The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence

By Francis A. Boyle | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
THE LESSONS OF
HIROSHIMA AND
NAGASAKI

“Points of Choice”

Since the advent of the Reagan administration to power in 1981, a relatively large number of international law professors have generated an enormous amount of literature on the subject of the legality or illegality of the use and threat of nuclear weapons. 1 In essence the bulk of this literature seems to have taken the position that the actual use of nuclear weapons would constitute a grievous violation of international law under most conceiv- able circumstances, and consequently that there exist serious legal problems related even to the threat to use nuclear weapons under a variety of condi- tions. 2 In other words, these articles have either directly or indirectly called into question the very legitimacy of the phenomenon known as “strategic nuclear deterrence” between the United States and the Soviet Union under well recognized principles of international law. Elsewhere I have argued that the existing system of strategic nuclear deterrence as currently practiced by the two superpowers is prima facie illegal and therefore, for a variety of rea- sons, needs to be replaced. 3

One common defect characteristic of all this highly contemporary literature dealing with the legality or illegality of the threat and use of nuclear weapons, however, is that it fails to take into account the historical develop- ment of U.S. nuclear weapons deterrence theory and practice through several evolutionary stages. The United States government has experienced at least seven basic changes in the fundamental rationale underlying its official policy for the use and threat of nuclear weapons: (1) the Truman administration's utilitarian justification for the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; 4 (2) the Eisenhower administration's doctrine of “massive re- taliation”; 5 (3) the Kennedy administration's doctrine of “mutual assured destruction”; 6 (4) the Johnson administration's doctrine of “flexible response” for NATO; 7 (5) the Nixon administration and its so-called “countervailing” strat- egy known as the Schlesinger Doctrine; 8 (6) the Carter administration's Presidential Directive 59, that naively contemplated the possibility of America “fighting” a “limited” nuclear war; 9 and (7) under the Reagan administration, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's 1982 Five-Year Defense Guid- ance Statement, 10 that boldly proclaimed the incomprehensible objective of

-55-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Foreword 11
  • Special Introduction George Bush, Jr. September 11th, and the Rule of Law 16
  • Notes 38
  • Chapter One - The United States Embraces International Legal Nihilism 40
  • Notes 52
  • Chapter Two - The Lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 55
  • Notes 87
  • Chapter Three - The Relevance of International Law to the Paradox of Nuclear Deterrence 92
  • Notes 125
  • Chapter Four - Star Wars vs. International Law 136
  • Notes 155
  • Chapter Five - The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence 162
  • Notes 205
  • Conclusion - Democracy vs. the Nuclear Power Elite 206
  • Postscript 210
  • Notes 210
  • Index 211
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 216

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.