Herman Kahn - Quotes

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Nuclear war is such an emotional subject that many people see the weapons themselves as the common enemy of humanity. ---->>>

World War I broke out largely because of an arms race, and World War II because of the lack of an arms race.

World War I broke out largely because of an arms race, and World War II because of the lack of an arms race.

Failures of perspective in decision-making can be due to aspects of the social utility paradox, but more often result from simple mistakes caused by inadequate thought. ---->>>

Only those who are ideologically opposed to military programs think of the defense budget as the first and best place to get resources for social welfare needs. ---->>>

Deterrence itself is not a preeminent value; the primary values are safety and morality. ---->>>

Projecting a persuasive image of a desirable and practical future is extremely important to high morale, to dynamism, to consensus, and in general to help the wheels of society turn smoothly. ---->>>

From a scientific perspective there is some indication that a nuclear war could deplete the earth's ozone layer or, less likely, could bring on a new Ice Age - but there is no suggestion that either the created order or mankind would be destroyed in the process.

From a scientific perspective there is some indication that a nuclear war could deplete the earth's ozone layer or, less likely, could bring on a new Ice Age - but there is no suggestion that either the created order or mankind would be destroyed in the process.

A healthy and fully functioning society must allocate its resources among a variety of competing interests, all of which are more or less valid but none of which should take precedence over national security. ---->>>

Nuclear weapons are intrinsically neither moral nor immoral, though they are more prone to immoral use than most weapons. ---->>>

For some years I have spent my time on exactly these questions - both in thinking about ways to prevent war, and in thinking about how to fight, survive, and terminate a war, should it occur. ---->>>

My guess is that nuclear weapons will be used sometime in the next hundred years, but that their use is much more likely to be small and limited than widespread and unconstrained. ---->>>

The widespread diffusion of nuclear weapons would make many nations able, and in some cases also create the pressure, to aggravate an on-going crisis, or even touch off a war between two other powers for purposes of their own. ---->>>

In 1960 I published a book that attempted to direct attention to the possibility of a thermonuclear war, to ways of reducing the likelihood of such a war, and to methods for coping with the consequences should war occur despite our efforts to avoid it. ---->>>

I'm against ignorance. ---->>>

Human and moral factors must always be considered. They must never be missing from policies and from public discussion. ---->>>

I'm against fashionable thinking. ---->>>

The objective of nuclear-weapons policy should not be solely to decrease the number of weapons in the world, but to make the world safer - which is not necessarily the same thing. ---->>>

Anything that reduces war-related destruction should not be considered altogether immoral. ---->>>

I'm against sloppy, emotional thinking. ---->>>

A surprising number of government committees will make important decisions on fundamental matters with less attention than each individual would give to buying a suit. ---->>>

A total nuclear freeze is counterproductive - especially now, when technology is rapidly changing and the Soviets have some important strategic advantages. ---->>>

Because of new technologies, new wealth, new conditions of domestic life and of international relations, unprecedented criteria and issues are coming up for national decision. ---->>>

For if enough people were really convinced that growth should be halted, and if they acted on that conviction, then billions of others might be deprived of any realistic hope of gaining the opportunities now enjoyed by the more fortunate. ---->>>

Hopefully, nations will refuse to accept a situation in which nuclear accidents actually do occur, and, if at all possible, they will do something to correct a system which makes them likely. ---->>>

In a world which is armed to its teeth with nuclear weapons, every quarrel or difference of opinion may lead to violence of a kind quite different from what is possible today. ---->>>

Many people believe that the current system must inevitably end in total annihilation. They reject, sometimes very emotionally, any attempts to analyze this notion. ---->>>

There was no race - but to the extent that there was an arms competition, it was almost entirely on the Soviet side, first to catch up and then to surpass the Americans. ---->>>

I am against the whole cliche of the moment. ---->>>

New developments in weapon systems during the 1950s and early 1960s created a situation that was most dangerous, and even conducive to accidental war. ---->>>

To the extent that these advanced weapons or their components are treated as articles of commerce, perhaps for peaceful uses as in the Plowshare program, their cost would be well within the resources available to many large private organizations. ---->>>

It is immoral from almost any point of view to refuse to defend yourself and others from very grave and terrible threats, even as there are limits to the means that can be used in such defense. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 02-15, 1922
Birthplace:
Die: 07-07, 1983
Occupation: Scientist
Website: