Thinking about the Unthinkable in the 1980s
by Kahn, Herman
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Herman Kahn's brilliant, original thoughts on nuclear war generated wide-spread controversy following the 1962 publication of Thinking About the Unthinkable. Today, not thinking about nuclear war is no longer an option, and the controversy continues: Is nuclear war inevitable? How can we best deter it? Can it be "limited"? when he died in 1983, Kahn had just finished a completely new version of his classic, which considers the political, technical and moral developments of the past twenty years. Since nuclear weapons cannot be disinvented, says Kahn, it is crucial simultaneously to maintain a militarily strong United States, to make every effort to enhance deterrence, and to consider contingency plans should these efforts fail.