Given the US’s long history of wiping out huge numbers of people in the service of physical and hegemonic expansion, it may be unsurprising that the nation planned ‘a wholesale slaughter of much of the planet’s population’ during the Cold War, as newly declassified documents reveal.
Jason Ditz summarizes that the US goal was to first ‘prevent Soviet retaliation as much as possible’ then ‘eliminate the ability of the Soviets to fight,’ and finally expand ‘to places whose lone value was that a lot of people lived there.
…all-told there were some 1,200 cities to be targeted with nuclear strikes specifically to try to kill as many people as possible. Cities like Moscow and Leningrad, which also had military or government targets, were to be hit dozens of times.’
Analysts at George Washington University write:
‘The SAC study does not include any explanation for population targeting, but it was likely a legacy of earlier Air Force and Army Air Force thinking about the impact of bombing raids on civilian morale. For example, in a 1940 Air Corps Tactical School lecture, Major Muir Fairchild argued that an attack on a country’s economic structure “must be to so reduce the morale of the enemy civilian population through fear—of death or injury for themselves or loved ones, [so] that they would prefer our terms of peace to continuing the struggle, and that they would force their government to capitulate.”’
One of the authors of the Cold War nuclear bombing plans was Curtis Lemay, the war criminal notorious for massive bombings of Japanese population centers.
The plans are also reminiscent of a recently declassified US instructional film from the same era, which states:
“Where can the navy attack? As long as the navy commands the seas, it can deliver a biological or chemical attack anywhere on that three quarters of the Earth’s surface that’s covered by water” as well as deliver bio/chem agents “hundreds of miles inland from any coastline” to “attack a large portion of an enemy’s population.” The film then shows a cartoon with US bio/chem weapons agents spreading over huge swathes of China and Russia.
Reporter focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter. Author’s review of the historical background to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.