Nuclear winter and nuclear policy: implications for U.S. and Soviet deterrence strategies
Griffin, Gail Alane.
Kartchner, Kerry M.
Haney, Robert L.
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Nuclear weapons were rapidly incorporated into the policies for maintaining the national security objectives of both the Soviet Union and the United States--in spite of poorly understood nuclear weapons effects. The nuclear winter hypothesis, the basis of which was first proposed in 1982, directed scientific research into the consequences of massive amounts of dust and smoke, from nuclear detonations, on the earth's climate and subsequently on the ecology of the earth. This thesis presents the evolution of the nuclear winter hypothesis in order to elucidate its unique aspects for global devastation and the consensus of plausibility which the hypothesis holds in the scientific community. The hypothesis has aroused a flurry of debate on its implications for nuclear policy. With the historical aspects of the nuclear era as a backdrop, the question of incorporating new scientific information on the consequences of nuclear war into policy is discussed. The observed responses of the U.S. and Soviet Union and the implications for future actions in response to the nuclear winter hypothesis are examined-- leading to the conclusion that the hypothesis will have little or no impact on U.S. and Soviet nuclear policy. Theses. (JHD)
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