War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Glen Martin, 1986 
Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.
General Glen T. Martin was Divisional Commander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) from 1955-1958, and Deputy Director of Air Force Plans at the Pentagon from 1958-1962. In this interview, he begins by describing NATO's "sword and shield" concept, then discusses details of the Air Force's bomber programs and strategic targeting policy. He defends the bomber force as an essential part of the triad, despite attempted restructuring by some in the Pentagon. He also explains how weapons procurement estimates are calculated. He describes changes in targeting policy, from counterforce, or prioritizing military targets, which he prefers, to urban targets, using the threat of destroying major cities as a deterrent.
- War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
- At the Brink
- Program Number
Interview with Glen Martin, 1986 
- Series Description
The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.
In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989
- Program Description
In October 1962, the Soviet Union and the United States are at the brink of nuclear war, the 13 most harrowing days in the nuclear age.
“I remember leaving the White House at the end of that Saturday and thinking that might well be the last sunset I ever saw,” recalls former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara of Black Saturday, the day the Cuban missile crisis pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war. Aleksandr Alexseev, Soviet ambassador to Cuba at the time, recalled, “We and the Cubans decided that, in order to avoid a United States invasion, we should supply Cuba with missiles.” The US effort to overthrow Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs was an expression of President Kennedy’s disbelief about the missiles in Cuba while it surprised Soviet leader Khrushchev according to his speechwriter,Feodor Burlatsky. Major General William Fairborne, speaks about how “We loaded whole blood and a hundred coffins onto the carrier Iwo Jima.” Looking back on those 13 days, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk reflects, “...we’ve got to find some way to inhabit this speck of dust in the universe at the same time.”
- Asset Type
- Media Type
- B-58 bomber
- United States. Air Force
- B-70 bomber
- United States
- Nuclear weapons
- United States. Air Force. Strategic Air Command
- Nuclear warfare
- Mutual assured destruction
- Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
- McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009
- War and Conflict
- Global Affairs
- Martin, Glen T., 1944- (Interviewee)
- Publication Information
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Glen Martin, 1986 ,” 04/21/1986, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed May 25, 2017, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0CC93814699740BF8C2326014AD56910.
- MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Glen Martin, 1986 .” 04/21/1986. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. May 25, 2017. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0CC93814699740BF8C2326014AD56910>.
- APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Glen Martin, 1986 . Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0CC93814699740BF8C2326014AD56910