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Re: [casi] Secret 1995 US Report on threat of Nuclear Weapons

Here's the piece from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that Paul referred
to. For future reference the Bulletin's web-site - which contains a lot of
interesting information - is

Best wishes,


Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
July/August 1997
Vol. 53, No. 5

Leave no stone unburned

The Last Word

William M. Arkin

  U.S. and Russian nuclear-tipped missiles, it is proudly said, have been
"detargeted." Given the ease of retargeting, it is mostly spin for public
consumption. Meanwhile, targeting remains a prosperous business.

The motherlode of targeting is the Defense Department's Integrated Data
Base, which contains every place of potential significance to the United
States, both active and inactive-some 450,000 bases, factories, airfields,
and other objects of military interest worldwide that might be attacked by
conventional or nuclear weapons.

As one would expect, the targets are densely clustered in the territories of
former adversaries (such as Russia) or in those of current or potential
adversaries (such as Iraq).

But items of interest among our friends and allies are listed as well. After
all, if Britain and France were overrun by hostile forces, we might have to
destroy British and French airfields and the like, wouldn't we?

Subsets of the Integrated Data Base-for instance, the Bombing Encyclopedia
and the Target Data Inventory (TDI)-contain targets that actually have been
selected for various war plans. The databases are so immense that there are
multiple instruction manuals just to explain and standardize the
terminology, numbering systems, and coding.

After many years wait, I recently received some of these handbooks under the
Freedom of Information Act. Their hallmark is a bureaucratic attention to

Targeting is an equal opportunity business. The thousand-page Europe/Middle
East TDI Handbook, heavily censored, includes numerous references to Israel,
and particularly to its Jericho missiles, as potential targets. Cities and
towns throughout the world are also included as a target group, although
they should not be confused with "population concentrations."

"P-95 circles," as the latter are called, cannot be less than 0.3 and no
more than 1.0 nautical miles in diameter. They must contain at least 3,000
people, and the amount of unpopulated ground within each circle must not
exceed 20 percent of the entire circle. By using the tables in the nuclear
weapons Physical Vulnerability Handbook, one can predict nighttime
fatalities based on the predominant building type found within the circle.

According to The TDI Handbook, coastal beaches (such as in Norway and
Turkey) are targets if they might become sites of amphibious landings.
According to the handbook, beaches must be categorized by length, distance
from low-water line to the end of the backshore, gradient, and character.
For nuclear attack, the "reference point" is the "midpoint of a line of the
shoreline encompassing the entire beach or coastal segment."

Best of all is the exhaustive list of two-letter country codes in the
Defense Intelligence Agency's Target Intelligence Handbook. Ay is
Antarctica, mx is Mexico, ca is Canada, and ea-you didn't guess it, did
you?-is the Earth's moon. By not calling it the moon, other moons can be
added to future target lists without screwing up the lettering convention.

Complementing the targeting primers are the destruction manuals, the bible
of which is the Defense Special Weapons Agency's em-1: Capabilities of
Nuclear Weapons, a multi-thousand page compendium of blast, shock, and
radiation phenomena. It contains hundreds of handy templates for calculating
casualties and damage. The manual is a work in progress, a source of endless
revisions (and contracts), the latest of which were added in 1993.

Take forests, for example-or "tree blowdown areas." Environmentalists may be
trying to save them, but there is also an entire industry devoted to
calculating their destruction. In November 1992, Pacific-Sierra Corporation
delivered a revised "Fires from Nuclear Weapons" (Chapter 16) for em-1.
Seven months later, Applied Research Associates of Raleigh, North Carolina,
weighed in with its update to Chapter 18, "Airblast Damage to Forests."

This is not ancient history, by the way. This year's budget request from the
Defense Special Weapons Agency includes funding to update four more em-1
chapters in 1998 and 1999. BDM International, Kaman Sciences, Karagozian and
Case, Mission Research Corporation, and Science Applications International
Corporation (as well as Jaycor and Pacific-Sierra) have all done piecework
on em-1 since the end of the Cold War. This despite a 1994 Rand Corporation
review of the agency's work that concluded "that the United States does
[emphasis in original] know most of what it needs to know about nuclear
weapons environments to meet future requirements."

But leave no stone unburned is the targeters' motto to justify their work.
That work now has a modern tinge, with an electronic version of em-1 and a
nuclear targeting cd-rom in the works. Even targeters can go multimedia with
a bang.

William M. Arkin is a Bulletin contributing editor.

-----Original Message-----
From: paul beck <>
To: pjw8 <>; farbuthnot <>;
soc-casi-discuss <>
Cc: <>; <>
Date: 12 March 2002 17:58
Subject: Re: [casi] Secret 1995 US Report on threat of Nuclear Weapons

