Former Secretary of Defense Dr. William J. Perry and Stanford University are asking the U.S. to wake up about nuclear arms.
They’re offering a free online course, Living at the Nuclear Brink: Yesterday and Today, designed to educate Americans about the risk of nuclear weapons and motivate at least a small measure of concern — which many U.S. residents don’t seem to have.
The latest generation wasn’t directly exposed to the Cold War, so people (understandably) have an extremely relaxed attitude when it comes to the nuclear threat. In fact, few people so much as batted an eye when President-elect Donald Trump wrote on Twitter, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
Experts are worried. (Besides, the U.S. now has about 7,100 nuclear warheads; that’s just 200 shy of what Russia has.)
Perry was recently inducted into the California Hall of Fame for his lifetime of public service, and he knows weapons and warfare better than anyone else does. He is calling for the United States to reduce the nuclear weapons program… and eventually, disarm completely.
In a collaborative report, 10 Big Nuclear Ideas for the Next President, Perry writes, “I do not believe that a nuclear war would be started deliberately by either Russia or the United States, but it is all too conceivable that a nuclear war could be started accidentally or through miscalculation.”
The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offerings at Stanford University are as follows:
- What are Nuclear Weapons and Why Were They Developed?
- Nuclear Protection in the United States and Around the World
- Under a Nuclear Cloud: Early Cold Wars
- Fear and Loathing and Relief: Later Cold War
- A Lack of Intelligence
- Dilemmas of Nuclear Policy
- New Nuclear Dangers: Nuclear Terrorism
- New Nuclear Dangers: South Asia and Proliferation
- What Has Been Done, and Can Be Done, about nuclear dangers.
- What Next?
You may sign up for just one class or complete the course in its entirety. This course is self-paced, and you will receive a statement of accomplishment upon full completion.
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