US Nuclear Strategy: A Reader by Philip Bobbitt, Lawrence Freedman, Gregory F. Treverton

By Philip Bobbitt, Lawrence Freedman, Gregory F. Treverton

Setting the phrases for a good public debate on nuclear concerns, this offers essays and excerpts from longer works that experience charted the advance of yankee nuclear procedure. every one part ends with questions for examine and research with instructed extra reading.

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The first and crucial question about the atomic bomb thus was answered practically and conclusively; atomic energy had been mastered for military purposes and the overwhelming scale of its possibilities had been demonstrated. A detailed examination of the physical, economic, and morale effects of the atomic bombs occupied the attention of a major portion of the Survey's staff in Japan in order to arrive at a more precise definition of the present capabilities and limitations of this radically new weapon of destruction.

Now it would be different. As General Arnold, the Chief of the Air Staff insisted in November 1945: 'The influence of atomic energy on air power can be stated very simply. It has made air power all important. ' 1 Arnold's reasons are made clear in the piece reprinted in this section. His assessment of the extra destructive capability brough about by the atomic bomb was expressed in terms of dollars and may not seem that remarkable now: he suggested that atomic bombing was 'at the very least, six times more economical than conventional bombing'.

The experience of both the Pacific and European wars emphasizes the extent to which civilian and other forms of passive defense can reduce a country's vulnerability to air attack. Civilian injuries and fatalities can be reduced, by presently known techniques, to one-twentieth or less of the casualties which would be suffered were these techniques not employed. This does not involve moving everything underground, but does involve a progressive evacuation, dispersal, warning, air-raid shelter, and postraid emergency assistance program, the foundations for which can only be laid in peacetime.

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