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ALEXANDER RHODES: Hi there. I'm Alexander Rhodes, the Executive Director of the Long Now Foundation. Some of you who come to these know that we generally play a short movie that exemplifies long term thinking. And can we bring the lights up just a little bit? This one is a movie done by a Japanese artist named Isao Hashimoto. It was done in 2003 and it's called 1945 to 1998. And one thing I just wanted to do a quick poll in the audience. For those of you who have not seen this movie, I'm going to ask: How many of you think we've detonated less than a hundred atomic bombs since 1945? How may of you think we've detonated less than five hundred atomic bombs? How many of you think we've detonated less than a thousand atomic bombs? Okay and how about two thousand atomic bombs? Okay. Please roll the movie. Up in the top right are the months going by and the year. The bottom is the number of detonations. So you just saw Trinity, now the two bombs dropped on Japan and the flags you'll see come up as the different countries do their tests. Pacific AToll test by the U.S. Total number of detonations in the bottom right. Russia gets the bomb. Great Britain starts testing. Notice never in Great Britain. Australia and the United States. France gets the bomb. Also not testing in France. Africa and the Pacific A toll. Canada gets the bomb. We're now passing 1974. Notice we just passed the 2000 mark in number of detonations. Then the testing treaty was signed. STEWART BRAND: Good evening. I'm Stewart Brand from the Long Now Foundation. Well, you could say the glass is half full, only one thousandth of those was dropping on people to kill them so far. Most of the time we think about nuclear weapons or the nuclear age sort of in terms of what's going on at the moment: Terrorism now, Cold War then. And long-term thinking is the kind of thing Dick Rhodes brings to the subject because he's been on the beat of nuclear weapons since his book The Making of the Atomic Bomb. He's seen this kind of trend not just in terms of the explosions on the surface of the earth and underground explosions, but how it's actually playing out in the technology and the politics and the geo politics. Richard Rhodes. RICHARD RHODES: Thank you. One of the things that intrigues me about that sequence that we just saw is the extent to which those tests over the years were kind of a communication, very low grade communication back and forth between the United States and the Soviet Union. The other things that's intriguing and I think hopeful in a quantifiable hard data sort of way is that they slowed down and essentially stopped. The only tests that have been conducted in this century have been those tests in North Korea. It may well be that they're going to be the last of them, we'll see, or we may have a few outliers like Iran that need to express that particular national will, that particular reach for national prestige before they're prepared to go any further. What I'd like to talk with you about tonight is where we got to after the end of the Cold War. Where we are now and how we might move from here to some more stable state which might be the abolition of nuclear weapons, I think we'd all like that if it played out right or it might not be. It might be something else. One of the things that surprises me is how many Americans evidently think we got rid of our nuclear weapons at the end of the Cold War. At first that sounds ill-informed but on the more fundamental level it's really interesting that people would feel the connection between the nuclear arms race and the long Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and understand at some really quite profound level that with the end of that long conflict we don't need nuclear weapons any more. At the same, time the opposite response has been present in our government in particular. An effort to find some way to rationalize keeping all the weapons that we built during the Cold War or at least some large subset of those weapons, almost a process of looking for new enemies. Dick Chaney was Secretary of Defense in the years immediately after the Cold War under George H.W. Bush and he is as he's often said someone who believes that you should be ready for any possible future. For him there was a real effort in the early 90's to write the Defense Department document that would define a more dangerous world than I think most people here and abroad felt we had come to. And in particular there was an effort on the part of political conservatives to reframe China as the coming enemy with the potential for another Cold War with China. It's been quite a struggle in those years to pull away from that particular approach and to try to rethink everything because the obvious thing to do is to stay with whatever you have as if somehow the future isn't different from the present. I hear from any number of people in the nuclear weapons business that everything is nice and stable, let's stay where we are. But, of course, that's not the way the future works, certainly not the way we've seen history working. Let me read to you from a speech of George Kennan's back in the 80s, really quite a prescient look at where we came to by the end of the Cold War. You remember there was a general crowing on the part of our President, George H.W. Bush, that we'd won the Cold War and although some of his actions during his presidency were absolutely first class in terms of reducing nuclear armaments in pace with the former Soviet Union, taking all