William J. Perry
Emeritus Board Member
America is one “push of a button” away from nuclear war—a decision that rests solely in the hands of the President. Without waiting for approval from Congress or even the Secretary of Defense, the President can unleash America’s nuclear arsenal. Almost every governmental process is subject to institutional checks and balances. Why is potential nuclear annihilation the exception to the rule?
Join us for a book launch webinar with authors William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Tom Z. Collina, the Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund. NTI founder and Board Co-chair former Senator Sam Nunn will provide opening remarks, and Carol Giacomo, who retired recently after 12 years as a member of the New York Times editorial board, will moderate.
Join us on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2:00 to 3:00pm Eastern time
Order the book, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump, here and use discount code BUTTON30
For decades, glitches and slip-ups have threatened to trigger nuclear winter: misinformation, false alarms, unstable Presidents, and now cyber attacks. And a new nuclear arms race has begun, threatening us all. At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States each built up arsenals exceeding 30,000 nuclear weapons, armed and ready to destroy each other—despite the fact that just a few hundred are necessary to end life on earth.
From authors William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration and Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the Carter administration, and Tom Z. Collina, the Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation in Washington, DC, The Button recounts the terrifying history of nuclear launch authority, from the faulty 46-cent microchip that nearly caused World War III to President Trump’s tweet about his “much bigger & more powerful” button. Perry and Collina share their firsthand experience on the front lines of the nation’s nuclear history and provide illuminating interviews with former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Congressman Adam Smith, Nobel Peace Prize winner Beatrice Fihn, senior Obama administration officials, and many others.
Written in an accessible and authoritative voice, The Button reveals the shocking tales and sobering facts of nuclear executive authority throughout the atomic age, delivering a powerful condemnation against ever leaving explosive power this devastating under any one person’s thumb.
WILLIAM J. PERRY served as Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the Carter administration, and then as Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration, and has advised presidents all through the Obama administration. He oversaw the development of the strategic nuclear systems that are currently in our arsenal. His new “offset strategy” ushered in the age of stealth, smart weapons, GPS, and technologies that changed the face of modern warfare. His vision now, as founder of the William J. Perry Project, is a world free from nuclear weapons.
TOM Z. COLLINA is the Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation in Washington, DC. He has 30 years of nuclear weapons policy experience and has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was closely involved with successful efforts to end U.S. nuclear testing in 1992, extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995, ratify the New START Treaty in 2010, and enact the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Collina has published hundreds of articles, op-eds, and reports and appears frequently in major media.
Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund
Former member of the New York Times editorial board