GSI Event Report
St. Francis Yacht Club
January 9, 2003
On January 9, 2003, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara joined Jonathan Granoff and a high-level panel of GSI senior advisors for an animated discussion of nuclear security issues before a group of eighty top bay area executives at the St. Francis Yacht Club. The successful event was organized by the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Panelists included former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, who recently joined the steering committee of GSI’s Middle Powers Initiative, as well as Ambassador Robert Grey and Suzanne Spaulding, who are members of the Washington-based Bipartisan Security Group, a program of the Global Security Institute.
After explaining to a mesmerized audience how close the world came to nuclear
annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Secretary McNamara in a convincing and energetic fashion called for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. “They are militarily useless, immoral, and illegal,” McNamara stressed. “But as long as they exist, the risk of them being used one day is very real.”
“Write to your representative on your corporate letterhead and ask them why the US continues to rely on nuclear weapons in its security policy,” said GSI President Granoff when asked about how the business community can contribute to the reduction of nuclear dangers. Prime Minister Campbell further suggested that business leaders actively support activist organizations such as GSI in their effort to convince the Administration and the US population that verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament, combined with robust international monitoring, represents the only way to make the world a safer place. “GSI has consistently been stressing,” Campbell pointed out, “that threatening the rest of the world with the use of US nukes or a more advanced US nuclear arsenal is likely to make things worse, not better.”
Kim Polese, Chair of Marimba, Inc., and the event organizer, wrote afterward that “the most successful outcome of the day was the realization among many in the audience about what we, the business community, can and must do to help promote international cooperation and further the cause of world peace. I feel certain that the full impact of Thursday’s discussion is yet to come, and will be significant.”