of our tactical nuclear weapons back to the United States and getting rid of all our tactical nukes that were ground launched in the process, clearing out all of our nuclear weapons in South Korea which was a real opening for North Korea to think about changing its stance. He felt the pressure, as I guess we're pretty familiar with today, of the Republican right to take a strong stance about all of this and to say we won the Cold War in the sort of classic Reaganist sense. Let me give you Kennan's view ten years before that time of what we have won and what we haven't won. He's been speaking about the development of the Cold War between the two super powers: "It is from these great mistakes," he writes, "that there has flowed as I see it the extreme militarization, not only of our thought but of our lives that has become the mark of this post war age. And this is a militarization that has had profound effects not just on our foreign policies but also on our own society. It has led to what I and many others has come to see as a serious distortion of our national economy. We have been obliged to habituate ourselves to the expenditure annually of a great portion of our national income for what are essentially negative and sterile purposes, the production of armaments, the export of armaments and the maintenance of a vast armed force establishment, purposes that add nothing to the real productive capacity of our economy and only deprive us every year of billions of dollars that might have otherwise gone into productive investment." To which I would just mention that today despite a really dramatic reduction in the number of nuclear weapons that we have deployed down as a result of this latest treaty to in a short time only about 1,200 weapons on the U. S. side and a comparable somewhat larger number on the Soviet side, Russian side. Yet those weapons are costing us upwards of fifty billion dollars a year simply to maintain. "This habit," Kennan goes on, "this habit of pouring so great a part of our gross national product year after year into sterile and socially negative forms of production has now risen to the status of what I have ventured to call a genuine national addiction. We could not now break ourselves of the habit without the most serious of withdrawal symptoms. Millions of people in addition to those other millions who are in uniform have become accustomed to deriving their livelihood from the military industrial complex. Thousands of firms have become dependent upon it not to mention labor unions and communities. It is the main source of our highly destabilizing budget deficit." He goes on. "And the problem is made worse by the unnecessary wastefulness of this entire exercise, by the inter-service rivalries that cause so much duplication of effort, by the double standard we apply to cost and results in relation to the military, economy and the civilian, by the lack of any coherent relationship between the criteria Congress applies to military expenditures and those it applies to non-military ones." To which I would just add, the double standard that he mentions, he's referring, of course, to the system that's used to build new weapons and acquire new armaments where the cost is basically paid for by the government with an additional profit on top where the system is triggered so that the weapon systems that are possibly to be built are kind of cut in up front so that by the time that it might be possible or should be necessary to eliminate them because they don't work well, it's too late. It only makes sense at that point to finish them. So let's look at what we paid for the Cold War. These are numbers that were developed by a group of scholars in the late 90s which I have updated to present dollars so that you understand their force. Carl Sagan in 1995 was talking about the cost of the Cold War and I think summed it up brilliantly in this one sentence: "In other words, everything in the United States except the land." The share of that total that was devoted to nuclear weapons and the infrastructure around them, 7.8 trillion, granted not nearly the whole, but considering that only two of these weapons have ever actually been used in the context of war, it's really quite amazing that we put so much trust in them and devised such an elaborate and philosophical structure around the notion that somehow a first strike and a second strike and this strike and that strike back and forth and around and so forth as if it were a bloodless business which, of course, it's not. Every year the American Society of Civil Engineers prepares a report card on America's infrastructure. This is the most recent of those report cards. It is marginally better than the one that I first looked at which was in 2003, but as you can see it's not-- I think it reflects very accurately my personal experience, probably your personal experience of the infrastructure we move through and live in: the holes in the roads; the crumbling schools; the bridges that fall down and so on. Two point two trillion of that 7.8 trillion and surely we could have done with a few fewer nuclear weapons than we built, the 20,000 that we built, in fact I think we were up closer to 40. The Russians in the course of their years built something like 95,000 because they were operating on that system where you're supposed to over produce every year compared to the previous year, 110% every year and nobody knew how to turn our the spigot. Furthermore the system in Soviet factories was that you always put some good pieces aside so that