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Fmr. Def. Sec. William Cohen talks Russia, China and Asteroids

In his new book, Final Strike, Former Defense Secretary William Cohen writes about what would happen if an asteroid threatened mankind.

by Matt Holt and Mary Frances McGowan /
Senate Armed Services Committee Considers James Mattis To Be Defense Secretary
General James Mattis, secretary of defense nominee for President-elect Donald Trump, left, listens as William Cohen, chief executive officer of Cohen Group and former U.S. secretary of defense, speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesAndrtew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Whether it’s Black Mirror or Armageddon, dystopia and depicting the end of days continues to capture the imagination of writers and creatives.

Chuck Todd sat down with William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton and author of “Final Strike” for the latest episode of 1947: The Meet The Press Podcast.

An asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, and “Final Strike” is about the world’s race to save themselves.

When asked about how that scenario would play out in the real world, Cohen has no doubt that the world would come together facing a crisis that could eliminate mankind.

“Think about what happened in Houston this past year, think about Puerto Rico. You see disaster strike and political ideologies fall the wayside. And so when you have a catastrophe, everybody puts aside biases, prejudices, ideologies and say we’ve got to survive together.” Cohen said.

“If you had this kind of a calamity facing the planet,” Cohen continued, “would we and could we work together? I think the answer yes.”

Cohen decided to write novels because they would give him more freedom to write what he wanted.

“Oscar Wilde said give a man a mask and he’ll tell the truth,” Cohen said, “This gives me the freedom to say things I wouldn’t otherwise say.”

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