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Tufts E-News: Lugar Stresses Role of Diplomacy

Tufts E-News: Lugar Stresses Role of DiplomacyThe Unites States administration must reevaluate the importance of diplomacy in world affairs, Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) told a Tufts audience.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.24.04] This week, five-term U.S. Senator Richard Lugar addressed students as Tufts' Fletcher School. The republican Senator from Indiana, who recently received an honorary degree from Tufts, called for a greater role for international diplomacy in the nation's effort to reduce terrorism.

"Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the nation must prevent terrorism from taking root around the world by ‘repairing and building alliances,' increasing trade, supporting democracy, addressing regional conflicts and controlling weapons of mass destruction," reported the Associated Press.

In his speech at the Fletcher School's Class Day Ceremony - which made headlines in more than 175 newspapers, radio stations, and television news stations across the country - the GOP Senator stressed the importance of international relations in national security.

"Our security depends not on clever decision-making about when to go it alone, but careful maintenance of our relations with other countries that ensures the international community will be with us in a crisis," said Lugar - who was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws at Tufts 2004 commencement ceremony.

Lugar - the longest-serving U.S. senator in Indiana history - said that military power alone is not enough to eradicate terrorism, and he hopes to see a clearer role for diplomacy in the country's international efforts to fight terrorism.

He said, "I am hopeful that the president and his administration will articulate what is going to happen as much as they can, day by day, as opposed to a generalization," the Washington Post reported on its front page.

The senator - who received the Dean's Medal for distinguished service in international affairs - bemoaned the reduction of funding of diplomatic efforts over the past few years, calling it "the equivalent of cutting the defense budget in time of war."

"We have yet to alter the status of foreign affairs as the neglected sibling of national security policy," Lugar told the Fletcher audience.

The Indiana Senator - who is known as a strong advocate of U.S. leadership in the world, national security, free trade and economic growth - said that while military action is necessary to defeat national security threats, an exclusively military approach "will often breed more terrorists and more resentment of the United States."

"To win the war on terrorism, the United States must assign U.S. economic and diplomatic capabilities the same strategic priority that we assign military capabilities," Lugar told the Fletcher students, 171 of whom received their masters of law and diplomacy degrees the following day.

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