if you screwed up the next year you could slip those into the production and say I over fulfilled my quota comrade so the numbers were even worse in their case. But I ask you to think about how different this country would be had we spent this 2.2 trillion to maintain our social infrastructure rather than to build nuclear weapons that we never used and in truth would never have used. Every president starting with President Truman after the end of the Second World War said that clearly in private and sometimes in public that there was no political circumstance that he could imagine that would require the use of nuclear weapons. And the same was true in the Soviet side starting at least with Nikita Khrushchev who in his memoirs says something like "for the first three days after they gave me the briefing I couldn't sleep and then I realized that I would never use them and after that I slept." What were we doing? I think it's pretty clear that for political leaders once you make the decision that you're not going to use these things they become counters in a very complicated and elaborate political game. We know what the international game was like all those years, what has been discussed less and what I try to go into a bit in this new book of mine is how much of the nuclear arms race was for domestic consumption on both sides? On the Soviet side where there was constantly a sense that they were behind, that we were ahead, that somehow being ahead mattered where nuclear weapons in quantity are concerned. And on our side there was the constant drum beat back and forth between the two political parties and it wasn't always the Republicans who were playing the hawks and claiming the other side was weak on defense. Some of you will recall John Kennedy's famous missile gap which he created by refusing to get the briefing on what we actually had and where we actually were until after he was elected and inaugurated at which point, not surprisingly he discovered we didn't have one. We were, in fact, ahead. In fact, throughout the Cold War it would have been an impeachable offense for an American president to have allowed the Soviet Union to get ahead of us in any meaningful sense of the word. And we never did. But those who say that we spent the Soviet Union into bankruptcy forget about this. We spent ourselves into a kind of bankruptcy, too, although not one that we couldn't dig our way out of fairly easily. Now, as I said, many Americans think we got rid of our nuclear weapons at the end of the Cold War, expressing a common understanding that our nuclear weapons were there because we felt threatened by another large nuclear power. And, of course, we didn't. But it's also true that even a few nuclear weapons exploded in the right context would be a disaster not simply for the region where those weapons were exploded but also for the whole world. The threshold for world scale systemic environmental effects is much lower than we have been led to believe. The scientists who worked up the original nuclear winner model came back to it around 2006 or 2007. They were curious to see first of all if the new and improved weather and climate models that had been developed in response to the concern about global warming would give them a more nuanced and richer picture of the classic nuclear winner where you have a full scale exchange of nuclear weapons in large numbers between, let's say, the United States and Russia. They did that work and they found that if anything their model was the conditions the results were even worse than they had predicted before. But then they were interested at the question of: What about a small so called regional nuclear war? What if India and Pakistan which became nuclear powers at full scale in the 1990s after the end of the Cold War, what if India and Pakistan exchanged simply 150 each Hiroshima sized atomic bombs? The assumption in this model was that they would necessarily bomb each others cities, they wouldn't as we pretended to later on in the Cold War target everything on missile silos out in the middle of Montana or Kazakhstan. They would attack each others cities because their weapons would only basically be useful in that context. Those cities contain large volumes of flammable materials and, in fact, the main effect of nuclear weapons contrary to what you may have heard is fire. Most of the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki died of fire, not of radiation, not of blast. Those have fairly limited extents from ground zero, but when a fire ball with a temperature of 40 to a 100 million degrees is ignited in the sky over a city, it simultaneously ignites all the flammable material within a very large radius. I looked at a model that had to do with a 300 kiloton war head exploded over the Pentagon in Washington. If you only calculated blast it would basically destroy everything out to the Capital Building. Those of you who have been there have a sense of that distance. But if you count the effect of fire of the ignition of materials by the huge heat of the fire ball, everything all the way out to the ring roads around Washington would be destroyed, burned to ash, nothing organic left. So it's the fire storm that causes the real damage with nuclear weapons. And if you used even 50 on each side, 15 kiloton Hiroshima sized bombs-- this by the way shows you one such mass fire, this was Hiroshima that day. But this would show you what happens with that hypothetical India-Pakistan war. As I said, this was a model that was developed by the same