From MAD to Madness

From MAD to Madness

Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning : A Memoir

Paperback - 2017
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"This deathbed memoir by Dr. Paul H. Johnstone, former senior analyst in the Strategic Weapons Evaluation Group (WSEG) in the Pentagon and a co-author of The Pentagon Papers, provides an authoritative analysis of the implications of nuclear war that remain insurmountable today. Indeed, such research has been kept largely secret, with the intention "not to alarm the public" about what was being cooked up. This is the story of how U.S. strategic planners in the 1950s and 1960s worked their way to the conclusion that nuclear war was unthinkable. It drives home these key understandings: - That whichever way you look at it -- and this book shows the many ways analysts tried to skirt the problem -- nuclear war means mutual destruction - That Pentagon planners could accept the possibility of totally destroying another nation, while taking massive destructive losses ourselves, and still conclude that "we would prevail". - That the supposedly "scientific answers" provided to a wide range of unanswerable questions are of highly dubious standing. - That official spheres neglect anything near a comparable effort to understand the "enemy" point of view, rather than to annihilate him, or to use such understanding to make peace. Dr. Johnstone's memoirs of twenty years in the Pentagon tell that story succinctly, coolly and objectively. While remaining highly secret - so much so that Dr. Johnstone himself was denied access to what he had written - these studies had a major impact on official policy. They contributed to a shift from the notion that the United States could inflict "massive retaliation" on its Soviet enemy to recognition that a nuclear exchange would bring about Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). The alarming truth today is that these lessons seem to have been forgotten."--Provided by publisher.
Published: Atlanta, GA :, Clarity Press, Inc.,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780997287097
0997287098
Branch Call Number: 355.0217 JOH
Characteristics: 299 pages ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Johnstone, Diana 1934-- Author

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