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Growing nuclear dangers are ‘dimly perceived’ by public

Atomic-Bomb-SmFlag-USACrusading former Pentagon chief: nuclear dangers are growing but ‘dimly Book Journey at Nuclear Brinkperceived’ by public, Fox News 29 Dec 15  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………

“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.”

His views are remarkable, not least because they strike at the heart of the conventional wisdom about nuclear weapons that has been embraced by both political parties for decades. For example, Perry thinks the U.S. nuclear force no longer needs land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, and can rely on the other two “legs” of the force — bomber aircraft and submarine-based missiles. ICBMs 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 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……….

“Our chief peril is that the poised nuclear doom, much of it hidden beneath the seas and in remote badlands, is too far out of the public consciousness,” he wrote in his memoir.

In his book’s preface Perry outlines a nuclear terror scenario, which he calls “my nuclear nightmare, born of long and deep experience.”…..

“The danger of a nuclear bomb being detonated in one of our cities is all too real,” Perry writes. “And yet, while this catastrophe would result in a hundred times the casualties of 9/11, it is only dimly perceived by the public and not well understood.” http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/12/29/crusading-former-pentagon-chief-nuclear-dangers-are-growing-but-dimly-perceived.html

December 30, 2015 - Posted by | general

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