PARIS, October 9 — RIA Novosti. The beginning of a nuclear war can be triggered by the human factor and malfunction of the missile warning System, said Monday on the sidelines of the anniversary International Luxembourg forum on preventing nuclear catastrophe, former U.S. Secretary of defense William Perry.
“In today’s world the danger of nuclear disaster increases dramatically. One of the reasons that can provoke a nuclear conflict is human error or a possible failure in the Systems of warning of missile attack, the United States and Russia,” he said.
According to Perry, in the years of the cold war there have been just three such incidents. He recalled what happened in 1979 in the United States and in 1982 in the USSR.
“In October of 1979, I called the General and said that there was a launch of 200 ICBMs, and immediately said it was most likely a mistake. We tested our computer systems — everything was normal. As it turned out, the operator mistakenly entered the training data identified as real. Only thanks to the then President managed to avoid a nuclear war, the decision took about 10 minutes,” said Perry. A similar case, according to him, occurred in the USSR in 1982, and then the disaster is also avoided.
Perry expressed “deep concern” about the existing state of relations between Russia and the United States. To a certain extent he blamed for the deterioration of these relations on Washington, Recalling that at one time he was against NATO expansion and deployment of the American missile defense system in Europe.
At the same time, he expressed concern over “Russia’s actions in the nuclear field”. “Russia is the only country that can harm USA. Have we forgotten costs of the arms race in the nuclear field?” he asked a rhetorical question to the audience. According to him, due to the decline in oil prices, “Russia will soon have to choose between guns and butter.”
Perry also named three new threats related to nuclear proliferation, which was not in the years of the cold war: nuclear terrorism, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan, nuclear conflict involving North Korea.