Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.”
-John F. Kennedy (JFK)
In an address before the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 25, 1961
I just wanted to bring to readers’ attention a recent “Forum” held at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government concerning the documentary “Countdown to Zero.” A video of the entire event can be found here: http://www.iop.harvard.edu/Multimedia-Center/All-Videos/Future-of-Nuclear-Weapons-Countdown-to-Zero
“Countdown to Zero” is a movie that supports the efforts to eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons. It categorizes nuclear threats into three categories: terrorism, accidents, and miscalculation. I personally found it engaging and interesting, but would certainly recommend that you come to you own conclusions.
This event in particular is interesting because they do not merely recap what is mentioned in the film. Instead the participants (moderated by Belfer Center Director Graham Allison and including Matthew Bunn, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, and Valerie Plame), all of whom have some screen time in the documentary, provide their personal opinions about not only the topics raised in the movie but those regarding current nuclear-related subjects such as New START, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, etc.
If you follow nuclear terrorism and proliferation topics closely, you will recongize the instances where the panel members identify points of disagreement. While it may be surprising to nuclear terrorism skeptics, even “true believers” disagree in their personal analysis about specific topics under the larger rubric of nuclear issues.
Also, and this might be just personal opinion, but my favorite part of these Forums (which are held regularly at the Kennedy School) is that no matter the topic or speaker, the invited guest must take questions from the audience. And these are never staged–you reach the microphones first, you get to ask whatever question you wish.
So for nuclear terrorism skeptics in the audience, get ye self to a related Harvard Kennedy School Forum and get to a microphone early. You will have your concerns addressed, even if you do not like the answer.
For those interested in learning more about the Zero effort, obtaining a copy of the movie, or contributing to the cause can visit: http://www.takepart.com/countdowntozero