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The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on National Security (An Expression of War Department Thinking)

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It is considered that the atom bomb is not the ultimate atomic weapon, because its cost is excessive and its use is restricted. Greater destructive power than that of the bomb is anticipated in the use of radioactive particles, dispersed without explosion, to contaminate water supplies and large industrial areas. Because radioactive particles would be created as a byproduct of peace-time atomic power plants, it would be difficult to establish any international control of the use of radioactive particles as atomic weapons. Atomic warfare probably would result in the ruin of both or all contesting nations. Russia is considered not to be likely to have atomic weapons in quantity for eight to fifteen years. Therefore, war initiated by Russia is not expected for the duration of this period. No foreign attack is expected while atomic weapons are held by the United States alone. If an atomic war does come, total mobilization will be required. Every citizen must be trained to deal with emergency, in one capacity or another. Local governments must be ready for operation independent of central government. A highly developed intelligence system will be a necessity. If the United States is to hope for survival in such a war, basic industrial facilities must be dispersed, and possibly duplicated underground. There must be provisions for establishing the White House and other key headquarters underground. Action must be taken to disperse and put underground all important military stockpiles. In atomic warfare, the tactics of other wars will still be used. The Government will still need armies, navies, and air forces.

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  • Nuclear Weapons

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