On the Stringency of Dosage Criteria for Battlefield Nuclear Operations.

by S. T. Cohen

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Argues for consideration of substantially lower prompt radiation dosage requirements in U.S./NATO tactical nuclear weapon selection, based on hitherto neglected operational and political considerations and an examination of published Soviet military doctrine. The greatest risk in not selecting lower dosages is not that military effectiveness may be too low, but that permission for use may be denied by political authority--and the larger the weapon yield the greater the risk of denial. Moreover, dosage requirements are set unrealistically high in the sense that delayed casualties and damage to equipment are not taken into account. Enhanced radiation warheads, which can be substituted for fission warheads ten times larger with the same radiobiological effectiveness, offer significant prospects for reduced collateral damage. (Based on a presentation to the Tactical Nuclear Warfare Working Group at the 34th meeting of the Military Operations Research Society at Ft. Eustace, Va.) 22 pp. Ref.

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