Skip to content


Ex-Pentagon chief warns danger of nuclear doom is growing via CBS News

WASHINGTON — Late in a life lived unnervingly near the nuclear abyss, William J. Perry is on a mission to warn of a “real and growing danger” of nuclear doom.

The 88-year-old former defense secretary is troubled by the risks of catastrophe from the very weapons he helped develop. Atop his list: a nuclear terror attack in a major U.S. city or a shooting war with Russia that, through miscalculation, turns nuclear. A terrorist attack using a nuclear bomb or improvised nuclear device could happen “any time now – next year or the year after,” he said in an interview with reporters earlier this month.

Perry chooses his words with the precision of a mathematician, which he was before entering the defense world in the mid-1950s. He played a central role in developing and modernizing nuclear forces throughout the Cold War – first as a technology whiz-kid and later a three-time senior Pentagon executive. During the 1962 Cuban missile crisis Perry was secretly summoned to Washington to analyze intelligence on Soviet weapons in Cuba.

“Every day that I went to the analysis center I thought would be my last day on earth,” he writes in a newly published memoir, “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink.” He says he believed then and still believes that the world avoided a nuclear holocaust as much by good luck as by good management.

In the interview, he recounted a harrowing incident in November 1979 when, as a senior Pentagon official, he was awakened by a 3 a.m. phone call from the underground command center responsible for warning of a missile attack. The watch officer told Perry his computers were showing 200 nuclear-armed missiles on their way from the Soviet Union to the United States.

“It was, of course, a false alarm,” Perry said, but it was one of many experiences throughout the Cold War and beyond that he says have given him a “unique and chilling vantage point from which to conclude that nuclear weapons no longer provide for our security – they now endanger it.”

[…]
He also opposes the Obama administration’s plan to build a new nuclear-capable cruise missile.

Perry looks at Russia’s nuclear modernization and U.S. plans to spend hundreds of billions to update its nuclear arsenal and sees irrational nuclear competition.

“I see an imperative to stop this damn nuclear race before it gets under way again, not just for the cost but for the danger it puts all of us in,” he said.

[…]

Read more.

Posted in *English.

Tagged with , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.