The formula chosen to emphasize the disastrous nature of a general nuclear war was that of ‘assured destruction’. This term is now taken to refer to a nuclear strategy based purely and simply on a threat to destroy centres of population with no alternative nuclear options contemplated at all. It is also often taken as a creation of the mid-1960s, articulated by McNamara on the rebound from an unsuccessful attempt to promote a counter-force strategy. Having first expressed a desire to avoid city destruction, he now decided to concentrate American nuclear power on little else but cities.
KeywordsRadar Assure Decis
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- 3.Fred Iklé reports that in order to calculate the number of the enemy population that would be killed, a method known by the distasteful term ‘cookie cutter’ was used, in which nuclear weapons are assumed to ‘take out’ people in a neat circle, like a piece of dough, so that all are killed or injured within this circumference and none outside. Fred Iklé, Can Nuclear Deterrence Last Out the Century? (Santa Monica, Calif.: Arms Control and Foreign Policy Seminar, January 1973) pp. 13, 34.Google Scholar
- 5.Donald Brennan was most responsible for drawing attention to the acronym. Donald Brennan, ‘Symposium on the SALT agreements’. Survival, September/October 1972.Google Scholar
- 6.Warner Schilling has demonstrated how one can play with acronyms to make any point you care to make, e.g.: Capability of Firing First If Necessary = COFFIN. Warner Schilling et al., American Arms and a Changing Europe (New York: Columbia University Press, 1973), p. 44.Google Scholar
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- 13.Henry Rowen, ‘Formulating strategic doctrine’. Appendices to the Report of the Commission on the Organization of Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy, Vol. IV. Appendix K (Washington DC: GPO, 1975), p. 227.Google Scholar
- 14.See Robert Gilpin, American Scientists and Nuclear Weapons Policy (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1962).Google Scholar
- 15.Herbert York and Jerome Wiesner, ‘National security and the nuclear test ban’, Scientific American (October 1964). This article became caught up in a general debate over whether military technology had now reached a plateau or whether there were to be more quantum jumps, and from that whether or not enough money was being spent in the Department of Defense on new projects. For a denunciation of the York/Wiesner thesis as it affected the welfare of the defence industry see Hanson Baldwin, ‘Slow–down in the Pentagon’, Foreign Affairs (January 1965).Google Scholar
- 16.See Edward Randolph Jayne, The ABM Debate; Strategic Defense and National Security (MIT Center for International Studies, June 1969),Google Scholar
- Morton Halperin, The decision to deploy the ABM’, World Politics, xxv (October 1972) and Freedman, US Intelligence and the Soviet Strategic Threat, Chapter Seven.Google Scholar
- 17.Secretary of State, Robert S. McNamara, ‘The dynamics of nuclear strategy’. Department of State Bulletin, LVII (9 October 1967). Morton Halperin was the actual author of the speech.Google Scholar