CIVIL DEFENSE: Buzzers Mean Bombs

Aside from stacks of unread pamphlets, federal civil-defense programs for coping with a nuclear attack on U.S. cities have so far produced little more than a warning system. And even that warning system, warned a report buzzing through the honeycomb of the Pentagon last week, is "basically unsound."

Prepared by Johns Hopkins University's Operations Research Office, a civilian outfit that does paid think work for the U.S. Army, the report argues that in the age of intercontinental ballistic missiles a civil-defense warning system should be capable of warning 90% of the population...