>Dear all,
>Concerning the 'US nuclear threat', may I refer you to a letter to Peace
>Magazine (November/December 1997) entitled 'With friends like these'.
>The contributor F.H. Knelman says that according to the Bulletin of the
>Atomic Scientists (July/Aug 97), the US military use a document called the
>Integrated Database (IDB) "which lists some 450,000 worldwide targets for
>nuclear attack". Knelman says that a subset of the IDB is a Target Data
>Inventory. This whole document enables the US to practice and study any
>possible future scenario involving the use of the US nuclear arsenal.
>According to Knelman not only so-called rogue-states have the privilege of
>being listed on this database but also friends, including Israel, Canada
>other Nato allies.
>The whole document can be read on the Peace Magazine website
>November/December 1997 issue
> It would be interesting if somebody could verify this.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: pjw8 <>
>To: farbuthnot <>; soc-casi-discuss
>Cc: <>; <>
>Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 4:49 PM
>Subject: [casi] Secret 1995 US Report on threat of Nuclear Weapons
>> Dear Felicity and all,
>> Naom Chomsky documents in Acts of Aggression, Policing Rogue States
>> that
>> a secret 1995 study of the US Strategic Command, which is responsible for
>> strategic nuclear arsenal. The study was released through the Freedom of
>> Information Act, and called "Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence."
>> I quote from Acts of Aggression, p. 28:
>> The study advocates that the United States exploits its
>> nuclear arsenal to portray itself as "irrational and vindictive if its
>> interests are attacked [ and that ]should be a part of the national
>persona we
>> project to all adversaries [particularly] the rogue hurts to
>> portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool headed...the fact that
>> elements [of the US government] may appear to be potentially 'out of
>> can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the
>> minds of an adversary's decisionmakers..." Chomsky goes on to comment
>> concept was apparently devised in Israel in the 1950s by the governing
>> Party and was adopted by Nixon's madman theory, that our enemies should
>> recognize that we are crazed and indestructible , with extraordinary
>> destructive force at our command, as they will bend to our will in
>> Surely the threat of nuclear weapons is a form of torture as these
>> leaders say below to frighten us into submission? It would be
>> good to get a legal opinion on this,
>> Philippa Winkler
>> >===== Original Message From farbuthnot <>
>> >thanks to Rick Rozoff again - best, f.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >The Times Of India
>> >March 12, 2002
>> >
>> >Powell, Rice confirm plans to use nukes
>> >
>> >
>> >PTI [ MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2002  7:40:10 PM ]
>> >
>> >ASHINGTON: The United States on Monday asserted that
>> >using nuclear weapons was definitely an option before
>> >the country after several rounds of squeakish
>> >explanations failed to convince Washington's several
>> >adversaries and key partners alike, of its designs.
>> >
>> >With countries still unable to recover from the shock
>> >of the explosive secret paper leaked recently that
>> >said the US had planned to make at least seven
>> >countries target of a potential nuclear attack,
>> >Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security
>> >Advisor Condoleezza Rice have confirmed the plans.
>> >
>> >"Just as US officials made clear before the Persian
>> >Gulf War in 1991, the President of the United States
>> >and the American people had a full range of options
>> >available to them. Obviously, the full range of
>> >options goes from an M-16 rifle to a nuclear device,"
>> >Powell said.
>> >
>> >Rice also confirmed that the Bush administration was
>> >examining a range of scenarios, including possible use
>> >of nuclear weapons. She said the only way to deter the
>> >use of weapons of mass destruction against the US and
>> >its allies is "to be clear that it would be met with
>> >devastating response."
>> >
>> >"The use of a weapon of mass destruction against
>> >American military forces, American territory or
>> >American friends and allies," she said, "would be a
>> >horror. The responsibility of the President of the
>> >United States is to make certain that that does not
>> >happen."
>> >
>> >Libya reacted with shock over the reports, with its
>> >minister for African Affairs Ali Abd Salam Turki
>> >saying "I don't think this is true."
>> >
>> >"I don't think America is going to destroy the world,"
>> >Turki said. Russian reaction came at a non-official
>> >level with Dmitri Rogozin, Chairman of the
>> >International Affairs Committee of the lower House of
>> >the Russian Parliament saying "they have brought out a
>> >big stick -- a nuclear stick -- that is supposed to
>> >scare us and put us in our place."
>> >
>> >Col Gen Leonid Ivashov, who was serving Kremlin till
>> >recently said the US even after the end of Cold War
>> >considered Moscow as a rival and wanted to weaken it.
>> >"It is about time Russian politicians realised this
>> >and stopped having illusions that Washington wishes
>> >Moscow well."
>> >
>> >Vyacheslav Nikonov, president of the Political
>> >Foundation, a prestigious think tank, said drawing up
>> >contingency plans for a nuclear war with Moscow was an
>> >unseemly gesture for a nation that says it is Russia's
>> >friend.
>> >
>> >Iran, another target country, former president Hashemi
>> >Rafsanjani accused the US of trying to frighten other
>> >countries into submission.
>> >
>> >He told the official IRNA news agency "America thinks
>> >that if a military threat looms large over the head of
>> >these seven countries, they will give up their logical
>> >demands."
>> >
>> >The Tehran Times said the report indicates that the US
>> >Administration "is going to wreak havoc on the whole
>> >world in order to establish its hegemony and
>> >domination."
>> >
>> >Powell, who was formerly Chairman of the US Joint
>> >Chiefs of Staff and had a prominent role in that
>> >capacity during the Gulf War said, it is the job of
>> >any national leader and military to have contingency
>> >plans for all circumstances and hence the nuclear war
>> >paper should not be treated as anything extraordinary.
>> >
>> >PTI
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >__________________________________________________
>> >Do You Yahoo!?
>> >Try FREE Yahoo! Mail - the world's greatest free email!
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >_______________________________________________
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>> _______________________________________________
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