17:50 GMT +3 hours27 June 2016
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Mushroom cloud from an American atomic bomb test on January 17, 1962. The test was designated Upshot Knothold Grable shot No. 10.

Ex-Pentagon Chief Warns of 'Real and Growing Danger' of Nuclear Doom

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Former US Defense Secretary William Perry said a terrorist attack using a nuclear bomb or improvised nuclear device could happen "any time now – next year or the year after."

Before he served as Pentagon chief under President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 1997, Perry played a central role in developing and modernizing nuclear forces throughout the Cold War. Now, he is on a mission to warn of a "real and growing danger" of the very weapons he helped develop.

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 said he believed then and still believes that the world avoided a nuclear holocaust as much by good luck as by good management.

In an interview with reporters earlier this month, Perry recounted a harrowing incident in November 1979 when, as a senior Pentagon official, he was awakened by a 3:00 AM 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."

Former Defense Secretary William Perry
© AP Photo/ Alex Brandon
Former Defense Secretary William Perry

Perry thinks the US nuclear force no longer needs land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and can rely on the other two "legs" of the force – bomber aircraft and submarine-based missiles. The ICBM should be scrapped, he says, adding, "I don't think it's going to happen, but I think it should happen. They're not needed" to deter nuclear aggression.

He also opposes the Obama administration's plan to build a new nuclear-capable cruise missile.

Perry looks at Russia's nuclear modernization and US 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.

Tags:
nuclear triad, nuclear weapons, Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Pentagon, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, William Perry, Russia, United States
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  • Mitach2002
    The only one that will directly or indirectly ever use an atomic bomb will be the terrorist American government.
  • Is it because I am black?
    Putin has proven his and Russia's peacefulness over and over this year.
  • mariacabrino
    That is the end of a madmen's worlds!
  • Zhukov
    Unless some combination of FRA, HUN, and or Greece bails from NATO, the US-NATO extremists will push Russia and China until they are in a corner and have no other choice.
    www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/12/28/why-wwiii-is-on-the-horizon-paul-craig-roberts
  • michael
    I wonder if his book is more for domestic consumption?
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply toMitach2002(Show commentHide comment)
    Mitach2002, I wouldn't put it past those maniacs in Washington to detonate a small nuclear device in some part of the US and blame it on somebody else. It could be anybody, but I think it is most likely that they would blame Iran.
  • He too should have been rotting in jail.
  • Mother Gorilla
    As long as the CIA and cos do not explode a nuclear bomb in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, anywhere, to finish off democracy for good, wouldn't put it beneath them.
  • rogertidy
    It was the US that started the nuclear arms race. It did not need to drop atomic bombs on Japan, but by so doing it demonstrated to other countries that it was prepared to use such weapons. That was why it was necessary for the USSR to have its own nuclear deterrent.

    Perhaps, if the plug had been pulled on NATO at the same time as the Warsaw Pact was abolished, it would have been possible for the various Western nuclear powers and Russia to make real progress in scaling back their nuclear arsenals. However, the continuance of NATO long after it had any reason to exist, made it necessary for Russia, which inherited the Soviet nuclear arsenal, to keep its nuclear deterrent.
  • These devils have perfected spin at its very highest level. We should try and figure out what exactly is behind this small devils utterances. Are they setting us up for a false flag and planned retaliation before Obama leaves office, something like LBJs USS Liberty failed ploy? 2016 does not look good.
  • ivanwa88
    Yes testing the waters to see which way to go, why because of frustration in not getting there own way. Previous comment from Washington mentioned that it was a critical mission of Obama to leave office with a clear and decisive path for the new incumbent to follow.
    In other words, no deviation from its aggressive foreign policies will be tolerated or compromised. That brings us to now! a frigging big sink hole has appeared in the road ahead and it cant be filled in time what can we now do out of total spite!!? someone wrote about a cornered rat! this is a river jammed with starving alligators. Yes 2016 is looking grim however in saying that is America a true lemming! History shows in a crisis blocked by nuclear extinction madness calms and filters away for a while. Personally I strongly sensed a while ago Pentagon was determined to nuke a Middle Eastern country . Perhaps to give them a feeling of total control like in 1945, that was eroded in 1949 but replaced by conventional warfare against 70 nations since. All pretty much defenceless nations at that.
    There policy of 'rape,pillage and plunder' is over and they know it! but is there one small bang somewhere to dine out on!!? in there minds I guess so, with Iran being the obvious choice.
  • GwanSoon Lee Tattoos
    Things would have been better if the US stayed out of Ukraine and Syria. The US has no business being in there and many other places. Not mentioning even Iraq and Libya at this point. Problem is and has always been with a war mongering Country like the US and the Nato and UN puppets that support and are lap dogs for the US.
  • ConcernedCitizen
    He mentions Russia modernizing its nuclear force, and why is Russia doing this? Because in conventional warfare the US is superior to Russian forces. They did this by spending our country, the US, into oblivion, via the fiat Dollar. Coupled with the relentless encirclement of Russia by US forces, not to mention all the other types of "hybrid" warfare including missile "defense systems". Russia has its trump card(no pun intended) MAD. As far a t-rr-rist attack, Mr. Perry surely knows these "attacks" around the world are false flags. So if an attack happens it will start in the bowels of the Pentagram
  • jaodernein
    US is the most likely nuclear danger for the world.
    Strange things happened in the past with nukes, like the 2007 incident
    www.rense.com/general78/nuks.htm ...someone wrote that it happened as consequence to the silent coup in US government, when Rumsfeld was replaced by Robert Gates, and a message was sent to those able to understand... The Neocons camarillas are very dangerous...
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