NEW YORK, April 30. /TASS/. There is an urgent need for strategic engagement between the US and Russia on nuclear deterrence, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev said in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal.
"'Deterrence cannot protect the world from a nuclear blunder or nuclear terrorism,' George Schultz, William Perry and Sam Nunn recently wrote. 'Both become more likely when there is no sustained, meaningful dialogue between Washington and Moscow.' I agree with them about the urgent need for strategic engagement between the US and Russia," Gorbachev said.
"I am also convinced that nuclear deterrence, instead of protecting the world, is keeping it in constant jeopardy," he noted. "I recall my heated discussions of this issue with Margaret Thatcher. We argued about many things and often found common ground, but on this question she fought to the last. Nucelar weapons, she insisted, prevented World War III," he added.
"Yet nuclear weapons are like a rifle hanging on the wall in a play written and staged by a person unknown. We do not know the playwright's intent. Nuclear weapons could go off because of a technical failure, human error or computer error. The last alarms me the most," Gorbachev noted. "Computer systems are now used everywhere. And how many times have computers and electronics failed - in aviation, in industry, in various control systems?" he wondered.