William J. Perry

American mathematician and businessman, former Secretary of Defense

William James Perry (born October 11, 1927) is an American mathematician, engineer, and businessman who was the United States Secretary of Defense from February 3, 1994, to January 23, 1997, under President Bill Clinton.

We stand today, I believe, in greater danger of a nuclear catastrophe than we faced during the Cold War.

Quotes edit

  • Our first action that really set us off in a bad direction was when Nato started to expand, bringing in eastern European nations, some of them bordering Russia. At that time we were working closely with Russia and they were beginning to get used to the idea that Nato could be a friend rather than an enemy ... but they were very uncomfortable about having Nato right up on their border and they made a strong appeal for us not to go ahead with that.
  • We stand today, I believe, in greater danger of a nuclear catastrophe than we faced during the Cold War. And I can explain why I believe that, but the first point I want to make, though, is that hardly anybody understands that. And because we don’t understand it, our policies are not responsive to those dangers. During the Cold War, at least we had, we understood the danger and were taking action to try to deal with it; we had very serious arms control discussions, for example. Today, it’s so far in the background that people don’t understand it at all, particularly the new generation of people who didn’t live through the Cold War. But it’s a very dangerous situation today. And the headlines, which are about North Korea, just emphasize the danger; but the greater danger, really, is–the ultimate danger–is some sort of an exchange between the United States and Russia today. That would lead not just to a great catastrophe, it would basically lead to the end of civilization. So that’s what’s at stake here: ending our civilization, and the nuclear weapons have the power to do that.

About edit

  • In February William Perry let slip that if this reform falls through in Russia, then the West should be ready to strengthen its collective security. What's the connection? Since when can the defense secretary of the U.S. determine the type of economic reform Russia needs? And why are we being threatened with external pressure if Russia changes the direction and tempo of reform?

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: