George Pratt Shultz is the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has had a distinguished career in government, in academia, and in the world of business and he is one of two individuals who have held four different federal cabinet posts. Shultz joined Fox News Radio's Guy Benson and Marie Harf to pass along his insight.
On the most important lessons he tries to give the next generation of leadership: I graduated from college as World War II started and I went right to the Marine Corp. The first thing you do is go to boot camp. I remember the day the sergeant handed me my riffle. He said, 'Take good care of this riffle this is your best friend. And remember one thing. Never point this riffle at anybody unless you're willing to pull the trigger. No empty threats.' Boot camp wisdom. When you violate that your word ceases to mean anything and we've seen that happen too often. So, it's great point for leaders to remember. (2:01)
On how to handle nuclear weapons: First of all, President Reagan thought and I agreed with him that nuclear weapons are immoral. The destruction power of the weapon is just unbelievable and Gorbachev felt the same way. In the first meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev in Geneva they agreed quote, 'A nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.' And after that we had continued discussions of reductions in nuclear weapons and the first one where we had an actual agreement was the Intermediate Forces Agreement, also known as the INF Treaty. In that treaty we agreed to eliminate a whole class of weapons. There was something accompanying it that nobody thought we could get, which was on-site inspection. You had people and they could see with their eyes what was happening. It was a big deal. So, now we seem to be in a new era where people are adding to their nuclear weapon stock piles. There's lots of loose talk about using them. It's alarming. (7:05)
On what he thinks Russia wants: I hardly known Putin. I only met him once. So, I don't want to try to speak for him, but he said on the record last October that Russia was interested in negotiating for a nuclear weapons free world. Now everything he's said since then makes you wonder if he's sincere, but nevertheless he said it. It's on the record. (9:16)
On what America's role within the world should look like: First let me look back. At the end of World War II some gifted people with names like Truman, Acheson, Clayton, Marshall they looked back and what did they see. They saw two world wars, the first one settled in rather vindictive terms that helped lead to the second. They saw 60 million people were killed in the second world war. They saw the Holocaust. They saw the Great Depression and the currency manipulation and protectionism, that aggravated them. They said to themselves what a crummy world and we are a part of it whether we like it or not. So they set out to build a better world. It wasn't the U.S. telling people what to do it was collaborative... It's time for us to take a deep breath and say what a chaotic world and we are part of it whether we like it or not. So let's see if we can work to make it better and there are things we can do. (11:07)