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Author Johnstone, Paul H. (Paul Howard), 1903-1981, author

Title From MAD to madness : inside Pentagon nuclear war planning : memoir / by Paul H. Johnstone : introduction and commentary by Diana Johnstone
Published Atlanta, GA : Clarity Press, Inc., [2017]
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Description 1 online resource
Contents Introduction / by Diana Johnstone -- Part 1. The spirit of the times -- The fog of war planning -- Memoirs of a humanist in the Pentagon / by Paul H. Johnstone -- Foreword: what this is all about -- The world of target planning -- Air targets intelligence -- Air targets doctrine -- Economic war potential doctrine applied to occupation policies -- Some problems and methods -- Playing games with nuclear war -- The Cold War atmosphere -- Games and bonuses -- The rise of fear -- Part 2. Imagining doomsday -- The fallout study -- The "humane alternative" -- The civilian morale study -- The strategic weapons study -- The tenor of the times -- The command and control dilemma -- Exploring "implications" -- Part 3. The critical incident studies -- The Laos crisis -- The Berlin Crisis -- Postface: Doomsday postponed / by Diana Johnstone
Summary "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
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Subject Johnstone, Paul H. (Paul Howard), 1903-1981.
United States. Department of Defense. Weapons Systems Evaluation Group -- History.
Cold War.
Deterrence (Strategy) -- History -- 20th century.
Military planning -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Nuclear warfare -- Government policy -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Nuclear weapons -- Government policy -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Strategic forces -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Military policy -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Officials and employees -- Biography.
Genre/Form Biographies.
Form Electronic book
Author Johnstone, Diana, 1934- author
LC no. 2017008142
ISBN 0997896531 (electronic bk.)
9780997896534 (electronic bk.)
Other Titles Inside Pentagon nuclear war planning : memoir
Inside Pentagon nuclear war planning, a memoir