Cold War: Documents Show US Planned ‘Systematic Destruction’ of Cities After World War II:
A cooling 59-year old record including an exhaustive listing of goals for US nuclear strikes in case of war together with the Soviet Union was released by the National Security Archive in Washington.
Over 100 goals in Moscow and Leningrad, including heavily-populated regions, are recorded as “designated earth zeroes”.
The record, titled the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Nuclear Weapons Conditions Study, was created in June 1956, when relations between the United States and also the USSR were stressed due to deep economic and political differences.
Both sides built up a tremendous stockpile of nuclear weapons as deterrence against an assault by the other side, in the belief that such an assault would result in the entire annihilation of the defender as well as the aggressor. The Cold War ended in 1991 with the proper dissolution of the Soviet Union, leaving the US as the only superpower in the world’s.
‘Blue and terrible’
The SAC indicated targeting airfields with atomic bombs which range from 1.7 to 1.9 megatons and additionally advocated the construction of a 60 megaton weapon, which it considered would provide “important effects” in the event of a surprise Soviet attack.
The production of a one megaton weapon is 70 times higher in relation to the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in the Second World War.
“It is upsetting, for sure, to see the public centres targeted,” William Burr, a senior analyst in the National Security Archive, told the New York Times.
Stephen Schwartz, an unaffiliated adviser on nuclear weapons policy, known as the target list “blue and honestly appalling”.
“We have understood the general contours of nuclear war preparation for several decades,” he told the Times.
“But it is amazing the details are coming out. All these are weapons that are amazing, capable of unbelievable destruction.
“And this record could be history, but sadly the weapons aren’t yet history.”