A Few Words With Dr. Edward Teller – Father Of The H-Bomb – 1963 – Past Daily Reference Room
Dr. Edward Teller – Father of the H-Bomb, being interview during this episode of the NBC series Meet The Press on his resistance to the Nuclear de-armament Treaty, then in discussion between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
Teller was a strong advocate for maintaining a competitive edge over the Soviet union, and was opposed to the Test-Ban treaty, urging members of the House and Senate to reject the bill and all its implications.
His reason was based on evidence that the Soviet Union had in fact done several atmospheric nuclear tests as well as having developed a system of anti-missiles, which the U.S. was falling behind at the time. Although he felt such a system was, at best unreliable, he felt it was incumbent to the U.S. to develop an anti-missile-missile as a deterrent. But that a test-ban treaty would prevent that from happening.
Critics accused Teller of being single-minded, of not taking into the consideration the bigger picture – of the overwhelming destructive power the Hydrogen Bomb had, and that implementing some sort of Test-Ban was the only way of ensuring peace.
However, as Teller points out in this Meet The Press interview, he wasn’t opposed to the treaty out of single mindedness, nor did he want big explosives, but because he had learned that the U.S. must have comprehensive defense, and because of that, there needed to be atmospheric testing. He also went to say there was a good chance that such a treaty could damage and in fact very possibly destroy the NATO alliance because the language of that treaty would make it even hard for the NATO allies to support each other out of common defense.
In light of the current state of affairs with North Korea, getting an idea of what we were facing during the Cold War gives some clue as to how complicated the issue of Nuclear arms is.
Here is that complete interview with Dr. Edward Teller as it was broadcast on Meet The Press, September 1, 1963.
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