INT: Was there a sense of fear, I suppose, at that time?
HA: Well, I don't know if it was fear. I think the only fear I ever experienced was the Pearl Harbor attack, strangely. Maybe I was at that age and just the idea that anyone would attack the United States - other than the British in 1812, 1815, when you had the audacity to burn down our... White House it was just unthinkable that anyone would attack the United States. We didn't attack anybody else, why would they attack us?
INT: And during the Cold War, was there ever a moment when you thought that that might happen again?
HA: Well, I thought that we had such a retaliatory capability that no sane individual would attack the United States. I just didn't see that happening. Clearly we were worried with the transport of missiles into Cuba, that being that close that could be a threat and in a way you could argue that Soviets were always very clever. They didn't put their own country at risk, so to speak, their own land mass, but clearly if something were coming out of Cuba to mess us up, we would retaliate against Cuba. Well, that's not retaliating against the Soviet Union, it's sort of using a surrogate land mass to carry out what you'd like to do. So I think I was always more worried so to speak of something coming from Cuba than from the United Kingdom and I think if the Soviets probably would have attacked the Western Europeans before they would have attacked, because just the difference in land mass distances.
INT: Did you ever think in your life time after Hiroshima and Nagasaki that you would see nuclear weapons used again?
HA: I didn't think so I once...
HA: I don't think I ever believed that we would see nuclear weapons used again, especially after they were not used in Korea. During the Korean War, which was in the early fifties some of us thought that they really should be used it was a very strange war from my idea of what war was, clearly a status quo war same thing in Vietnam, although much later. I don't know what one would have used them against. In Korea, there clearly could have been, in my opinion, some use of nuclear weapons. They were not used and then I felt they never would be used because I think one of the golden rules of nuclear weapons is you never use one against somebody that's got one. So, with that philosophy, I don't think I ever thought they would ever be used. But they were a necessity to keep sane people from doing something which was not rational. I once I remember on a news program advocated that every five years or every tens years, specially since there's not more atmospheric testing and world leaders, for the most part, are not technically oriented and no idea what the destructive power of nuclear weapons is, should actually be forced to witness an above-ground yield, test. And preferably in their underwear, so they could feel this heat and really rethat this was something that they should never order be used. But this suggestion's been quoted as coming from me, but no-one's ever taken it seriously.
INT: Why do you think they were not used in Korea?
HA: I have no idea why they were not used in . I know several military men that believed very strongly that there were targets that where use of such devices was warranted. At the time, China really didn't have a capability, so I just don't know why they weren't used. I think probably public reaction in this country. People seem to think it's all right to use a hatchet or a gun or a cannon or a plain old napalm bomb to burn up somebody, but don't kill 'em with nuclear weapons, that's a no-no and I don't understand it.
INT: Do you think the Cold War was necessary?
HA: I don't know if the Cold War was necessary. I don't know what the problem was, let's put it that way. I think clearly, taking the Russian standpoint they had been tramped on several times and clearly what they wanted were buffer states and they got them and it's not such a bad idea if you've been subjected to incursions of land forces, if you can have a buffer state, it gives you more time to ward off the potential aggressors. I was once (clears throat) at a Pugwash Conference in Poland. Now at that time - and I guess it's still true or it's not true any more, that when any of us with certain knowledge or expertise went to a Soviet country, we would get all these briefings of what to watch out for, the presumably beautiful blonde girls, the money exchangers, all the forms of entrapment. We spent a lot of time listening to this what might happen to us and how to be careful. Well, during one of these Pugwash meetings, talking about the idea of getting rid of... their idea was to de-nuclearize Europe, I said, well, you know, the simple way to get rid of weapons in Europe is the following. If the Russians - the Russians were there, it was always primarily with the Russians, with Poles and other Pugwash participants - I said, you know, if the Russians got out of Eastern Europe and the United States got out of Western Europe, then if the United States got out of Western Europe, there'd be no United States bombs there, because they would have to... the rule is they would have to maintain custody, and if they weren't there, you couldn't have the bombs there without their being there and you'd get them out. Well, they talked about this, it was interesting. The Russians weren't very happy about the idea, so I went to bed. About oh three o'clock in the morning, there's a knock on my door and we're in this is in a ski resort in the southern part of Poland, right next to the Czech border and I thought oh boy, this was going to be a blonde or money lender! Well, it turns out to be four young academicians, Poles, and they said they wanted to... could they come in? Well, I was sort of hesitant to open the door, but I said, OK, fine and I'm in this little room that's about the size of a train compartment, just with a bunk on one side and just room for people, four guys to stand there and they said did I consider the serious implications of my suggestion about the Russians getting out of Eastern Europe and the Americans getting out of Western Europe? And I said, no, what's the matter with that? They said, well if the Russians left and the Americans left, who would protect us from the Germans? And that is a certain realism to that and it may explain in part the Cold War. It's very real in these people's mind at least the Poles in particular, they were terribly over-run several times by the Germans. And this so-called, what we call the Cold War they may have been completely subjugated by the Russians, but at least they weren't being over-run by the Germans. It was a very, very strange experience, which I've never forgotten. The sincerity and the concern of these young men - they were in their late twenties, all students and political scientists.
INT: Very interesting. In some respects, do you think that it can be said there were good effects of the Cold War?
HA: I don't see any good effects ever happening from the Cold War. It clearly caused a great deal of problems in the Eastern Bloc, all the resources that went into the military build-up, which presumably could have gone into other endeavors, clearly you see this happening now with the movement of the Russian troops back to the Soviet Union into Russia with lack of housing, lack of this sort of infrastructure. Now part of it's just because of their system. The Russian people in general are very much excellent entrepreneurs, very good business people. You see it when they come to the United States at least, they're very good at developing business making money and that system they had over there really prevented them from doing that, with the state controlled economy. And I just hope that eventually depending on what happens in the June elections I hope that the opportunity still prevails for the Soviet Union people, the Russian people to develop market economies and really join the rest of the world.
INT: Final question..
INT: Final question, just as we talked earlier in the break, the reaction - again going back... right the way back to 1949 is that once the Soviets had detonated a bomb, there was a feeling, you were telling me, particularly amongst the military, that things should have been taken to control it.
HA: Well, one of the problems we had when the Russians detonated their first weapon, also knowing that they were going to be in a position to develop bombs, some people, not military strangely, but some of the technical people at Los Alamos said, you know, really the only solution to this is to bomb the Russians, nuclear bombs, whenever we could, once a month and just figure out where the targets are, where their industrial complex was that might be developing weapons, clearly we could determine where reactors were being built, that was not too difficult, or reactors running, and just bomb them once a week, once a month, whatever our bomb supply was and just keep them from doing this. You couldn't do it through any political action. Well, clearly this was an unacceptable solution and it was sort of crazy, but I do remember someone suggesting this particular way of resolving the potential problem for the future.
INT: Dr. Agnew, thank you very much indeed.
HA: You're welcome. All done?
INT: All done...
(End of tape)