Secretary of Defense Admits Perfection is Required

Yesterday, in a speech to STRATCOM, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said: “Perfection must be the standard for our nuclear forces. … there is no room for error. … Americans trust you with their security, their families, and their future.” Unfortunately, saying that perfection is  required, does not mean perfection is achieved. After all, “to err is human.” So why are we relying on nuclear deterrence when just one mistake could destroy our homeland, and us along with it?

Martin Hellman

NOTE: My friend and colleague, Dr. Richard Duda, brought this speech to my attention.

About Nuclear Risk

I am a professor at Stanford University, best known for my invention of public key cryptography -- the technology that protects your credit card. But, for almost 30 years, my primary interest has been how fallible human beings can survive possessing nuclear weapons, where even one mistake could be catastrophic.
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