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Re: Every incident is an opportunity

  • From: Steven M. Bellovin
  • Date: Mon Feb 12 16:24:12 2007

On Mon, 12 Feb 2007 15:05:45 -0500
Barry Shein <[email protected]> wrote:

> In the late 60s I remember having an interesting conversation with
> someone who did this kind of strategizing for the Dept of Civil
> Defense.
> His scenarios were markedly diferent from the "urban folklore" you'd
> hear from people about what the Russkies were likely to nuke, other
> than everyone agreed they'd try to get the silos and a few other key
> military assets to try to prevent retaliation.
Targeting strategy changed over time, because of changes in technology,
quantity of bombs available, accuracy, perceived threats, and internal
politics.  For a good history of US nuclear targeting strategy, see
"The Wizards of Armageddon", Fred Kaplan, 1983.  The short answer,
though, is that it changed markedly over time.  To give just one
example, at one time the US targeted cities, with very big bombs,
because the missiles of the day couldn't reliably hit anything
smaller.  Since that's what was possible, a strategic rationale evolved
to make that seem sensible.  

		--Steve Bellovin,