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Lynn Eden

Underestimating nuclear weapons' effects can cause tragic repetition of past errors

Commentary / February 10, 2005
Underestimating the damage caused by nuclear weapons is an important part of the historical explanation for the inflated force requirements--"overkill"--that led the United States and Soviet Union to build nuclear arsenals in the tens of thousands of warheads. But underestimating damage matters importantly now as well. To paraphrase George Santayana, those who do not understand the past may well be condemned to repeat its errors.
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