JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 492
I cannot remember ever thinking about this, or reading about it, or havng any serious consideration of the use of any sort of nuclear weapons against the North Vietnamese or the Chinese at any time during the Vietnam War. Or after it, for that matter.
But it makes sense that the issue was discussed and analyzed and vetted, if for no other reason than to dismiss it. And here it is, in small part, on the CIA website of declassified materials. What makes this document so uneasy to me is that even though it addresses the issue of the war not quite being winable and the use of nuclear weapons being (basically) not acceptable and perhaps tactically irrelevant, the idea, at the end of it all, isn't completely let go. It wasn't the idea that you whisper into a helium balloon and then set free--it was tethered in a final "what if" circumstance and let stand for further thought.
What happens at the end though, is this: there is a consideration for what would happen if the U.S. DID NOT use nuclear weapons, which is on page 12, section 19--it is the "aha" part of this paper and the foot-in-the-door to Armageddon. And what the CIA report from 1966 tells us is this, overall--it doesn't look good if the U.S. used nuclear weapons; but it also doesn't look good, perhaps, if we didn't. Dr. Strangelove didn't have anything over these guys. Finally, these astonishing folks throw up their hands and admit that the non-use wasn't, somehow, "within the scope of the paper".
This is the cover sheet for the twelve-page report; click to enlarge. The full text is below in the "continue reading section".
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