scientists who developed the nuclear winner model and here they used the latest simulations of weather patterns around the world. So within a few months you have a world where, something like the world of 1816 when a large volcano in Sumatra spread a pall of ash and soot around the world. It was called the year without a summer. There were hard freezes in Pennsylvania in July. They found John James Audubon about whom I wrote a biography a few years ago commenting on the conditions that summer in the eastern part of the United States. So here we are and this is the result. Twenty million approximate deaths from blast fire and radiation, that's the immediate fire storm or mass fire. But then perhaps a billion people dead because their crops failed and they were living on the thin margin anyway. So all of us are still at risk; all of us are still responsible; all of us have reason to be worried about nuclear weapons in any countries hands including our own. And here are today's inventories. These numbers for Russia and the United States will go down in the next couple of years because of the new Stark Treaty. That 8,008 weapons, if you put them at let's say 100 kilotons each which is probably a pretty good average, that would be about eight megatons eight or eighty, somebody with better numbers than I, I think it's only eight though. Never the less the fire storms that I was showing you between India and Pakistan represented 1.5 megatons. We have nuclear weapons which have a larger yield than that. So the world is still very much one where we have a problem with nuclear weapons and where, as I'm sure you know, there is an increasing movement among national and international leaders including President Obama, a movement to some extent begun by the so-called four horsemen: Sam Nunn, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger, and George Shultz at Stanford. They were trying to think about how to commemorate the Reykjavik Summit when President Reagan and President Gorbachev came within a hare's breath of agreeing the elimination of all nuclear weapons in the world, but hung up on the fact that President Reagan felt he needed a physical rather than a political defense against the possibility of cheating and because I must say with Richard Pearl would spring over his shoulder like [Inaudible]. I've written the play about the Reykjavik Summit which has had some readings around the country. And I went back and re-read Othello and realized that all I had to do was borrow the character. Richard Pearl fit the mode perfectly, but be that as it may the fact is they did eliminate a whole class of nuclear weapons in Europe at the time and really began a process that I think has been bubbling along somewhat under the surface ever since. These retired American national leaders got together at Stanford on the 20th anniversary of Reykjavik and began saying "what do we do now?" They were particularly concerned about the possibility of a terrorist nuclear weapon. That's another place where things have changed. It used to be that countries built nuclear weapons, countries that were potentially at risk of retaliation if they attack another nuclear power or even a client of a nuclear power. With the end of the Cold War with the spread of nuclear technology it's theoretically now possible for a sub-national group-- assuming it can require the necessary quantities of highly enriched uranium or plutonium, but probably highly enriched uranium, because it's very hard to make a bomb out of plutonium, it takes a very sophisticated design and it's very fairly easy to make one with highly enriched uranium-- but if they could acquire such material then theoretically they could do the work of, rather simple work of putting together a weapon. And the effect, as many people have discussed, of even a small yielding, let's say one kiloton, 1000 tons of TNT equivalent weapon exploding in a major American city would be world scale, economically and in many other ways. I think we would probably arm ourselves to the T rather than sit down and say this is madness. Let's figure out a way out of this. I don't know. So there have been in the year since the end of the Cold War a number of efforts to figure out how we move on. One of the most interesting was the Canberra Commission that was called together by the Prime Minister of Australia in 1995-1996. An interesting group of international figures of various kinds, members of the Swedish Parliament, the man whose hands are spread here as Richard Butler who is a special Ambassador from Australia for arms control and the elimination of nuclear weapons, a very special position and he was the Chair of the Canberra Commission. What came out of the commission besides some very good ideas about how to move toward eliminating nuclear weapons was what Richard calls probably the most important single thing that the committee did and that was to define what he calls the Axiom of Proliferation. To Richard Butler this is the fundamental fact about the political realities today and in the future, that as long as any state has nuclear weapons others will seek to require them. When President Obama spoke in Prague in the spring of 2009 he made a statement that could qualify, probably deliberately qualifies, intentionally qualifies, as a corollary or a restatement, if you will, that was if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable. So pleasant as it would be to believe that nuclear weapons are off the table, then all we have to worry about now is North Korea and Iran only one