Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.
|This political figure article is a stub. You can help Wikiquote by expanding it.|
- 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.
- "Former Defense Secretary Warns Civilization Is at Risk," interview by Robert Scheer, August 9, 2017