Since 1945, the U.S. has synthetic and deployed greater than 70,000 nuclear guns to discourage and if useful struggle a nuclear conflict. a few observers think the absence of a 3rd international battle confirms that those guns have been a prudent and reasonably-priced reaction to the uncertainty and worry surrounding the Soviet Union's army and political goals through the chilly conflict. As early as 1950, nuclear guns have been thought of rather reasonably cheap— offering "a larger bang for a buck"—and have been completely built-in into U.S. forces on that foundation. but this assumption was once by no means established. certainly, for greater than fifty years scant awareness has been paid to the large expenses of this effort—more than $5 trillion therefore far—and its brief and long term outcomes for the country. in response to 4 years of intensive examine, Atomic Audit is the 1st booklet to record the great bills of U.S. nuclear guns, assembling for the 1st time anyplace the particular and expected costs for this system considering its production in 1940. The authors supply a distinct standpoint on U.S. nuclear coverage and nuclear guns, monitoring their improvement from the big apple venture of global warfare II to the current day and assessing each one element of this system, together with learn, improvement, trying out, and construction; deployment; command, keep an eye on, communications, and intelligence; and protective measures. additionally they research the prices of dismantling nuclear guns, the administration and disposal of enormous amounts of poisonous and radioactive wastes left over from their creation, repayment for folks harmed via nuclear guns actions, nuclear secrecy, and the industrial implications of nuclear deterrence.
Utilizing archival and newly declassified executive files and knowledge, this richly documented booklet demonstrates how numerous factors—the open-ended nature of nuclear deterrence, defective assumptions concerning the cost-effectiveness of nuclear guns, typical misrepresentation of and overreaction to the Soviet possibility, the will to take care of nuclear superiority, bureaucratic and infrequently arbitrary judgements, red meat barrel politics, and over the top secrecy—all drove the purchase of an arsenal some distance greater than what many modern civilian and armed forces leaders deemed useful. Atomic Audit concludes with thoughts for strengthening atomic responsibility and fostering larger public figuring out of nuclear guns courses and policies.