Weapons and Hope

PDF EBook by Freeman Dyson

EBook Description

This book is sort of a sequel to the extremely good 'Disturbing the Univierse', though focused on nuclear disarmament. Weapons and Hope PDF EBookIt is very thought- PDFprovoking not only for the material in it in the context of the time it was published (1983), but because it constantly made me wonder what differences an updated version would have.

I think one misconception of the author's was to view the Soviet Union as having rough technological parity with the United States, and any developments for example along the lines of ballistic missile defense or precision guided munitions could be matched by the other side.One of the disarmament strategies Dyson suggests is a shift from offensive weapons of mass destruction to precision defensive weapons- but I think the U.S. could achieve this shift much more easily than the Soviet Union could have, and they would realize this and resist the change.

A world where the numbers of bombs held by any country is very low could be a world where ballistic missile defense could work.It seems like the U.S. since the end of the Cold War likes to believe the left-over arsenals of the U.S. and former Soviet Union no longer matter, or can be left to gradual reductions, and only small attacks from newly nuclear countries are the main danger and we can deploy BMD against them.But Russia still has its weapons, and BMD is still provocative in that it can lead to an unending and expensive arms race of offensive and defensive weapons system that are completely useless in real wars.

An early chapter discusses the British focus on strategic bombing during WWII, and suggests that the war could have been won a year earlier had the same resources been put into weapons aimed at achieving specific tactical military objectives- a tank destroyed on the battlefield has much greater and immediate worth than the slight and temporary reduction of tank production resulting from bombs dropped on a factory.

In the same chapter he mentions that every bombing raid into Germany would attempt to set off a firestorm, but that they were poorly understood and varying environmental conditions would preclude their occurrence.I think in an alternate history where nuclear weapons were not developed the superpowers would have studied firestorms intensely and would have perfected weapons and delivery systems to start them on command with conventional explosives.

pg 208 - a small scale example of successful non-violent resistance in the French village of Chambon Sur Lignon against the Nazis.

pg 192 - George Kennan warns that the Soviet Union could be a far prefereable adversary to possible replacment governments if it were to collapse. Like this book? Read online this: An Extended Deterrence Regime to Counter Iranian Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of the Third Reich.

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