THE FIRST ANGRY BOMB
“Nothing stands between Europe today and complete subjugation to Communist tyranny but the atomic bomb in American possession.”—Winston Churchill, 9 October 1948
People are inclined to forget the psychological impact of President Truman’s announcement to the world that the United States had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima with a “destructive capacity of 20,000 tons of TNT.” Overnight the world was made to realize that a far-reaching scientific breakthrough had been achieved and that the United States possessed a power of destruction more devastating than any other in the realm of history. From the very beginning it was openly accepted that this atomic weapon capability would become an outstanding element of our national strength.
Credence was the essence of this psychological impact. For had the President merely announced the possession of the atomic bomb without demonstrating its frightful capacity for destruction, it is extremely doubtful whether the war with Japan would have reached the early denouement and rapid conclusion that were achieved. This is not to say that no one would have believed that such a weapon did, in fact, exist. The disbelief would have centered on the will of the United States to use it. It was the psychological force of this “will” that precipitated the Japanese surrender—not the 70,000 casualties suffered. The point of strategic defeat had already been reached when our sea power cut the lifelines to Japan and brought air supremacy within easy reach of her vitals. Japan put out peace feelers two months before her surrender but was still prepared to sacrifice thousands, if necessary, in attempting to repel an invasion of the home islands. The atomic bomb resolved the issue.
There is a truism that power, until it is used, is what people think it is. Our atomic weapons capability coupled with our demonstrated will to use it has been the key psychological strength that has prevented the Soviets from overrunning all of Europe. At least, this was the view of Churchill and of our allies. It was quite probably the view of the Soviets and undoubtedly accounted for their extraordinary efforts to become a nuclear power also. These efforts were extraordinary in that Russia confounded our experts by developing and testing an atomic weapon literally years before the most pessimistic forecast.
With the approach of nuclear parity between the Soviets and the United States, the psychological effects of these weapons are undergoing a complex change. Human attitudes which shape our will to use or not to use these weapons have been subjected to various pressure influences, and propaganda. The human psyche has not been able to keep pace with technological advances. Wide disagreement exists as to how to incorporate nuclear weapons into our national strategy. These have had a general effect of heightening apprehension among our allies and of weakening our posture with respect to the enemy.
MASSIVE RETALIATION—PSYCHOLOGICAL CASE HISTORY
“Nothing would be more dangerous than to give the impression to a potential aggressor that we would not use them [atomic bombs] in the event of aggression.”— Sir John Slessor (Strategy for the West)
Foremost among the factors which may have influenced these human attitudes is our failure, in the opinion of some experts, to translate this nuclear capability into a strategy for political goals. We have, according to Kissinger, merely added the atomic weapon “to our arsenal without integrating its implications into our thinking.” While we possess the capability of deterring and of retaliating against overt aggression, we have not found intermediate applications for the new weapons for furthering our national policy. A case in point is Korea. The most agonizing rationalizing was undertaken to bridge the gap between our military doctrine and the political decision which restrained us from using our new weapons. They ranged from expressed fear that the conflict would step up the ladder to an all-out war, to statements that atomic weapons were “inapplicable,” to the final esoteric conclusion that it was the “wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy.” When, on 30 November 1950, President Truman indicated that the use of the atomic bomb was under active consideration, it created a public furor in England and France and, within four days, precipitated the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, to our shores to restrain our seeming impetuosity. The psychological strength of our nuclear weapons capability was hardly improved by the circumstances.
It was against this background of a weakened psychological stance that we announced our policy of “massive retaliation,” to retaliate against local aggression “instantly by means and at places of our choosing.” This policy might well have met with more success had it been announced several years earlier, before Korea. We had just undergone a disastrous cutback in our land and naval forces during the suzerainty of Louis Johnson. Just about all that remained was the monopoly of the atomic weapon and the Strategic Air Command. Furthermore, at that time our psychological position, fostered by the belief in our will to use these weapons, was still strong throughout the world. To have announced this policy of massive retaliation, and at the same time to have clearly indicated that our national interests were closely tied to South Korea, might well have prevented the aggression of the North Koreans. But this is speculation. The fact was that in 1954, at the time it was announced, credence in our will to use the new weapon had altered somewhat. Massive retaliation, in the opinion of many people, had become a bluff.
