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In a major address at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on nuclear weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that America would continue to need a nuclear deterrent.
“Simply put, we cannot predict the future,” he said. “Even as we strive to live up to our noblest goals, as (Andrew) Carnegie did, we must deal with the messy realities of the world in which we live.”
Gates said that even Carnegie, the American philanthropist who dedicated the final years of his life to the cause of World Peace, found himself encouraging President Woodrow Wilson to declare war against Germany before World War I.
“As long as human nature is what it is – as long as the tragic arc of history continues its course – we cannot eliminate the need to be prepared for war any more than Andrew Carnegie was able to eliminate war itself,” Gates said.
Gates speech was delivered against a backdrop of a reduced numbers of nuclear weapons under the Moscow Treaty with Russia, a period of military incompetence in the mishandling of nuclear weapons and flat budgets across a nuclear weapons complex that is committed to reducing its footprint.
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