The Nature and Feasibility of War and Deterrence

by Herman Kahn

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An evaluation of the impact of a thermonuclear war and a description of some of the risks that might cause decisionmakers to weigh the alternatives of whether or not to go to war (namely, genetic problems, postwar medical problems, and long-term recuperation). The kinds of deterrence discussed are (1) deterrence of a direct attack, (2) the use of strategic threats to deter an enemy from engaging in very provocative acts other than a direct attack on the United States, and (3) acts that are deterred because the potential aggressor is afraid that the defender or others will take limited actions, military or nonmilitary, to make the aggression unprofitable.

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