of which actually has any nuclear weapons at this point. The fact is that so long as nuclear powers exist in the world, others are going to want to have weapons to protect themselves against those nuclear powers, indeed the reason the United States in 1940 and 1941 and 1942 decided to develop the atomic bomb in the first place if because we believed with some reason that Nazi Germany was working on a bomb and as one person said who worked on the bomb, the prospect of a third Reich ruling the world for a thousand years with a nuclear weapon was absolutely at horrid and untenable. Later, of course, we discovered that the Germans had taken a false turn and had not actually gotten very far at all in working on nuclear weapons, but we didn't know that when we began. One other thing that Butler, Richard Butler, says about his axiom that applies to President Obama's corollary is that as a fundamental legal and political right in international law for one nation to maintain a nuclear arsenal and demand that other nations either not develop such an arsenal or eliminate the ones that they have is simply beyond the pail. That means that in many ways that the United States and to a lesser degree the former Soviet Union, Russia are the worse offenders, not Iran, not North Korea, not Libya or Pakistan or India, we are. We maintain the largest arsenals in the world of nuclear weapons. We are, of course, the good guys. And, indeed, in the George W. Bush Administration for eight years the theory of nuclear weapons possession was, it's okay if the good guys have them. It's only wrong for the bad guys to have them which is why the George W. Bush Administration aided India in the development of its nuclear power capabilities knowing full well that that would add to the knowledge of the technology necessary to build and make more sophisticated India's arsenal. Against the idea that you need nuclear weapons to protect you against other countries, it's an idea that originated in Germany and West Germany in the 1970's under Billy Brandt and his advisor Agon Barr. They were looking at a way to solve the dilemma of a divided Germany and as they thought true this very difficult question they came to the understanding that it was only with the Soviet Union and not against the Soviet Union as Konrad Adenauer had been that they were going to achieve their goal. Out of that came the idea as it was expressed a few years later by a U.N. commission in 1982 of what they called common security. This is that statement that security can only now be achieved in common, no longer against each other but only with each other shall we be secure. What that meant to them in Europe at the time was that they signed a treaty with the Soviet Union that all the existing borders of the states of Europe would be official and accepted by all the parties which looked to the Russians as if Germany was agreeing to remain divided permanently. But, in fact, it was the beginning of that discussion and this idea was the beginning of the end of the Soviet occupation or domination of Eastern Europe. The Palma Commission, which was the U. N. Commission I mentioned and which issued a paper on the subject in 1982 called "Common Security", said this: "All states even the most powerful are dependent in the end upon the good sense of the strait of other nations." Everyone has a shared interest in survival and in the long run they added "no nation can base its security on the insecurity of others." These ideas, and I don't know the extent to which Billy Brandt and Agan Barr and others knew this, but these ideas go back originally to Niels Bohr, the Danish physicist who, when he learned of the American bomb program, thought his way through to the inevitable conclusions of the development of nuclear weapons. I will come back to him, let's see, I'll come back to him at the end and what he said, but I just want to make the point that Bohr saw that when you have an energy source that is essentially unlimited, that the whole basis for war which is that one side accumulates more destructive force than the other in the form traditionally of cannon shells and bombs and bullets and all the rest, that the other side finally capitulates rather than be destroyed. But if both sides have the capacity to tap the energy and the nucleus of atoms, millions of times more per gram of material than the chemical energy that had been used for centuries to make weapons of war, you've short circuited the whole process. So when Bohr found his way to-- in fact, let me skip forward to this. When Bohr found his way to President Roosevelt in 1944 hoping that what he had come to understand about this process and these developments would convince the world's three wartime leaders in the west, meaning Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, that rather than go through the incredible expense and danger of a nuclear arms race they should sit down at the outset and realize that no such race could ever be won, that the only possible outcome would be either stalemate or the risk of mutual suicide and essentially the destruction of the human world. Bohr tried to explain that to Roosevelt and Roosevelt was interested. He went to Churchill and Churchill threw him out of his office. Churchill's country was bankrupt by then and the notion, and for Churchill the only way he could see Britain to survive was if it acquired nuclear weapons itself and allied itself with the United States which was, of course, how things played out. But in the process the arms race that Bohr foresaw