It is unfortunate that the phrase “massive retaliation” was interpreted by large masses of the world to mean repelling aggression instantly with atomic weapons. Mr. Dulles took pains to correct this impression and to point out that our policy was based on the concept of creating “power on a community basis and the use of that power so as to deter aggression by making it costly to an aggressor.” He specifically emphasized the role of local defense and was alert to the danger of being placed “in a position where the only response open ... is general war.” Whatever the interpretation of this policy, there is no denial that the psychological impact was measured on the determination of the U. S. Government to use the atomic weapons. Considering massive retaliation in this light, its success can only be gauged by knowing the strategic plans and thinking of the Soviets and the Communist Chinese. If any success can be attributed to this doctrine, it is certainly due to the psychological credence given to it by the Soviets.
“It [the United States] is giving the impression that its policy is to let the atomic dust settle.”—James Reston, 2 June 1957
One factor which degrades the psychological credibility of our nuclear weapons capability is the success of the Soviets in swaying world opinion to their view on banning the use of those weapons. The two principal arguments are so psychologically appealing that literally thousands in Europe and Asia have accepted them without perceiving the undermining danger which accompanies them. First there is the argument that testing the weapons endangers mankind and future generations with damaging radioactive fall-out. Therefore, testing should be banned. Second, it is argued that use of these devastating weapons in time of war would endanger civilization and all of mankind. Therefore, total prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons are called for.
Naive acceptance of these arguments by certain intellectuals, publicists, and church representatives has given these views greater credence to the general public. When Albert Schweitzer lent his world prestige to support arguments against testing and use of these nuclear weapons, the psychological strength we enjoyed as a nuclear power was given a further blow.
The United States has consistently made more positive suggestions for control of nuclear energy than has Russia. The Baruch Plan, “atoms for peace,” and “open skies” have made their psychological impact on the world. Yet the net result has only met with a fraction of the success of the Soviets’ propaganda line. The Soviets by their “peace offensives” have succeeded in presenting themselves as generous and humanitarian in wanting to do away with these terrible weapons. The United States on the other hand has been portrayed as reckless and belligerent, completely indifferent to the radiation effects on generations of the world’s people. While we concentrate on the scientific and technological aspects of effecting a complex control, the Soviets hammer out their propaganda for easily understood and admittedly moral and ethical objectives. This line makes a direct appeal to man’s natural longing to be safe from the nuclear menace.
It would be erroneous to credit the Soviets with the entire success of the campaign against our nuclear policies. The feelings of many Japanese, for example, stem from their more direct experience with the atom bomb during the war and with the H-bomb during the Bikini tests.
Japanese reaction to the dusting of their Fortunate Dragon with radioactive fall-out was loud. American Press treatment of the episode as a “leak of secrets” and as a technical and medical problem only served to fan the emotional flame. There was a lack of congruence between American reactions and Japanese reactions. The Japanese charged that we were cruel and inhuman, and Professor Tetsuzo Tanikawa concluded that our attitude indicated “a subconscious contempt for colored people.”
This last point was naturally exploited by the Communists who reminded the peoples of Asia, especially in India, that the United States dropped the first bomb on the “colored people” of Japan rather than on the “white people” of Germany. Chou En-lai, at the Bandung Conference, told the delegates that “the peoples of Asia shall never forget that the first atomic bomb exploded on Asian soil and that the first man to die from experimental explosion of a hydrogen bomb was an Asian.” The fact that the bomb was not successfully developed until after the surrender of Germany was completely disregarded.
Widespread support among European and Asian people to the Soviet thrust for banning the testing and use of nuclear weapons has, in fact, hit us at our weakest psychological point—at the dichotomy of our nuclear military strategy and the traditionally moral and ethical standards of our foreign policy. We cannot agree to such arguments, however moral and ethical they appear, without leaving Western Europe and our allies in other parts of the world at the mercy of the large land armies of the U.S.S.R. and Red China.
OUR ALLIES AND RUSSIA
“Some day science may have the existence of mankind in its power and the human race commit suicide by blowing up the world.”—Henry Adams, 1862
Our psychological stance is admittedly strong and our concept of state being a servant of the individual rather than the other way around gives us a positive “sellable” doctrine to rally the Free World and counter the militant cant of Marxism. The difficulties we encounter in selling our doctrine and in carrying out our policies are manifold. It would hardly be enlightening to stress that many of these difficulties are attributable to nuclear weapons. Our dilemma can better be understood if we examine the human attitudes of certain of our allies and of the Soviets themselves on the question of nuclear military doctrine.
