April 30, 2008
ATOMS AREN'T MAGICAL:
Eisenhower Advisers Discussed Using Nuclear Weapons in China (Walter Pincus, 4/30/08, Washington Post)
Senior Air Force officers proposed using 10-to-15-kiloton nuclear bombs against targets in Communist China in 1958, in the event that Beijing blockaded the Taiwan Strait, but President Dwight D. Eisenhower ruled out that option, according to a newly declassified Pentagon document.
At a Cabinet meeting in mid-August 1958, as the threat of a Chinese blockade of Taiwan was developing, Air Force Gen. Nathan F. Twining, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained "that at the outset American planes would drop 10- to 15-kiloton bombs on selected fields in the vicinity of Amoy," a coastal city on the Taiwan Strait now called Xiamen, according to the documents.
But "the President simply did not accept the contention that nuclear weapons were as conventional as high explosives," according to the now-declassified Air Force history of the Taiwan crisis.
Nukes are just explosives and the best way to wage a war is to end it quickly with minimal casualties to your side at the lowest cost possible. Nuking Moscow and Beijing would have served the purpose admirably in the Cold War. Failure to regime change China led to what? 100 million dead? Posted by Orrin Judd at April 30, 2008 10:41 AM