statement than 01:07:00a treaty. It is a treaty, but it's not verifiable and I'm not sure a treaty could be verifiable. Biological weapons are so difficult to verify and so easy to hide. I mean, somebody in a drawer or something. I mean, maybe it could happen. There was a verification protocol worked out in Geneva in the first year of the Bush administration. At the last minute it was killed by the Bush administration, but it was done. Europeans were very, very unhappy with this. I won't say it can't be done. I'm saying it's very difficult. Chemical Weapons Convention has a very elaborate verification provision which may be reasonably workable. Any kind of treaty involving elimination of nuclear weapons is going 01:08:00to have to look more like that, but much, much more complicated because these are the ultimate weapons. Only 8 or 9 countries have them. It's going to be very complex. I wrote a paper once about what a real negotiation might look like, and just my concept. My concept was that first you reduce U.S. and Russia to fairly low levels, under a thousand. Then you bring in Britain, France, and then China and try to move to about 300. Then you've got to have Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea, and North Korea basically has to be told to go back to the NPT 01:09:00as a non-nuclear weapon state. They can't count as a nuclear weapon state, but the other three you're going to have to make some adjustment for them. Then maybe you'd move from 300 for us and Russians and whatever they have, those other three have, down to maybe 75 for them and maybe take 200 for U.S. or Russia. Then maybe move to zero but allow each one of these 8 states to have a certain amount of fissile material under safeguards, enough so they could resuscitate a certain number of weapons if the treaty broke down.

Then you'd live like that for a long time, I mean a very long time, 50 years, to 01:10:00see if the treaty really did work. If it did, then maybe ultimately eliminate those stockpiles. I think it would have to be something like that. We're talking a 70-year process to the very end. Getting to zero weapons, that means nuclear war is pretty unlikely. We had one of those George Schultz and his colleagues meetings at Reykjavík about Reykjavík. Had one in 2006, one in 2007 and then one in 2011. Anyway, the one in 2006 they published a book afterwards and I wrote the little scheme up in an essay and it's in the book.


LR: Were you a part of that, there was also a public letter made about that time about Schultz and Kissinger and other people calling maybe you were-

TG: The op-ed pieces in the New York and the Wallstreet Journal? Well, I was present at the discussions. If I recall, the names of all those who participated is listed at the bottom. I think I'm listed with both letters.

LR: Yeah, you are.

TG: Those are great letters.

LR: They are, and they didn't get as much press as I would've thought they would.

TG: They changed a lot though, Linda. Before they happened, you were considered some kind of misguided person if you raised the issue of nuclear disarmament 01:12:00within the government. After those letters it became a legitimate subject of discussion. That's a sea change. They did do that. I just don't see, you know, just like climate change, so much cooperation is required. It doesn't exist.

LR: Well, we do have a few minutes if you wanted to talk about how you feel about climate change. I know that you have been working on climate change for some time.

TG: Well, nuclear weapons have always been from the earliest of days associated with the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the potential for immense contributions to the well-being of humankind from 01:13:00nuclear medicine to nuclear power. Today, the threat from climate change is so great, we're talking about a true existentialist threat to human civilization which is coming on us fast and then could be out of control by 50 years from now. Nuclear power is the only technology that exists that has a chance of saving us. It's sort of ironic. The baseload, non-emitting power, carbon-free power that it can produce in a reliable way, whenever you flip on a switch. There's just nothing comparable. The so-called renewables, wind and solar, I'm 01:14:00not against them, but they're essentially unproven in the sense that neither has ever powered a major city with no backup for years with no blackouts. We just can't possibly rely on just that. If we're going to save ourselves, in my opinion, all fossil fuel forms of producing energy have to go in the next 50 years and be replaced by nuclear, solar, and wind and you got to have a very substantial portion of that nuclear to provide us with energy security. You look at the NPT itself. It's one of the pillars is nuclear disarmament.

One of the pillars is peaceful uses. In Article 4 of the treaty it says that any 01:15:00party that, I'm paraphrasing, any party that is, no it doesn't say it that way... all the parties have an inalienable right-that's what the Iranians always said-an inalienable right to the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy as long as they are in compliance with Articles 1 and 2 of the treaty, which are the disarmament articles. There would have not been an NPT without Article 4. Willy Brandt made a speech to the Bundestag in 1967 in which he said the nuclear 01:16:00energy use is essential to the survival of Germany as an industrialized state and if it's not permitted by the treaty, Germany will not be a party. A number of other Europeans at least took that view. From the earliest of days when Einstein wrote a letter to FDR saying in effect that Hitler may develop nuclear weapons, so we better have a program otherwise he may destroy us, that Einstein letter as given to a New York lawyer who knew FDR well to get it to him. When he got there and had his audience with FDR instead of reading the letter, he gave a 01:17:00speech and three-quarters of the speech was about the peaceful benefits of nuclear power first and then he mentioned Hitler and the bomb and the need to do something. Of course, FDR being FDR after it was all over he said, I forget the man's name, let's say his name was Joe, after it was over FDR said, so Joe what you're saying is Hitler may get those bombs and blow us up and we've got to prevent that from happening by having them ourselves, is that? That's right. I'll see that something's done about it. FDR got it in a second. Nevertheless, obviously it's the same technology. It's unfortunate for humankind that it came up as part of a war rather than in peaceful times, but that doesn't mean that we 01:18:00should forego it, because as reactors get safer and safer, as fuel gets better and safer, it's safer really in numerical terms, in statistical terms than any other fossil fuel form of energy production. I don't know about renewables, what their record is. There's certainly room for as many renewables as can be built, but we've got to build thousands of nuclear power plants as well. It needs to start soon, and if it doesn't start soon then it's going to be a very serious catastrophe. I mean, very, very serious and I've had scientists tell me that they didn't think that humankind was up to it and resort to desperation measures 01:19:00when it's probably too late. I don't believe that. I believe we can do it. I think we should do it. I think we will do it. I hope that the Paris Conference is an appropriate first step, but we need to act fast.

LR: So, if Chris has some burning questions or if you'd like to add something more, now would be good so we can get you over to your class to teach.

CP: Well, I just want to thank you for this. it's been very interesting. I appreciate it.

TG: Thank you.

CP: I wish you well.

TG: Thank you very much.