While recognizing that there is a large current of neutralist feeling among our allies and a relatively widespread acceptance to the proposal to ban nuclear weapons, the official views nevertheless recognize the need for community solidarity and dependence on these new weapons. We find these views given concrete expression by the continued staunch support to NATO by three of our strongest allies, Britain, France and Germany, despite the disruptive events of Suez and Algeria. On the other hand, nuclear policies of these three countries, while in agreement with ours in the principle of deterrence have certain unique characteristics of their own.
Take Great Britain. In 1955, Sir Winston Churchill stated categorically, “There is only one sane policy for the Free World in the next few years. That is what we call defense through deterrents. This we have already adopted and proclaimed.” But, he went on, “unless we make a contribution of our own . . . we cannot be sure that in an emergency the resources of other powers would be planned exactly as we would wish or that the targets which would threaten us most would be given what we consider the necessary priority.” Britain regarded her contribution essential if she were to influence United States policy or actions, wise or unwise. In short, “no annihilation without representation.”
One psychological effect of the British failure in the use of conventional arms in Suez seems to be reflected in the British Defense White Paper for 1957. “It must be frankly recognized that there is no means of providing adequate protection for the people of this country against the consequences of an attack with nuclear weapons.” From now on, “this makes it more than ever clear that the overriding consideration in all military planning, must be to prevent war rather than to prepare for it. . . . ” The drastic cutback in conventional forces accompanying this declaration reduced sharply the capability to deal with military operations in a limited sphere. Britain seems to be gauging the amount of her influence by the degree of her nuclear contribution to collective deterrence.
Adenauer’s Germany views nuclear weapons as essential to the defense of her frontier. In this she sees nuclear weapons used in a tactical sense as supplanting divisions of soldiers along the Elbe. Credibility in the successful effect of the “shield” or front line is a psychological concomitant to her nuclear strategy. The moment someone talks of “tripwire” or “plate glass” front line defense, a public clamor is raised and Germany sees hundreds of miles of her own homeland devastated and overrun by the enemy.
France’s attitude is de Gaulle’s attitude. France’s desire to join the exclusive “atomic club” and to have a bigger voice in world affairs is in part an expression of her distrust in our nuclear policies.
It is clear that our allies are willing to accept our all-out strategy as a deterrent to war but not as a strategy for fighting the war. They fear that they may become the battleground in a nuclear exchange. As Acheson has said, they agree with Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death”-—but not to “Give me liberty and give me death.” There is a common conviction among our NATO allies that even a tactical nuclear war in a thickly settled area like Western Europe would certainly spread into a “no-holds-barred” conflict.
A remarkably similar view is expressed by the Soviets. Major General Talenshy put it this way: “The aggressive elements who are preparing atomic war do not intend to wage it in the deserts of Arabia, the pampas of Argentina, or even in our Siberian taiga. They are preparing to carry it on in Europe with its dense population, which in some areas reaches two hundred and even more people per square mile. Can it be imagined that in these conditions war and atomic attacks would be limited only to the zone of operations of the troops and would not affect the civilian population? In present conditions the density of the troops, at least in the case of defense, will frequently be much less than the density of the population in the same area adjacent to the field of battle, and the victims among the civilians would be incalculable just as the destruction would inevitably be immense . . . there is no difference in the tactical and strategic use of atomic weapons, nor could there be any.” (Italics supplied.)
Russia’s attitude that there is no difference between tactical and strategic use of nuclear weapons reflects current Soviet military thinking. They do not discuss the possibility of limited wars in terms of military doctrine. It is all a matter of contemporary war in which the Soviets admit no possibility of defeat. It is recalled that after Malenkov’s resignation in 1955, Molotov took strong issue with him on his expressed view that nuclear war would lead to the end of civilization. As party doctrine, the Communists still see themselves emerging as victors. This is truly dangerous psychology. A subjective estimate by the Soviets that they are sufficiently ahead in the technological race to precipitate a war without receiving unacceptable destruction would be just as tragic a step, whether the estimate was unfounded or not.
