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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Richard Perle, 1987 [3]

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Richard Perle was an aide to U.S. senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson from 1969 to 1980 and assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1987. In the interview he discusses SALT II. He explains that Senator Jackson like the early Carter proposal for SALT II, and was disappointed when it was rejected completely by the Soviets. He explains Jackson’s reservations on the tactics of Cyrus Vance, Paul Warnke, and Marshall Shulman. He thinks that the American negotiators abandoned too much of their original position through the course of SALT II. He describes what he thinks are the best tactics for negotiating with the Soviet Union. He explains that Jackson did not think that the MX did enough to improve the vulnerability left open by SALT II, and so did not support like the Carter administration. He also describes Jackson’s views on Soviet expansion, and compares his views against Carter’s and those of the Committee on the Present Danger.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Carter's New World
Program Number



Interview with Richard Perle, 1987 [3]

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

President Carter comes to office determined to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and to improve relations with the Soviet Union. His frustrations are as grand as his intentions.

Carter had hoped the United States and the Soviet Union would reduce their reliance on nuclear weapons. He stopped production of the B-1 bomber. He believed the SALT II negotiations would be a step toward eliminating nuclear weapons. But his intentions were frustrated by Soviet actions and by a lack of consensus among his own advisors, including Chief SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke and national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (who was dubious about arms control). Carter balanced Soviet aggression in Africa by improving American relations with China. He withdrew SALT II treaty from Senate consideration but its terms continued to serve as general limits on strategic nuclear force levels for both the United States and the Soviet Union.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Committee on the Present Danger (U.S.)
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II
Nuclear arms control
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Nuclear weapons
Soviet Union
Shulman, Marshall Darrow
MX (Weapons system)
United States. Congress
Warnke, Paul C., 1920-2001
Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917-2002
Gromyko, Andrei Andreevich, 1909-1989
United States
Washington, DC
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Perle, Richard Norman, 1941- (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Richard Perle, 1987 [3],” 01/16/1987, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 27, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_23A9F1CCFF0A44DF8C8EB74728BEAB90.
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Richard Perle, 1987 [3].” 01/16/1987. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 27, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_23A9F1CCFF0A44DF8C8EB74728BEAB90>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Richard Perle, 1987 [3]. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_23A9F1CCFF0A44DF8C8EB74728BEAB90
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