coming came and it was only, believe me, by the thinnest of margins that we made our way through the Cold War without a Cuban missile crisis erupting to the full extent that it might have erupted. There were other Cuban missile crises like near misses all the way through the Cold War. There was one, for example, in 1983 when President Reagan moved intermediate range nuclear missiles into Europe following the failure of negotiations to convince the Russians to remove theirs from Eastern Europe. And then we had a large NATO exercise that fall called "Able Archer" which was going to include a practice run up to nuclear war with the participation of national leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and the Soviets not surprisingly knowing that one way you start a war is to pretend you're having a war exercise and then go from there. That was the standard way the Soviets started wars. Thought that perhaps the United States was in the process of trying to set up a first strike against their country and it was only at the last minute when President Reagan got word of this development and sent word to Moscow, no that's not what we're doing and stood down the exercise that the Russians backed off a little bit and that crisis was over. I've talked to people who have reason to know in our government and told them that story or reminded them of that story and they've said "oh there were a lot more events like that than have ever come out." But short of that Bohr saw that nuclear weapons and the huge amounts of energy that were released in the process were going to short circuit war, that you simply couldn't fight wars anymore. And I think that's the real message of the last 60 years. The United States was prepared to lose a war with a small third world country, Vietnam, North Vietnam, rather than introduce nuclear weapons and risk a response from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was prepared to lose the war in Afghanistan under similar circumstances. The weapons were not deterrent, if by deterrent you mean something that is of use, they deterred it, what Washington now likes to call the existential level, meaning they threatened your very existence and therefore you were careful about when and where you might use them. But they never deterred in the process of negotiations. In fact, the North Vietnamese famously at the Paris Peace Talks told Henry Kissinger "We knew we could win because we knew you wouldn't use nuclear weapons on us and short of that we knew we could win." And they did. So let me go then to the question of how we might proceed toward a safer world with nuclear weapons under, at very least, reduced numbers and much greater control. These are steps which I indicate have to some degree in the earlier numbers actually already begun. Securing all nuclear materials, as I said earlier, you cannot make nuclear weapons without highly enriched uranium or plutonium 239. No one else has figured out any other materials that can do that job. Some of those materials in the former Soviet Union were dispersed among a lot of laboratories under a system that the Soviets called Guns, Guards, and Gulards. Basically the whole country was a prison camp and under those circumstances nobody could get out just as nobody could get in. So they really weren't worried about signing out some highly enriched uranium to a lab director somewhere in the vast Soviet Union who wanted to do some experimental work with it because they knew there was no place else it could go. When the walls came down, when the fences came down, when the borders opened suddenly the former Soviet Union found itself in the same situation we have been in, in this country since the beginning of the nuclear age and before which is open porous borders. So we had devised systems for keeping track of every last gram. Supposedly, we recall the plutonium factory in Boulder, Colorado which had a bunch of plutonium in the pipes but that's allowed for and understood as part of the process. In any case, we had a real time accounting system so whenever a piece of material was moved from one place to another or transformed chemically or whatever was done with it, it was accounted for in the record. We had systems that protected not only from attacks from the outside but also thefts from the inside which is something the Soviets had not protected for because, again, where would you go? If someone gave you a million dollars in the former Soviet Union what good would it be? We've been working with the former Soviet Union since 1990 in a process that has cost the United States a very, very well invested several billion dollars. It's been slower than it might have been because politics intervene. Most of the contractors were required by Congress to be American companies. You know how all of this goes. But the process has been ongoing and Sam Nunn, for one, estimates that about 60% of the former Soviet Union's nuclear materials are now under lock and key. Stage reductions, you know we've been doing that and that we're now down with the new Stark Treaty to relatively low number in the thousands, but as you saw from the India-Pakistan graph we really need to be down in the tens at most. It will take a while to get there and both the United States and Russia are now beginning to talk about the fact that other countries are going to have to come in, as well. France has perhaps 300 nuclear weapons, England about 240, Israel anywhere, the estimates are all over the place, but the best estimate is 8,200 and so forth. In the