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It was estimated that nearly a hundred million Russians would die. president cannot credibly threaten and should not launch a strategic nuclear strike if expected U. casualties are likely to involve 100 million or more American citizens.” Less than that, however, is appealing considering the victory to be achieved: The USSR, with its gross overcentralization of authority, epitomized by its vast bureaucracy in Moscow, should be highly vulnerable to such an attack. The only rational response was to actively promote your own nuclear deterrence so that the Americans wouldn’t feel so confident that they could wipe out your entire capacity.
While the official policy was that such an attack would only be used in response to a Russian surprise attack, the Nixon administration effectively eliminated the “no first use” doctrine. The Soviet Union might cease to function if its security agency, the KGB, were severely crippled. Once the defeat of the Soviet state is established as a war aim, defense professionals should attempt to identify an optimum targeting plan for the accomplishment of that goal. This is, incidentally, the exact same rationale that North Korea and Iran have today (considering what took place in Iraq, it would appear their concern is justified).
As Burr, along with Jeffery Kimball, reported upon the release of new documents at The National Security Archive: Nixon told Kissinger about his interest in using “a nuclear bomb” as an alternative to bombing North Vietnam’s dike system, which was also a step he strongly favored. Schlesinger, outlined his policy of limited nuclear options (LNOs) that was considered a “compromise between the optimists of the minimum deterrence school and the pessimists of the so-called war-fighting persuasion,” according to Colin Gray and Keith Payne writing in the establishment journal If American nuclear power is to support U. foreign policy objectives, the United States must possess the ability to wage nuclear war rationally. In fact, the United States maintained a decisive nuclear advantage for the first 33 years of the Cold War.
A nuclear attack against another target, he assumed, would cause fewer civilian casualties yet make a powerful “psychological” impact on Hanoi and the Soviets. Interestingly, it was only at Russia’s peak nuclear capability of 45,000 weapons in 1986 that Reagan began making serious overtures for peace.
Subsequent Russian strong men were far more concerned with domestic issues than international ones.
The historical record largely confirms these fears.
For example, in 1961 Lord Solly Zuckerman, chief scientific advisor to the British Ministry of Defense (also, interestingly enough, a pioneering primatologist), met with Robert S. SIOP-62, as the plan was known, called for sending in the full arsenal of the Strategic Air Command–2,258 missiles and bombers carrying a total of 3,423 nuclear weapons–against 1,077 “military and urban-industrial targets” throughout the “Sino-Soviet Bloc.” Kaysen reported that if the SIOP were executed, the attack would kill 54 percent of the USSR’s population and destroy 82 percent of its buildings.
For example, in a recent editorial in the The truth, of course, is that the Soviets ran a brutal, authoritarian regime.
The KGB killed their opponents or dragged them off to the Gulag.Russia repeatedly sought negotiations with the United States. (As a side note, it’s somewhat telling how free and open the United States is considering that Cheney was appointed to be Assistant Deputy Secretary of State while her father was Vice President, and that her husband was given the plush job of Acting Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice.No Soviet-style nepotism happening there, I’m sure.) Of course, the Soviet regime was nothing to celebrate.Declassified documents disclose for the first time the extraordinary characteristics of the SIOP and U. strategic planning as of the late 1960s and details on Nixon’s first SIOP briefing.