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November 12, 2010

Hoover Fellows Shultz and Perry Lead, with Kissinger and Nunn, Nuclear Nonproliferation Discussion

Nuclear Tipping Point
Nuclear Tipping Point

In Nuclear Tipping Point, a film featuring Hoover distinguished fellow George P. Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former US secretaries of state; Hoover senior fellow William Perry, former US secretary of defense; and Sam Nunn, former US senator, the four men share the experiences that led them to write the now famous Wall Street Journal op-eds that describe their efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands, and ,ultimately to end them as a threat to the world.

In January 2007, Wall Street Journal published their op-ed titled “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons.” In it, the call for a drawdown on nuclear weapons by the well-known defense hawks—from different administrations and different political parties—invigorated their discussions. The op-ed, the first of three on the subject by the same authors, which also ran in the Wall Street Journal, followed a conference in October 2006 at the Hoover Institution marking the twentieth anniversary of the Reykjavik summit between US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.

At the 2006 conference, the participants deliberated on the continued threat of nuclear weapons, identifying it as a matter of vital importance. Presentations from the 2006 and 2007 conferences, Implications of the Reykjavik Summit on Its Twentieth Anniversary and Reykjavik Revisited: Steps toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, respectively, are available through the Hoover Institution Press. Other publications include A World without Nuclear Weapons: End State Issues and Toward a Diplomatic Action Plan on Nuclear Issues (both Hoover Institution Press).

The 2010 conference on November 11 and 12, cosponsored by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, brought together noted experts to address various aspects of deterrence. The conference also featured speeches by Kissinger and Admiral Michael “Mike” Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For Mullen’s complete remarks, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMpmh_-bwDM to view a video; for a transcript of the speech go to http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?id=1491.