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Strategy for an Atomic Stalemate

  • Lawrence Freedman
Part of the Studies in International Security book series (SIS)

Abstract

The Soviet Union broke the United States atomic monopoly with a test in August 1949. A number of years would have to pass before this would turn into an atomic stockpile, but the eventual Soviet accumulation of such a stockpile was virtually inevitable. This development had a paradoxical effect. While it discouraged doctrines based upon atomic weapons as a uniquely American advantage, it also locked the United States into a nuclear strategy.

Keywords

Europe Uranium Explosive Military Position Deuterium 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    This could be the only explanation for the mid–1953 report of an advisory committee (written before the introduction of the TU–16) of a plausible current threat of 100 atomic bombs being accurately delivered on the US, sufficient to destroy up to one-third of America’s industrial potential, with up to 13 million casualties. Charles Murphy, ‘The US as a bombing target’. Fortune (November 1953), p. 119.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    GAC Report of October 30 1949, reprinted in Herbert York, ‘The Advisors: Oppenheimer, Teller and the Superbomb (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1976). See alsoGoogle Scholar
  3. Warner R. Schilling The H-Bomb decision: how to decide without actually choosing’. Political Science Quarterly LXXVI (March 1961).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Samuel F. Wells Jr, ‘Sounding the Tocsin: NSC-68 and the Soviet Threat’, International Security, IV:2 (Fall 1979), pp. 120–1.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1969), p. 349.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Viner, The implications of the atomic bomb’, op. cit., p. 53.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Omar Bradley, ‘This Way Lies Peace’, Saturday Evening Post (15 October 1949).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    A Report to the National Security Council by the Executive Secretary on United States Objectives and Programs for National Security, NSC-68 (14 April 1950). It is reprinted in Etzold and Gaddis, op. cit.Google Scholar
  9. See Paul Hammond ‘NSC-68: Prologue to Rearmament’, in Warner Schilling, Paul Hammond and Glenn Snyder, Strategy, Politics and Defense Budgets (New York: Columbia University Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    See Bernard Brodie, Strategy in the Missile Age (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959), pp. 319–20.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Robert Osgood, NATO: The Entangling Alliance (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Institute for Strategic Studies 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Freedman

There are no affiliations available

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