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This paper considers three models developed to evaluate the climatic consequences of a nuclear war. It attempts to show why the results of the simulation models are not as robust as some nuclear winter proponents indicate, and it suggests the design of research programs that the author feels should be initiated to resolve the technical questions that the defense community will face in the future restructuring of conventional forces. The author points out that the nuclear winter debate is between scientists on one hand, and defense policymakers on the other, and cautions throughout that it is important that the issue not become politicized.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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