Remarks General Andrew J. Goodpaster

December 4, 1996
National Press Club

Opening Remarks by General Andrew J. Goodpaster

I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about the reduction of the world's nuclear weapons arsenals. It is an issue that ranks in the highest order of importance for American security (and that of others) in the coming century.

To do what needs to be done means giving high priority to the issue and sustained commitment to the efforts amidst a vast number of other demands. This will not be easy. Nor can it be taken for granted, whatever the merits of the case, in a security process where the more urgent is in constant battle with the more important (and quite regularly wins). It will take firm top-level decision and determined follow-up leadership over many years to move the needed nuclear policies and action forward.

But it can and must be done. Two considerations fundamental to security interests and possibilities should now shape the nuclear future;

First, as so often emphasized by President Eisenhower (who had a talent for getting to the heart of such questions), nuclear weapons are the only thing that can destroy the United State of America.

Second, the Cold War is over and unlikely to return, hard as it may be to comprehend this historic fact in all its dimensions, and to seize the opportunities that are now available to re-orient our policies accordingly.

Nowhere is this more salient than in reducing the world's arsenals of nuclear weapons.


General Goodpaster's public service spans seven decades and includes advising U.S. presidents from Eisenhower through Clinton. He began his Army career in 1939 after graduating from West Point. In World War II, he commanded the 48th Engineer Combat Battalion in North Africa and Italy receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. During the last year of the war, then Lt. Colonel Goodpaster served as a war planner for General Marshall.

Following the war, General Goodpaster served as President Eisenhower's staff secretary and assistant for national security activities He also commanded the 8th Infantry Division and was Director of the Joint Staff, Commandant of the National War College, Deputy Commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam. and the commander of NATO forces. He assisted President Nixon in organizing his administration for the conduct of foreign policy and international security affairs. After retiring, General Goodpaster was recalled to serve as the Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy during troubled times. In 1980, President Carter called on General Goodpaster to be his special representative for talks with foreign governments following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He also served on the Citadel faculty and was the President of the institute for Defense Analyses.

In addition to an engineering degree from the U.S. Military Academy. General Goodpaster holds an M.A and Ph.D. m international relations from Princeton University. He authored the book. For the Common Defense, and numerous articles and reports.

General Goodpaster has been awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom as well as military decorations including the Distinguished Service Cross; the Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Silver Star; and the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster and many foreign awards.

General Butler Statement
Joint Statement with General Goodpaster
Statement of 60 International Generals

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