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Former U.S. Defense Secretary Perry Warns of Nuclear War Threat

Dec. 4, 2015 (EIRNS)—Former Secretary of Defense William Perry issued a stark warning, yesterday, against the danger of nuclear war between the United States and Russia. "We’re now at the precipice, maybe I should say the brink, of a new nuclear arms race," Perry said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast.

"This arms race will be at least as expensive as the arms race we had during the Cold War, which is a lot of money,"

he said, according to Defense News. He went on to argue that the risk of nuclear war is exacerbated by the dismantling of the relationship between Russia and the United States that was formed after the Soviet Union’s fall. Without clear military-to-military communication between those two nations, the risk of an accidental conflict increases.

"Today—probably I would not have said this 10 years ago—but today we now face the kind of dangers of a nuclear event like we had during the Cold War, an accidental war,"

he said. "I see an imperative," Perry added, "to stop this damn nuclear arms race from accelerating again." Perry singled out the ICBM force as the greatest source of threat, because of the launch-on- warning problem, as had been identified by Bruce Blair a week ago in an article in Politico, and Perry therefore called for the elimination of that force, reducing the nuclear triad to bombers and submarines, both of which are less subject to the "use it or lose it" problem. Perry referred to the ICBM as "destabilizing" in that it invites an attack from another power. ICBMs

"aren’t necessary—they’re not needed. Any reasonable definition of deterrence will not require that third leg," Perry concluded.

Perry also criticized the program of the United States and NATO to install "Aegis-ashore" ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems in Romania and Poland, which triggered some of Putin’s nuclear saber rattling. "There is literally no justification for it. The reasons they give for it don’t stand up," he said of the BMD sites.

Perry also attributed the collapse of U.S.-Russian relations as much to the United States as to anything Russia did. It’s as much our fault as it is the fault of the Russians, at least originally. And it began when I was secretary, he said, reports Sputnik. He called NATO expansion in the 1990s, "the first move down the slippery slope." He said it was "stupid" for the United States to cut off military-to-military communications with Russia as a response to the 2014 Ukraine crisis. "That’s the time when you need your military-to-military relations most of all," he said.