Nuclear War Survival Skills.pdf


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Edition Notes - Nuclear War Survival Skills

As long as the superpowers faced each other with tens of thousands of megaton-class weapons, any
defense seemed insufficient. It was a palliative of unclear war. It played more of a role as part of the
deterrent. To many of us it seemed to be a necessity. But in efforts to convince the general public we
made little progress. The question could not be resolved by reason alone.
The problem of ideological conflict is disappearing. The problem of a violent dictator is still with us.
With weap- ons of mass destruction he could do enormous damage. Furthermore, the proliferation of
ballistic missiles is not a pos- sibility but a frightening and growing reality. But we are now no longer
facing tens of thousands of weapons. We need to worry about at most hundreds. Defense, therefore, has
become a rational possibility.
But if defense is possible, it is also most important for four connected but, at the same time, distinct
reasons. One is that in the case of war defense may save many thousands, maybe even millions of lives. I
do not disagree with those who say that the main problem is to prevent war itself. I do disagree when
prevention of war is considered the only problem.
The second reason is that defense helps to prevent proliferation of weapons of aggression. If defense is
ne- glected these weapons of attack become effective. They become available and desirable in the eyes of
an imperialist dictator, even if his means are limited. Weapons of mass destruction could become
equalizers between nations big and small, highly developed and primitive, if defense is neglected. If
defense is developed and if it is made available for general prevention of war, weapons of aggression will
become less desirable. Thus defense makes war itself less probable. The third reason is of a most general
character. One psychological defense mechanism against danger is to forget about it. This attitude is as
common as it is disastrous. It may turn a limited danger into a fatal difficulty.
The last and most important reason is that the world has become thoroughly interdependent and the time
has come for the positive use of this interdependence. International cooperation is obviously difficult. It
lacks any tradi- tion. It is best started by modest activities that are obviously in everyone's interest.
War-prevention by defense seems to be a good candidate for such cooperation. This would be
particularly true if the effort would be both modest and effective. This book is an excellent example of an
international initiative that with a minimal effort could have a maximal beneficial effect. It describes
simple procedures of individual defensive measures which should be used in many areas of danger
including those where it is wrongly believed that defense is impossible. It can be used in advanced
countries and in countries at an early stage of development. Electronics makes the book available
throughout the world.
This book will not satisfy the demands of those who are interested only in final solutions. Indeed, I do
not believe that final solutions exist. The more important and difficult a problem is the more it becomes
evident that the answer lies in a careful development consisting of small steps. This book prepares us,
throughout the world, for one of the small steps that must be taken if the twenty-first century is to escape
the curse of war.

Copyright 2000 Nuclear War Survival Skills

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