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Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz ’49 introduced his documentary Nuclear Tipping Point in E51 last Friday.
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George Shultz spoke Friday, advocating nuclear disarmament

Friday afternoon in E51, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz PhD ’49 spoke and screened a film advocating nuclear disarmament, Nuclear Tipping Point, which he was actively engaged in the creation of.

President Hockfied introduced Shultz, spoke about his time as a marine when the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, giving general remarks before the screening began.

The film is centered on four of America’s elder statesmen: Shultz, Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, and also a former Secretary of Treasury and former Secretary of Labor; William Perry, former Secretary of Defense; Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State under; and Sam Nunn, former Senator.

The four together have formed the Nuclear Security Project, a renewed effort to dramatically reduce the world’s nuclear arsenals, recognizing that the threat of nuclear terrorism by rogue actors is a much more severe threat today than is a nuclear conflict between great powers. The project began with an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal in January, 2007.

At the forum, the concrete step Shultz appealed for was the ratification of the new START Treaty (STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which has been waiting for the United States Senate to ratify it. The new START treaty reduces the deployed nuclear warheads from 2,200 to 1,500 in each of Russia and the U.S.

Shultz took questions for half an hour after the film. He encouraged engagement with Russia on elimination of battlefield nuclear weapons, because of their ease of theft.

“Time is not on our side,” Shultz said, referring to the dangers of nuclear terrorism.

The forum was sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative and the Center for International Studies. See http://nuclearsecurityproject.org for more details.

— John A. Hawkinson