The cold war may be over, but the nuclear threat remains. Now India and Pakistan want to join the club. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, how many nations should have nukes? How many warheads should they have? Or is it time to ban the bomb -- for the peace of everyone's mind?
Foreign policy analyst George Perkovich tells Steve Paulson that the Indian scientific community pressured the government to test nuclear weapons, and that whichever political party is not in power may goad the governments of India and Pakistan into continued nuclear escalation. Perkovich is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and director of the Secure World Program of the W. Alton Jones Foundation.SEGMENT 2:
John Mearsheimer is a professor of political science and co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. He tells Judith Strasser why, under certain circumstances, lots of nukes are safer than just a few nukes. His position is that the balance-of-terror policy of nuclear deterrence has been effective in keeping the peace. Also, writer Jonathan Schell explains to Judith Strasser that he's not persuaded by cold war rhetoric. He explains the various positions within the nuclear abolition movement and says now is the time for disarmament. Schell is the author of "The Fate of the Earth," and "The Gift of Time."SEGMENT 3:
Harvard University landscape historian John Stilgoe tells Jim Fleming that the interstate highway system was conceived as a weapon and is still part of the military's preparedness planning. Stilgoe makes his case in his book "Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places." Also, sociologist Valerie Kuletz talks with Jim Fleming about the devastating impact the U.S. nuclear program has had on the land the the native peoples of the Southwest. Kuletz grew up at China Lake - a Defense Department research and test site in the Mojave Desert. Her book is "The Tainted Desert: Environmental and Social Ruin in the American West."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-08-09-A.
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