Accession Number : ADA623903


Title :   Taming the Wild West: United States Nuclear Policy (1945-1961)


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS


Personal Author(s) : Wyrick, David J


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a623903.pdf


Report Date : 12 Jun 2015


Pagination or Media Count : 132


Abstract : While the United States adopted several national policies regulating nuclear weapons during the late 1940s and 1950s, it would take until 1961 for the United States to have a cohesive operational plan for the employment of nuclear weapons. This was known as the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). Prior to the SIOP, combatant commanders independently developed theater nuclear war plans, leading to uncoordinated, redundant, and overlapping nuclear strikes. These independently formed plans led to a state of chaos much like the American wild west. When President Eisenhower directed creation of the first SIOP, known as SIOP-62, it revolutionized nuclear war planning and effectively tamed the wild west. The SIOP integrated the various military service plans and created a master plan for the nation in time of nuclear war eliminating much of the chaos caused by lack of coordination. Studying the period 1945-1961 provides nuclear planners and policy makers with the perspective needed to understand why current United States policies exist. Since 1945, America has relied on nuclear weapons as the last line of defense and primary deterrent preventing communist aggression. The SIOP, therefore, is the ultimate protection plan against total war. However, did SIOP-62 make the world a safer place? Yes, it did; but the true value of SIOP-62 was not formation of the perfect plan. Instead, SIOP-62, codified a planning process that created a standard for all future war plans. The study of policy in this paper focuses on the events and people that shaped United States nuclear policy and formed the first SIOP.


Descriptors :   *NUCLEAR WARFARE , *POLICIES , *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , HISTORY , MILITARY PLANNING , NATIONAL SECURITY , NUCLEAR BOMBS , THESES


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Humanities and History
      Nuclear Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE