Lives in the Balance:

The Cold War and American Politics, 1945-1991

Moti Nissani

(Library of Congress: UA10.N57 1991)

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Front Cover: Enemies of the Mexican People, by Juan O'Gorman


Source: Nissani, M. (1992). Lives in the Balance: the Cold War and American Politics, 1945-1991.

Authorís e-mail: moti.nissani@wayne.edu

Note: Page numbers refer to the hard copy version of this book, not to this online version.


Publication Data

Motto

Preface

Backcover

Chapter 1 TOTALITARIANISM 1

  • What is Freedom? 2
  • Life in a Dictatorship 6
  • The Nature of Totalitarianism 7
  • The Soviet Union: 1917-1984 9
  • Totalitarian Foreign Policies 23 (Soviet Foreign Policies: 1917-1984 /  China and Tibet: 1950-1991 /  Sparta and the City States of Ancient Greece)
  • The Soviet Union, 1985-1991: End of an Era 31
  • The Myth of Authoritarian Efficiency 36
  • Summary 39

Chapter 2 CONSEQUENCES OF NUCLEAR WAR 42

  • Types of Nuclear Bombs 42
  • Effects of a Single Nuclear Explosion 44 (Ultraviolet Pulse  /  Electromagnetic Pulse  /  Heat  /  Blast  /  Ionizing Radiation  /  Hiroshima)
  • Effects of a Large Nuclear Explosion 54
  • Effects of a Limited Nuclear War 57
  • Consequences of Nuclear War 57 (Direct Consequences  /  Indirect Consequences)
  • Reality of Nuclear Peril 69
  • Summary 76

Chapter 3 COSTS OF THE ARMS RACE 78

  • Military Costs 78
  • Conventional Wars 81
  • Economic and Human Costs 82
  • Environmental Costs 84
  • Moral and Psychological Costs 86
  • Militarism, Imperialism, and Plutodemocracy 86
  • The Arms Race or Totalitarianism? 89
  • Summary 90

Chapter 4 WEAPONS OF THE COLD WAR 92

  • A Note on Military Jargon 92
  • Conventional Weapons 93
  • Chemical and Biological Weapons 94
  • Nuclear Bombs 95
  • Delivery Vehicles 95 (Bombers and Cruise Missiles  /  Ballistic Missiles )
  • Strategic Requirements of Nuclear Weapons and Delivery Vehicles 97
  • Command, Control, and Communication 98
  • Satellites 99
  • Summary 100

Chapter 5 STRATEGIC THINKING IN THE UNITED STATES 102

  • Two Interpretations of Western Military and Foreign Policies 102 (Deterrence  /  Brinkmanship)
  • Victory in the 1980s? 108
  • Future Victory? 109
  • New Nuclear Weapons? 113
  • A Window of Vulnerability? 115
  • Launch Under Attack? 118
  • Nuclear Retaliation? 119
  • Concluding Remarks 120
  • Summary 121

Chapter 6 THE MILITARY BALANCE 123

  • Overkill 123
  • A Note on the Reliability of Data 126
  • The Nuclear Balance 129 (Number of Deliverable Nuclear Bombs /  Explosive Yield  /  Survivability of Nuclear Weapons  /  Defensive Measures  /  The Overall Nuclear Balance )
  • The Conventional Balance 137 (Standing Armies and Ground Forces  /  Airplanes  /  Tanks  /  Navies  / Interventionary Forces )
  • Other Factors Affecting the Military Balance 142 (Technology  /  National Economies  /  Democracy  /  Allies  /  Internal Dissension  /  Homeland Invasion  /  Organizational Inefficiencies  /  Additional Soviet Advantages)
  • Concluding Remarks 152
  • Summary 152

Chapter 7 HISTORY OF THE COLD WAR 155

  • Peace or War? 156
  • Atomic Secrecy 167
  • The Baruch Plan 169
  • Developing the H-Bomb 171
  • The Moment of Hope: May 10, 1955 172
  • The Comprehensive Test Ban 174
  • The 1980s 178
  • General Characteristics of the Arms Race 185
  • Summary 193

Chapter 8 BRINKMANSHIP AND IMPERIALISM? 195

  • Nuclear Diplomacy 195
  • American Intervention in the Third World 202 American Nuclear and Third World
  • Policies: An Appraisal 218
  • Summary 221

Chapter 9 ROOTS OF COLLECTIVE MISBEHAVIOR 223

  • Organizational Characteristics 225 (Organizational Callousness  /  Organizational Self-Destructiveness  /  Institutional Decay  /  Institutional Rigidity  /  Institutional Inertia  /  Money and Politics  /  Revolving Doors  / Elections and Officials)
  • Information 243 (Corporate Media  /  Government  /  Experts  /  Education)
  • Human Characteristics 257 (Individual Callousness  /  Indoctrinability  /  Conceptual Conservatism  /  Conformity /  Obedience to Authority  /  Other Human Failings)
  • Summary 271

Chapter 10 A SURGICAL REFORM STRATEGY 273

  • Has Humanity a Future? 273
  • Successful Reform Presupposes
  • an Informed Public 275
  • Forlorn Strategies 275
  • A Surgical Reform Strategy 278
  • Summary 283

Notes and References 284

Index 309 

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