DEFENSE: Overkill

A word coming more and more into Pentagon usage is "overkill"—a blunt but descriptive term implying a power to destroy a military target not once but many times more than necessary. On Defense Secretary Neil McElroy's desk last week lay the paper plans that will soon add up to a problem of overkill: each of the services is ready to offer one or more complete weapons systems, each one promising to achieve nuclear annihilation of Russian targets. McElroy's problem: How much is enough—or to put it another way, how many times do you buy the capability of killing the...

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