Jeffrey LewisThe Two Perrys

Former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry owns nuclear issues this week.

The Congressionally-empaneled Strategic Posture Commission, which he chaired, has released it’s final report as has the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, which Perry co-chaired with Brent Scowcroft.

We will, no doubt, scour both reports with glee for inconsistencies.

My initial response is that the CFR report is the significantly stronger document of the two — score one for Charles Ferguson, the CFR Task Force Director.


  1. anon

    Does anyone find any bold suggestions in either of these reports? (besides lukewarmingly considering some kind of treaty addressing weapons in space in the USIP-sponsored study?)

    Any new ideas or directions?

    A lot of blah pro-status-quo fence-sitting from what I can tell so far…but I may be wrong.

  2. Sean Meyer (History)

    And let’s not forget the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament’s draft report which was released Tuesday. Perry serves on that commission as well.

  3. kgun (History)

    Perry is consistent with the CTBT, but the Commission is split on US ratification. According to Commission members, the nay-sayers in this group will populate the list of experts testifying before the Senate against the treaty come consideration time – Schlesinger, Foster, etc.

    There were a good deal of questions at the press conference about the lack of agreement on CTBT ratification. I liked a particular moment when D. Kimball pressed Schlesinger for documentary evidence that Russia held a different interpretation of the provisions of the treaty. Schlesinger replied that, “unfortunately, there is no extended exchange on that particular point.” He then moved on.

    Anyone have anything on intelligence indicating Russia and possibly China are “apparently” conducing low-yield testing?

  4. FSB

    The congressional report makes a big deal about ‘extended deterrence’ (nuclear umbrella) in protection of our allies as informing our strategic posture. But there is no reason that if Russia and US both went down to 30 nukes each that our allies would be afraid. Is there any documentary evidence that our allies want us to have a larger/“more reliable” stockpile than we would need for our own deterrence ends? Who has questioned the allies? What do they really think?

    The greybeards who worked on this (at least the hawks who held it hostage) are still locked in the Cold War mindset.

    Hello people, even Ronald Reagan was this close to abolishing nukes. I guess he was a peacenik.