This was the first Carnegie Nonproliferation Conference I've attended. It's hard to know where to start. My brain has been in overload for the last few days.
We're in DC, along with New York the epitome of East Coast sophistication and cool. I know. I grew up in all that. So I'm having some reservations about the bloggish let-it-all-hang-out approach. Above all, cool means never saying how impressed you are to meet people. You knew them and their betters all along. But I was impressed and very pleased to be able to talk to so many people I've seen on television and otherwise heard of.
The nonproliferation community is small compared to other groups I've been associated with. The American Chemical Society's twice-yearly meetings draw tens of thousands of attendees. This meeting was 850 people, and, according to those who've been here before, that's a lot. It's small enough that anyone can talk to anyone else, including the talking heads from television and bylines from the newspapers. That includes some MSM writers I like to read and link to. I even had extended conversations with some of them. Totally inadvertently, I sat down next to Mark Hibbs at Monday's lunch. Goes to show that luck can be better than planning.