No Wonk’s virtual bookshelf would be complete without an electronic copy of the following historical study of nuclear weapons in Third World-conflicts and crises (23 megabyte PDF):
William Yengst, Stephen Lukasik and Mark Jensen, Nuclear Weapons that Went to War (NWTWTW), DNA-TR-96-25, draft final report sponsored by the U.S. Defense Special Weapons Agency and Science Applications International Corp., October 1996, unclassified.
Before continuing, I want to thank Mr. Yengst (of SAIC) and Dr. Lukasik (the former director of the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, under whose tenure ARPANET began) for permitting me to post a copy of NWTWTW.
Sponsored by the Pentagon’s Defense Special Weapons Agency (which was incorporated into the new Defense Threat Reduction Agency in 1998) and Science Applications International Corporation, Nuclear Weapons that Went to War uses exclusively public-source information to examine the impact of nuclear weapons in an array of crisis and conflict situations in the Third World. In particular, it devotes sixteen chapters to careful-yet-consciously-tentative studies of the following cases:
- Application of Nuclear Weapons Against Japan (1945)
- Nuclear Weapons for the Korean War (1950-1953)
- Nuclear Weapons for Dien Bien Phu (1954)
- Suez: Nuclear Threat after a Lightning War (1956)
- Lebanon: Acting from a Position of Strength (1958)
- The Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
- Nuclear Weapons and the Assault on the Liberty (1967)
- The Capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo (1968)
- Nuclear Weapons for the Battle of Khe Sanh (1968)
- Sino-Soviet Border Dispute Initiates a Nuclear Threat (1969)
- Israeli Nuclear Weapons and the 1973 “October War”
- South African Nuclear Weapons to Deter Communist Angola (1984)
- Soviet Nuclear Weapons Deployment in Afghanistan (1979-1987)
- Nuclear Weapons in the Falkland Islands (1982)
- Nuclear Weapon Considerations during Desert Storm (1991)
- Taiwan Dilemma (1958, 1996)
In NWTWTW‘s preface, Yengst et al. write that their study provides:
- Evidence of conditions under which nuclear weapons were seriously considered for use.
- Cases in which improvements can (or should) be made in weapon planning, operations, and security.
- Descriptions of political, military, and public reactions that resulted when use of nuclear weapons was imminent.
- A basis for war games situations in which new weapons, strategies, and tactics can be evaluated.
Several ground rules were observed in preparing this report. First, it does not address the Cold War competition between the U.S. and USSR. Second, it covers all U.S. and foreign crises and conflicts that could be found in which nuclear weapons were considered for use or mistakenly brought into combat. Third, it is based entirely on data and information from unclassified sources. Although classified sources could provide greater insight into the details and add credibility to each event, the report will have wider distribution and utility as an unclassified document. Fourth, each historical event is presented as a stand-alone situation in which three elements are addressed:
- Description of the situation, its background and resolution.
- The role of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
- Lessons learned from the crisis or conflict.
To insure that the material of this report is credible and clearly presented, it has been submitted to a team of senior military and political experts for review and refinement before publication. However, the research was not exhaustive and future readers may be able to contribute further insights into the studies (italics added).
So, what say you, Readers of the Wonk? What further insights into these case studies can you contribute?
P.S. Yengst and Lukasik have put together a 2007 update and commentary to NWTWTW; I’ll post a link to that in this entry at a later time.