White House Hosts Screening of Nuclear Tipping Point;
Documentary Tackles Nuclear Dangers,
Features Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, and Nunn
Nuclear Tipping Point, a documentary film on today’s global nuclear dangers, will be screened tonight at the White House. The screening will be attended by the four featured in the documentary – former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former Senator Sam Nunn – as well as film narrator and actor Michael Douglas and General Colin Powell, who provides the film’s prologue.
The film includes remarks by President Obama and Republican Senator John McCain, including excerpts from President Obama’s landmark speech in Prague one year ago in which he said, “So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” The film also includes interviews with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
In Nuclear Tipping Point, Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, and Nunn share the personal experiences that led them to write three Wall Street Journal opinion-editorials describing their efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands and ultimately to end them as a threat to the world.
“If we want other nations to join us in a tough approach to nuclear terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons and materials, I believe that we must commit to the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and lead the world in taking concrete steps to reduce nuclear dangers,” said former Senator Sam Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. “That vision is essential to build the cooperation we need from countries around the globe to prevent a nuclear nightmare.”
The four’s efforts have reframed the global debate on nuclear issues and, according to the New York Times, have “sent waves through the global policy establishment.”
“We set out to create something that is not partisan at all and that is a subject of central importance for the United States and for mankind,” says former Secretary of State George Shultz in the film. “If terrorists get their hands on nuclear weapons or materials, and you don’t even know their return address, we will be faced with a very dangerous moment. If you think of the people who are committing suicide attacks and people like that get a nuclear weapon, they are almost by definition not deterrable.”
“Over the long term, we need to be heading towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. And over the short term we need to be taking the steps to reduce the danger that nuclear weapons...could be used,” says former Secretary William Perry in the film.
“This is such an important problem in my mind, that it dwarfs all other considerations, and I have, myself, decided to devote the balance of my career to working to achieve that goal.”
“If the existing nuclear countries cannot develop some restraints among themselves, in other words, if nothing fundamental changes, then I would expect the use of nuclear weapons in some 10-year period is very possible,” says former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the film.
“Once nuclear weapons are used, we will be driven to take global measures to prevent it. Why don’t we do it now?”
Nuclear Tipping Point was written and directed by Ben Goddard and was produced by the Nuclear Security Project to raise awareness about nuclear threats and to help build support for the urgent actions needed to reduce nuclear dangers. The Project is coordinated by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), in cooperation with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
NTI is a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and is co-chaired by philanthropist Ted Turner and Senator Nunn. The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University, is a public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics and political economy – both domestic and foreign – as well as international affairs.
Funding for activities related to the film were provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. Anderson, Phineas Anderson, and Stephen Stranahan.
DVDs of the film can be requested -- free of charge -- at www.nucleartippingpoint.org. The website also has a trailer of the film and additional information on steps citizens can take now to reduce nuclear dangers.