process, President Obama has proposed a four year program to secure all the world's nuclear materials within the next four years. That may be ambitious, I don't know, but it's at least under way and people are aware of it and it's the right first step. Then simultaneously as has been going on, reducing our nuclear arsenals at the same time, and this is farther along than you might guess, a worldwide technologically sophisticated, unconstrained inspection system. We have a lot of the system in place as a result of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty which has to be policed and therefore there are all sorts of sensors underwater and on satellites and elsewhere that keep track. We have an underwater sensing system that can track. In fact, this is the test of the system to be sure it works right. Fifty pounds of dynamite exploded as far as 1000 miles away so the chance of any country cheating on an agreement about eliminating nuclear weapons is really quite small by the time the whole system is instrumented to a far greater level even than the system we are already building. Nuclear weapon free zones have been one of the ways that a lot of the world has already cleared out any possibility of a nuclear weapon. I think most recently all of Africa put together a treaty that made it in its entirety a nuclear weapon free zone. Eventually you crowd them into the corners and then you have to deal with those corners. One of the nice things about the idea of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East is that it might allow Israel to eliminate its considerable nuclear arsenal without ever having to acknowledge that it has one. That's actually serious. But then we're left with the hard cases, the two hardest cases I really left out of this list. I think the hardest case is going to be the United States of America myself and I mean that with dead seriousness. I think we are going to have more trouble agreeing to eliminate our last nuclear weapon than any other country partly because we seem to be a country that easily falls into fear, partly because threat inflation and fear mongering is part and parcel of our domestic politics. It's going to be a long time, I think, before that last nuclear warhead is disassembled and thrown away. Nevertheless we know that these countries have particular problems with their security needs that are going to have to be addressed by the rest of the world. Butler, Richard Butler proposed the idea that there be a Security Council at the U.N. for nuclear matters that doesn't have a veto, which would mean that, of course, no one on the council could prevent a majority from acting. And then one that I never see anyone talk about but is, in fact, one of the reasons I think we are going to be a hard case. If the rest of the world and we eliminated all of our nuclear weapons we would be proportionally more powerful than we are now because we have such a huge conventional military and conventional weapon systems. Indeed, the reasons small countries like North Korea and Pakistan and others have gone nuclear in the past or tried to has been because of their fear of the United States' conventional force. If Saddam Hussein had indeed developed nuclear weapons, would we have invaded him on the ground twice as we did? I think it highly unlikely. So that has to be resolved and the United States has to be willing to discuss reducing the level of our conventional forces. There's a chapter in my book, actually two chapters, devoted to the first war with Iraq back in 1991. I was fascinated in thinking about it for this talk to realize that even though as it turns out we thought they had nuclear weapons, this is '91 now not later, we didn't think they had nuclear weapons. George Bush made that up because he didn't want to stop at the border after clearing them out of Iraq, I mean of Kuwait. He wanted to go on into Iraq and weaken its military but he needed a reason and his reason which was invented was that the Iraqis were working on nuclear weapons. We didn't know that at the time. After the war was over we discovered low and behold they were and it was a very interesting time. When inspectors under United Nations control from the International Atomic Energy Agency roved all over Iraq with considerable resistance from the Iraqis varying year by year and found what they had made, what they had hidden, what they were already blowing up out in the desert somewhere and blew up the building, sent all the uranium and materials out of the country and basically cleaned the place out. I mentioned that because at some point in time if a country like Iraq resists the world's demand that they eliminate their nuclear capabilities as part of a move toward complete elimination of nuclear weapons, that's the kind of inspection system that will have to be applied. And I think that speaks also to the question of what if someone cheats. I mentioned that to Richard Butler and he said, "Why the whole world would come down upon such a person," with a wonderful Australian accent I can't imitate. And he's right it wouldn't be a question if someone cheated and the neighbors around him let him get away with it. La, la, la. It would be the whole world would be concerned about any particular country that tried to steal a march on the rest of the world. To that point what we're really talking about when we talk about the elimination of nuclear weapons, given the facts that the knowledge is with us and will stay with us as long as we maintain that knowledge, we're really talking about