Strangelove Essay

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Harold Agnew, a Los Alamos physicist who accompanied the group, was especially concerned to see German pilots sitting in German planes that were decorated with Iron Crosses—and carrying American atomic bombs.

Agnew, in his own words, “nearly wet his pants” when he realized that a lone American sentry with a rifle was all that prevented someone from taking off in one of those planes and bombing the Soviet Union.

allies only when the White House was prepared to fight the Soviets.

The American military didn’t like the idea of these coded switches, fearing that mechanical devices installed to improve weapon safety would diminish weapon reliability.

Showed first 250 characters and Soviet Union inevitable in a real nuclear war), then almost everything that happens in the movie could have actually happened.

The most important theme of the film is that it makes fun of the sad, perverse, and absurd reality that the U. and the Soviet Union could destroy each other within 30 minutes...

Kennedy was surprised to learn, just a few weeks after taking office, about this secret delegation of power. And there was little to prevent officers from Turkey, Holland, Italy, Great Britain, and Germany from using them without the approval of the United States.

“A subordinate commander faced with a substantial military action,” Kennedy was told in a top-secret memo, “could start the thermonuclear holocaust on his own initiative if he could not reach you.” Kennedy and his national-security advisers were shocked not only by the wide latitude given to American officers but also by the loose custody of the roughly three thousand American nuclear weapons stored in Europe. In December, 1960, fifteen members of Congress serving on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy had toured bases to investigate how American nuclear weapons were being deployed.

A top-secret State Department memo summarized the view of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1961: “all is well with the atomic stockpile program and there is no need for any changes.”After a crash program to develop the new control technology, during the mid-nineteen-sixties, permissive action links were finally placed inside most of the nuclear weapons deployed by arsenal.

For years, the Air Force and the Navy blocked attempts to add coded switches to the weapons solely in their custody.


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