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> Subject: CROSS-POSTED REVIEW: H-Diplo Review Forum- T.V. > Paul. The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons The 2nd in cross posted Reviews, which have been of particular subject interest, this one on non-use of nuclear weapons raises even more historical issues and possible discussion. In the intro to this Review, attention is called to the work of McGeorge Bundy, as one, of those whose efforts were important. Quite so.Bundy was also, one of the Presidential advisors to the Kennedy Administration and the opening period of the Johnson Administration, during the early years of US commitment and escalation of conventional warfare in Vietnam. He certainly should know something about this subject, having helped to shape the US responses and limitations that were imposed. Further, at that time, historically, much in vogue was a strategy looking for ways to circumvent uses of nuclear weaponry, so wars could be fought without resort to their destructive application and consequences from crossing the nuclear threshold. Bundy most certainly played some role in the fashion then of re-evaluation and organization of US military capabilities to meet the conventional threats being posed by the Communist world, itself considerably concerned about nuclear weaponry and its uses, so far, in fact, as to develop the doctrines of 'guerrilla warfare' as tactics in 'wars of national liberation' for their own non nuclear approach to political and military conflicts. This Review is generally accurate, as far as it goes initially. There are still, a number of points to be pursued. Unlike Prof. Paul, it is here suggested, the prohibition against non-use had many characteristics of a 'social norm. Further, there were moral and even religious prescriptions against non-use. But in the analysis, non-use had far more to do with practical considerations and 'rational' fears of crossing into a realm of weaponry from which the combatants would not be able to 'win' or exchange actions without severe consequences and destruction. To be sure, the character of 'responsible' non-use played some role as well, in terms of the political advantages to be gained from others not so militarily advantaged. This part of the Review is sound in its descriptive phrases and substance. Where it may be necessary to part company, concerns the question of 'irrational' or ''rational' uses of nuclear weapons. In the context of WW II, had Hitler achieved nuclear weapons and considered mounting them on his V rockets, the entire course of history may well have been quite different. Was Hitler 'rational' ? Many think not, given his willingness to use almost any means to win or to destroy as all or nothing alternatives. "Irrationality' in the form of emotional decisions remains a question mark area for thought and research. While there is much to agree with in this initial survey, reserved commentary might well follow on individual contributors thoughts, in part, where there may be additional focus needed or discursion deemed useful. This will be a subject for a follow on reply. One further thought about the backdrop of Vietnam. By 1966, consideration had indeed turned to possible uses, at least for publication, of tactical nuclear weapons and the implications that would have. But this subject is better explored in conjunction with one of the contributor's replies as follow on thought. Wyatt Reader UCLA___Whittier College  See Bernard Brodie, Escalation and the Nuclear Option, Princton Press, Rand and UCLA, 1966. Wherein 'responsible' uses of nuclear weapons at the tactical level is discussed and the role of nuclear weapons in deterrence and limitation thru deterrence. The Bibliography cited below is far from thorough or wide ranging on this subect under discussion. Wyatt Reader <hirener@EARTHLINK.NET> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----