PSYCHOLOGY AND THE DETERRENT
“All reliance upon any one arm, or any one weapon, even on the most powerful, will inevitably lead to failure.”—Marshal K. S. Moskalenko
“Undue reliance on one weapon or preparation for only one kind of warfare simply invites an enemy to resort to another.”—President Eisenhower
When confronted with prospects that are intolerable, people tend to develop “blind spots.” This psychological rejection of truth is shown by the eagerness with which some propound and others accept the news of the success of some scientific weapon which will add to the deterrent strength or will be able “with its truly wonderful electronic equipment, to sweep the bombers from the sky.” They believe these things because they wish to believe them. Sober, realistic statements by our military leaders that there is no truly reliable defense against bombers and especially against Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles are ignored and the frightening implications are shut from their thoughts. Others will accept the possibility of a nuclear attack against this country but will deny in their hearts that it will ever materialize. Typical reaction is that thermonuclear war would never happen “because it is too horrible to contemplate.” This psychiatric denial is best illustrated by the remarkable indifference, if not apathy, concerning civil defense.
Another attitude is the “repetition compulsion” or preoccupation which drives us to build more and more nuclear weapons and means of delivery beyond the point of diminishing returns. A natural outcome of this is that we have not only equipped our forces with nuclear weapons but we have come to regard these new weapons more and more as “conventional” weapons. This military posture keeps getting “unhinged” by political and psychological considerations. In Europe, NATO has accepted the principle of defense based on nuclear weapons and certain member nations have agreed to stationing missiles and other nuclear delivery weapon systems on their soil. At the same time we are faced by the legitimate requirement that these weapons can be used only after consultation with our allies. Lebanon posed another example where our nuclear military posture was reoriented by politics. Quite obviously this was one place where nuclear weapons would have been inappropriate. According to an Air Force analyst quoted in The Reporter, “We couldn’t have used ‘nukes’ in this area. There wouldn’t have been any worthwhile targets, and we would have turned the local people against us.” With the Soviet Army carrying out airborne maneuvers with 100,000 troops close to Turkey’s border and the Kremlin making disagreeable noises at us for going into Lebanon, possibly worthwhile targets might indeed have been found. But the fear of world opinion was so strong that the Army was not permitted to land its Honest John rockets because they had a capability of firing an atomic warhead as well as a conventional one. This reminds us of the solicitous concern the British showed at Suez when their cruisers were restricted from using their 8-inch guns during shore bombardment.
Certainly, no one questions the overriding psychological and political considerations which dictated the decision at Lebanon. Landing in a friendly country at the request of its President calls for the exercise of the utmost in restraints. The point is that the material and operational preparations we make for a general war are just not the sort to cope with these local engagements.2
Our preoccupation with nuclear weapons creates many psychological contradictions. We try to convince the Soviets that we will not initiate nuclear attacks against them, and at the same time we try to convince them that we have the will to use them in retaliation. Whether we admit it or not, this posture in effect is the acceptance of a “strike-second” capability. Yet we have done very little about civil defense without which a “strike-second” capability is sharply reduced. The “strike- second” concept obviously calls for retaliation with a damaged force against a fully alerted, defended country. Yet not enough has been done to prepare the armed services or the people to the psychological acceptance of this fact. We still plan wishfully on our forces-in-present-being and blissfully look to CONAD to keep us from being hurt. We have figured out with mathematical precision how few nuclear weapons are needed to insure destruction of our fixed retaliatory bases. Yet we have done little to protect these bases by necessary dispersion or to shift our deterrent effort to mobile and concealed bases such as the Polaris submarine which would be highly invulnerable.3
Our preoccupation with the legitimate problem of deterring an all-out Soviet surprise attack against us with nuclear weapons has, according to Admiral Arleigh Burke, tempted us “to try to make our military strength for strategic retaliation do the job of preventing the Soviets from any type of aggression . . . political, economic, as well as small military aggressions.” This tempting theory has been given expression by the late Deputy Secretary of Defense, Donald Quarles, who said: “It seems logical that if we have the strength required for global war, we could certainly meet any threat of lesser magnitude.” In other words, “the dog we keep to deal with the cat will be able to deal with the kittens.” The trouble with this concept has been succinctly pinpointed by Bernard Brodie. “It is probably true, as some have written, that readiness to use atomic weapons against limited aggression would have a great deterrent effect, but only if the prospect of fighting in a nuclear environment did not reduce our willingness to intervene. For it would seem that our willingness to intervene is more important as a deterrent than the choice of weapons.” (Italics supplied.)
