Dig a Hole: Reagan Administration and Civil Defense

One old approach to preparing for a nuclear war that has been resurrected by the Reagan Administration is the idea of civil defense. The President has budgeted $252 million for the program next year, a 90% increase over fiscal 1982. But unlike the fallout-shelter mania that followed the Berlin crisis of 1961, when the Kennedy Administration spent $257 million (1982 equivalent: $920 million) for civil defense, the Reagan program is focused on "crisis relocation" to evacuate probable target areas, and on contingency plans for resuming normal operations after a nuclear attack.

Many of...

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