America's Cold War Endgame Plans Called For Nuking Both Russia And China
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Here's what to keep in mind: The Pentagon war plans already included the destruction of cities to destroy the urban and industrial backbone. "This should lead to greater casualties among the population, as a larger proportion of the urban population can be at risk."
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"Bombard them back to the Stone Age," ex-Air Force General Curtis LeMay is said to have once urged to defeat North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
However, it turned out that when the global nuclear war broke out in the early 1960s, the Russians and Chinese had lived like flint again.
US nuclear war plans have called for the destruction of the Soviet Union and China as "viable societies," according to documents released by the nonprofit National Security Archives.
The document in question relates to the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP), which governs the numerous war plans and associated options that govern how America would wage a nuclear war. In June 1964, senior military leaders (including the Air Force chief of staff, LeMay) received a review of the current SIOP.
The report included questions and answers on the various options for nuclear targets. These ranged from attacks on hostile nuclear and conventional forces while minimizing collateral damage to enemy cities to deliberate attacks on cities and forces. This latter option would have been "to destroy the will and ability of the Sino-Soviet bloc, to wage war, to remove the enemy from the category of a large industrial power, and to ensure a post-war balance of power favorable to the United States." Conditions."
"Should these options put more of a strain on the population as the main target?" asked a question.
The answer was that the Pentagon's war plans already included the destruction of cities to destroy the urban and industrial backbone. "This should lead to greater casualties in the population, as a larger proportion of the urban population can be at risk."
Another Pentagon analysis "on the impact of increasing the emphasis on the attack on urban / industrial targets to destroy the USSR and China as viable societies found that a death rate of 30 percent (ie 212.7 million people) was reached in." the total population (709 million people) in China would require an exorbitant effort. "
This was due to China's rural society at the time. “Thus, the attack of a large number of place names [cities] would only destroy a small part of the total population of China. The return on a spent [nuclear] weapon drops after considering the 30 cities with the highest priority. "
Note that while annihilation was considered uneconomical by a third of the Chinese population, the U.S. military believed that the Soviet Union and China would be destroyed as viable societies.
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Interestingly, Russia and China would be reduced to the level of Conan the Barbarian - but not to Albania. "Should there be a way to stop all attacks in Albania, Bulgaria and Romania?" asks the document.
The answer was: "The ability should be able to withstand attacks against Soviet satellites (either individually or collectively)." Other documents state that potential nuclear targets included the Sino-Soviet bloc, but not Yugoslavia.
Michael Peck is a contributing writer for national interest. It can be found on Twitter and Facebook. This article was first published a few years ago.
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