delayed deterrence. If we decided today that we wanted to make the world a little safer, we could agree with Russia that both sides would take the war heads off their missiles and move them into the empty silo next door and that would mean that it would take about an hour to get the missile ready to launch. And you would have an hour instead of six minutes or fifteen minutes whatever the number is. If you wanted to go a step farther you could take off the war head and put it in a truck and take it 60 miles down the road and then it might take a day or two. You see where this goes. Ultimately if you eliminated the physical warheads, disburse the materials, whatever you need to do by agreement with your neighbor countries. There's always the possibility of reconstituting a nuclear arsenal and under those circumstances so long as that was secure it really doesn't matter whether the deterrent works in 30 minutes of three months as long as it's certain. As the Acheson-Lilienthal so called Baruch Plan Committee worked out all the way back in 1946 at the very beginning of all of this. Ultimately in a world where everyone has agreed not to build nuclear weapons, attempting to do so as Robert Oppenheimer explained to Bernard Baruch who said where's your army? How are you going to police this treaty? Oppenheimer said well if another country tried to cheat that would be an act of war and every other country in the world would essentially be technically then at war with that country and you might try diplomacy and you might try negotiation and you might try conventional war which would probably be sufficient, but if all else failed you could reconstitute your own nuclear arsenal on your own soil and in the end we would only be back to where we are now. That's why the notion that it's impossible to make this happen strikes me as so unrealistic. It's much more realistic to see how, indeed, it is possible. Within the context of the hardest kind of thinking of the defense department, what do we need to do to make this solid? Not of idealism or any of those qualities that people seem to think are somewhat less than real even though they drive the world. More recently-- I saw a paper just yesterday by a British scholar talking about the idea of a virtual nuclear arsenal. This is in a way sort of like what you would have on the way to zero, but the idea is simply that you get rid of most of your weapons, everybody does, and you have a few dismantled, stored away somewhere. And then if you need them you can put them back together and do threaten or do whatever you're going to do with them. So I don't even have to go into detail about that. It really was assumed within the context except, of course, it has a different end point. It says we're not going to get rid of nuclear weapons; we're going to keep a few in a disassembled state. This is basically, by the way, the way Pakistan and India maintain their nuclear arsenals. I talked with a Pakistani General in Monterey a couple of years ago who said, "well you know we don't have first strike capabilities on either side, both sides have disassembled war heads, pieces are kept in separate places, partly for security, partly because we don't see any reason to assemble them and have them ready except in the course of building up to a war." Well, that doesn't sound like the American theory but that's the way, in fact, India and Pakistan maintain their arsenals. So it's rather something like this. So, again, it's been tested in the real world. It isn't simply somebody's idea. I'm going to close out here because I know you would like to talk and raise some questions. This is Bohr and his comment to Roosevelt in its purest form. It seems so simple. I have spent 30 years thinking about this sentence and what it means and it means everything. It's about the fundamental change that came to the world when we learned how to release the incredible energies locked in the nucleus of the atom. That seemed like a table top invention, an experiment, a discovery. It has led to such enormous changes in human life and in human welfare. Immediately and since 1945 a vast reduction in the number of manmade deaths from war, from a height from 1943 and this has been an almost exponential climb since the 18th century as technology was applied to war to a height in 1943 of something like 25 million deaths that year. Dropping off abruptly in 1945 to about a million or a million and a half a year and staying there ever since because of this discovery, because science went about its work of discovering how the world really works rather than how we wish it would work. That's where we are and now we're kind of at a cross road and we have a lot of choices, interesting choices, choices that could lead to a very different world from the one we've lived in. Sometimes this need to make sure everyone's secure before you eliminate nuclear weapons. Looks to me like the idea that once we have world peace you could eliminate nuclear weapons, but, in fact, the two go together in a curious way. They ask each other the question of what we need to do to be secure as a nation and as a people, we and all the other nations and peoples. I think we're a long way down that road. I think we're left with very few areas and nations that are still so struggling to find some trivial phrase, comfort zone for themselves, but you know what I mean. We are struggling to find a place in the world and a way to express their genius and their talent to fill their needs without resorting to war and to violence. Thank You