Former secretaries of defense talk shop at Georgia Tech - CBS46 News

Former secretaries of defense talk shop at Georgia Tech

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

They served as secretary of defense under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W Bush, and Tuesday morning they made it clear - they see troubled waters ahead for the United States.

"Over time, the biggest threat to the U.S. is the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and that looks as if it is coming," said James Schlesinger, who served under Nixon and Ford.

Frank Carlucci, James Schlesinger, Richard Chaney and Donald Rumsfeld were at Georgia Tech for the 16th Conference of Former Secretaries of Defense. The men served a total of 15 years during a time when the Soviet Union was the United State's biggest enemy. But now, they said, things have changed.

"If things continue, we are on the verge of having any number of additional nuclear states,"said Rumsfeld.

The auditorium at the Robert Ferst Center for the Performing Arts was a packed. The forum got many positive reviews, but some who attended said they were still hoping for a little bit more.

"I wish they had made points with regards to the general role of women overall, so that was something that was memorable to me. I also wish they had addressed or talked more about the role of youth," said Anitha Vadavatha, who attended the event.

Organizers said they invited panelists who served under Democratic presidents, but they declined to show up. Many people who attended the event said it didn't matter.

"When you look at the responsibility that they have had, it is really impressive to hear their take on the issues we face right now because you have to think there area lot of things that they probably have some perspective on that the average person may not," said Jordan Sturgis, who attended the event.

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