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Perry: Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Higher than Ever

July 12, 2016 (EIRNS)—Former Secretary of Defense William Perry told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, in an interview published in English by Russia Beyond the Headlines, that the danger of a nuclear catastrophe is higher than it has ever been. He criticized NATO expansion, not because he opposed eastern European membership per se, but because he thought it shouldn’t have been done until Russian membership was ready to be considered. He called the offer by the George W. Bush administration to extend NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine "a significant mistake" on the part of the U.S.

"We do not have the logistical ability to defend Georgia, for example. NATO is not a social club, nor a fraternity. It should not offer membership to any nation where you can’t carry out the charter."

Perry called NATO’s ballistic missile defense system "a needless expense" that doesn’t actually threaten Russia’s nuclear deterrent, but warned that

"there is a danger that each side is taking actions that move us closer to a situation where we could blunder into some kind of military conflict."

When asked about the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, Perry said:

"I believe that the danger today of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War. Today we have the danger of nuclear terrorism that didn’t exist at that time. Another new danger is a nuclear regional war. Add the two possibilities that did exist in the Cold War: accidental nuclear war due to a false alarm, for example, or nuclear war due to miscalculation."

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