AUTHORSchlosser, Eric
TITLECommand and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
PUBLISHERPerguin Books
CITYNew York, NY

Focusing on a little known Cold War accident at a Titan II missile silo near Damascus, Arkansas, this journalistic investigation provides a thorough look at efforts made to control the handling of nuclear weaponry. In five parts, the author integrates the chilling events of post WWII history with a vivid account of the accident. His narrative offers a description of the missile site and its personnel at that time. It also recounts numerous other mishaps involving the deployment of nuclear weapons during the Cold War, showing that as weapons delivery systems became more complicated, the threat of accidents increased. Ironically, every move intended to prevent a deliberate nuclear war seemed to increase the threat of an accidental one. The Damascus incident emerges as an illustration of the challenges inherent in the ongoing attempting to control the use of nuclear weapons. The book closes with a reminder that with many nations beside the U.S. and Russia in possession of nuclear weapons, the threat of accident is higher than most people realize.

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