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Unformatted text preview: yuan... ynuy-uu-J vuu-u-uwn. iv uttuvl‘ w] vlllvlll ”av-yu- weapons." The authors focused on the suitability of enemy targets for a nuclear strike and the likely effects on enemy ground operations. Military obstacles The analysis highlighted numerous obstacles, including the difficulty of target acquisition, and the fact that even when good targets existed the use of tactical nuclear weapons would not substantially affect enemy operations. In some cases there were more effective alternatives. The report identified a number of targets against which, in principle, tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) might be useful. "Bridges, airfields, and missile sites make good TNWtargets."10 Airfields were also "ideal targets for TNW and are expensive targets for conventional bombing."11 The introduction of tactical nuclear bombing would quickly render the 10 remaining operational airfields in North Vietnam inoperable. Other potential targets were large troop concentrations, tunnel systems, and Viet Cong bases in South Vietnam. "TNW can be very effective if the position of bases are known accurately, especially if attacks can be delivered without warning." Still, the report concluded, using tactical nuclear weapons in South Vietnam would be "helpful, but in no sense decisive. It would be equivalent to a major increase in the strength of 352 bombardments." For instance, it would take 3,000 tactical nuclear weapons per year to interdict supply routes like the Ho Chi Minh trail. More problematically, US. forces might become vulnerable to a Soviet-orchestrated counterattack; and the first use of tactical nuclear weapons against guerrillas might set a precedent that would lead to use of similar weapons by guerrillas against US. targets. In reality, the report concluded, few highly suitable targets or effective uses could be found. ”The use of TNW on troop targets would be effective only in stopping the enemy from moving large masses of men in concentrated formations. So long as the enemy moves men in small groups and uses forest cover, he would offer few suitable troop targets for TNW." Using "bomblet-canister ordnance" would be more cost- effective than using nuclear weapons on troops in the open. Viet Cong base areas in South Vietnam might/be destroyed with tactical nuclear strikes, "but this would rnnlurn Ian-an nllmknrn n" Inlnnnnnn and An nnnlerl-A Nixing nukes in Vietnam: in 1966, a group of scientists studied the possible use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam. Here's why their report advised against it Author: Hayes, Peter Journal Name: Bulletin of the atomic scientists ISSN: 0096-3402 Date: 05/01/2003 Volume: 59 Issue: 3 Page: 52 ProQuest Research Library (D v () Also available online from: Try a Different Source v Report a problem () Still need help? A Chat with a librarian ( ) Contact the Library ( ) Email () Export () English V Additional Options () 00 ...
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