Belief that nuclear weapons and the means for devastating retaliation can deter an enemy from small local aggressions has become almost dogma to some. And like some dogma it rests on premises or conclusions that have undergone invalidating modifications. In this case it is forgotten that the Soviets now possess the deterrent, too. A neat judgment in psychology is thus required to determine in these lesser cases of aggression whether the Soviets will regard our deterrent as a bluff and call it by proceeding with their minor aggression as planned, or whether they will consider our invoking the deterrent as a nuclear ultimatum calling for a “forestalling” nuclear attack on their part.
Deterrence is in effect a psychological posture. We attempt to create in the Soviets’ mind a fear or a belief in our willingness to act. Certainly, no rational enemy would deny that we would have the will to employ nuclear weapons if the stakes were right. On the other hand, he would hardly conceive that we would be irrational enough to use these weapons when the stakes are minute. No nation deliberately goes to war unless she hopes to achieve a result more satisfactory than the situation prevailing at the time the decision is taken. There is a world of difference between the calculated decision to employ nuclear weapons to further the aims of foreign policy and the final desperate decision to hurl them at the enemy in the face of the threat of extinction.
The attempt to make deterrence do everything is to confuse the reality of deterrent strength with the psychological state of mind from which the will on one side and the fear on the other emerge to determine the action. To ignore this basic truth is to fail to understand the limitations of nuclear weapons to meet piecemeal and methodical aggressions. The history of Korea, Indochina, and Suez attest to this truth.
“Relief from the terrible fear which can do so much to engender the very thing feared.”—Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy, 16 March 1946
By far the most alarming psychological tendency is in trying to find solutions to our nuclear doctrinal problems along avenues which lead to an intensification of the dangers inherent in our actions. Thus we propose using nuclear weapons in limited wars without appreciating the psychological factors which establish the limits in the first place. Tacit agreement or constraints that prevail in a limited war can be implicitly defined. Thus, “no gas” in World War II is an easier limit to accept than “a little gas” or just one type of gas, such as tear gas. The Formosan Straits and the Yalu River are unambiguous limitations. Tacit acceptance in Korea of “no atomic bombs” is easier to arrive at than “small atomic bombs only on certain size targets.” To engage an enemy at the very start in a local war with so-called “tactical” nuclear weapons would only heighten the difficulties of establishing mutually acceptable constraints, especially when the announced policy to retaliate “at places of our own choosing“ destroys the limitation implicit in the words “local war.”
Nothing will create credibility in our will to use nuclear weapons more than a convincing demonstration of that will. At the same time, nothing will more quickly resolve the question as to whether the enemy will yield before our resolution without undertaking nuclear warfare itself. There is real danger in attempting to make the nuclear deterrent cover everything, even small local wars. The real danger is that we just may succeed in making it so credible to the Soviets that they will regard our threat to them as just cause to launch a tragic, pre-emptive strike against us.
The deterrent works both ways.
General Douglas MacArthur pointed out that present tensions are “kept alive by two great illusions. The one, a complete belief on the part of the Soviet world that the capitalist powers are preparing to attack it; that sooner or later we intend to strike. And the other, a complete belief on the part of the capitalist countries that the Soviets are preparing to attack us ... . The constant acceleration of preparation may well, without specific intent, ultimately produce a spontaneous combustion.” It is the nature of psychological antagonisms that adversaries have a tendency to correspond to the pattern of fears and expectations with which they are regarded. The self-justification we would experience if the Soviets act in a way to confirm our expectations would be small solace indeed if civilization were blown up in the process. The worst thing would be to lose such a nuclear war. The next worst thing would be to win it. That is, if the word “win” still retained a relevant meaning.
“We are not dealing simply with a military or scientific problem but with a problem in statecraft and the way of the human spirit.”—Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy, 16 March 1946
The simple truth is that our military nuclear strategy is seriously inhibited by psychological factors. It is one thing to attempt to carry out foreign policies under the shadow of nuclear weapons. It is another thing to rely fully on a nuclear deterrent strategy to effectuate these policies. It cannot be done. Policies of pronouncement cannot substitute for policies that require action. It is historically significant that whenever we have translated our “pronouncements” into action which called for the use of military forces, we have in each case modified our declarations on “massive retaliation” to actions in which nuclear weapons were deliberately constrained. The plain fact is that psychological inhibitions are realities, and it is imperative that we recognize them as such. It is a schizophrenic endeavor to try to convince the enemy of our will to use the deterrent to cover a minor aggression and at the same time convince ourselves and our friends that we will not use our nuclear weapons or that we will use them wisely. The crux of the problem is to reconcile a strategy based on military considerations with political policies emerging from our heritage and fundamental belief in the dignity of the individual.
