CIVIL DEFENSE: Head in the Sand

"The supreme irony of civil defense in the U.S.," said the House Military Operations Subcommittee last week, "is that the American people and many of their elected and appointed policy officials refuse to accept the distasteful facts of reality simply because they are distasteful." The distasteful facts, as set forth by the subcommittee with help from Rand Corp. researchers: a thermonuclear attack on the 150 largest U.S. cities could wipe out 70% of the nation's industry and kill 160 million people, about 90% of the population.

But the subcommittee also found "promising possibilities" for averting such catastrophe. The hydrogen death...

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