A talk presented before the Staff College of the New York State Civil Defense Commission at West Point, New York, February 9, 1960. Such aspects of civil defense are stressed as its effect on alleviating the catastrophe of a nuclear attack on the United States, the necessity of preparations to reconstruct and reconstitute our nation to its preattack status, and its contribution to U.S. freedom of action in conducting peacetime foreign policy and in implementing a broad deterrence strategy. The casualty problem at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is reviewed. RAND's civil-defense study, begun in 1957, is described, and the objectives of the program are summarized (namely, whether a civil-defense program is feasible, and whether a feasible program can be devised to make a plausible case for implementing it).
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