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Nightmarish details of what the US planned to do as a first strike, in the event of nuclear escalation in the cold war. Mutual assured destruction is the only valid term, IMO.

Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 12:11:50 +1000
From: Justin Mason (spam-protected)
To: (spam-protected)
Subject: US nuclear attack plans of the cold war (fwd)

— Jay Lake forwarded:

> In 1955, Gen. Curtis LeMay, the head of SAC, told the Joint Chiefs his
> nuclear attack plans for the first time: “The plan called for the
> instantaneous destruction of 645 military targets, 118 cities and sixty
> million people in the Soviet Union.” Note that since 1957 at the
> *latest*, and contrary to public statements by Presidents of the time
> and since, the commander of SAC has had the ability to initiate a
> nuclear attack, without orders from the President.

> “[….] In 1958, the military sought and received more classified funds
> to build more nuclear reactors, to make more plutonium, to triple the
> number of warheads within a year.” When Eisenhower learned of this in
> 1959, he summed up the military’s position this way: “They are trying to
> get themselves in an incredible position–of having enough to destroy
> every conceivable target in the world, plus a threefold reserve.”
> It wasn’t until late November 1960 that the then head of SAC, General
> Power, showed the President it’s plans for nuclear war. “The plan began
> World War III with a devastating first strike. Three thousand two
> hundred and sixty-seven nuclear warheads annihilated the Soviet Union,
> China and Eastern Europe in a single blinding blow. And the first strike
> was just that: the beginning. SAC planned to follow this apocalyptic
> spasm with thousands and thousands more bombs, everything we had on
> hand. Ten nations would be obliterated. Five hundred million people
> would die.
> “The plan accurately reflected General Power’s thinking. “The whole
> idea is to *kill* the bastards!” Power said in December 1960. “At the
> end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian, we win!””

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