Our problem is one of psychology, and our solution is one of changing our attitudes. This is easier said than done. Human attitudes are notoriously difficult to change, especially when they are conditioned by factors outside the realm of psychology. For example, the revolution in technology within the span of a single lifetime has so outstripped the pace of development of our social and political institutions that technology has in certain cases dictated policies. Thus the pronouncement of “massive retaliation” has been a direct product of the impact of nuclear weapons.
A first step in making our nuclear military strategy responsive to our foreign policy is to recognize the psychological inhibitions with which we are faced. While maintaining a legitimate deterrent to an all-out war, we must at the same time and on the same priority develop a military strategy which will be responsive to our policies and permit action commensurate with the provocation. This, too, is easier said than done, for it calls for a re-evaluation at the highest level of the balance between the three bases of national strategy: politics, economics, and the military.
Psychologically, nuclear weapons have both enhanced and complicated our political position, primarily by thrusting upon us new responsibilities of leadership. The state of nuclear parity or “mutual intimidation” has forced upon us with a new urgency the need to convince international opinion that American political maturity, adherence to democratic ideals, and espousal of international justice reflect our dependableness as a leader of the Free World. Particularly has it re-emphasized the need to reassure our allies constantly that we will neither panic in the face of Soviet nuclear weapons capability nor will we be taken in by Soviet duplicity. Nowhere is the need for an effective dynamic message more obvious than in the uncommitted states. It is imperative that we reiterate that America, as the place where the individual has the greatest opportunities, is the citadel of an ethical and moral culture acceptable to the masses of these non-aligned countries. As a champion of the ordinary man, we would never initiate an obliterating nuclear war, but we would ever remain vigilant and strong to prevent the Soviets from coercing, by threats or use of force, any independent state to give up her freedom for the Communist system.
Manifestly, such a psychological and political posture cannot be supported by a military strategy of defiance based solely on nuclear weapons. Such a strategy is clearly inadequate to cope with the Soviets’ “tactic of the smile,” and their efforts to penetrate the uncommitted countries of Asia and Africa by small probing actions, economic grants, and subversion. In this they have been frighteningly successful. They have pursued their goal of world domination with unvarnished honesty and demonstrated sincerity. Khrushchev’s claim that Russia will catch up and pass the United States in the realm of economy is a boast to take most seriously. Mr. Allen W. Dulles, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has warned us that the present gap will be “dangerously narrowed unless our own industrial rate is substantially increased from the present pace.” The psychological impact of the Soviets’ successful “way of life” on the undernourished and so far neutral nations of the world has, by and large, failed to dent our smug mass consciousness.
Our preoccupation with nuclear weapons has given us a Maginot complex in reverse. This offensive all-out strategy, although crucial to our survival, can hardly be made responsive to the cheap military, economic, and diplomatic actions that are a part of the Soviet campaign of “creeping aggression.” The Soviets are out to beat us by little bits—by small actions and seizures which would demoralize our friends and allies and would sap our moral and physical strength until the point is reached where our national power would be ineffective, irrelevant, or just plain too late. It is only by recognizing this as the Soviets’ true strategy that we will be released from our obsession.
* The opinions or assertions in this article are the personal ones of the author and are not to be construed as official or as the views of either the Navy Department or the U. S. Naval Institute.
2. Psychological or political considerations which dictate the decision “to use or not to use” create serious logistic and operational problems for the service arms. Divesting artillery of Honest John rockets and substituting 105mm howitzers is just one of many. Fortunately, naval forces which are destined to spearhead military engagements in a limited sphere are not so handicapped. Carrier task forces are equipped and trained to fight equally with either “conventional” nuclear or “conventional” conventional weapons. Mobile logistic and underway replacement groups are capable of supporting either concept.
3. A case can be made that there is a psychological contradiction in the way we build some headquarters underground and leave our means of communications exposed to attack and sabotage. By thus hobbling the voice of command, we are subconsciously backing away from the fearsome task of pushing the red button.