AUTHORKaplan, Edward
TITLETo Kill Nations: American Strategy in the Air-Atomic Age and the Rise of Mutually Assured Destruction
PUBLISHERCornell University Press
CITYIthaca, NY

The author focuses on the role of the U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the first twenty years of the Cold War. Originally the SAC, armed with atomic weapons, could destroy the Soviet Union with little danger to the United States. The situation evolved into one of mutually assured destruction as the Soviets achieved parity with the United States in nuclear weapon capability. The book chronicles that transition in eight chapters grouped into three sections. The first covers the early history of the SAC from U.S. President Harry S. Truman's administration through the Korean War. Chapters in the second section describe the growth of the SAC during the administration of President Dwight Eisenhower and the inter-service competition for nuclear weapons capability. The final section presents how President John F. Kennedy and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara reassessed nuclear strategy during the Kennedy administration. The author is an Air Force officer and professor at the United States Air Force Academy.

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