Frases de Herman Kahn

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Herman Kahn

Data de nascimento: 15. Fevereiro 1922
Data de falecimento: 7. Julho 1983

Herman Kahn foi um estrategista militar e teórico da Corporação RAND que ficou conhecido por suas análises sobre as prováveis conseqüências de uma guerra nuclear. No Brasil ficou famoso por causa do seu projeto Grandes Lagos.

Citações Herman Kahn

„Equally important to not appearing "trigger-happy" is not to appear prone to either accidents or miscalculations. Who wants to live in the 1960's and 1970's in the same world with a hostile strategic force that might inadvertently start a war? Most people are not even willing to live with a friendly strategic force that may not be reliably controlled. The worst way for a country to start a war is to do it accidentally, without any preparations. That might initiate an all- out "slugging match" in which only the most alert portion of the forces gets off in the early phase. Both sides are thus likely to be clobbered," both because the initial blow was not large enough to be decisive and because the war plans are likely to be inappropriate. To repeat: On all these questions of accident, miscalculation, unauthorized behavior, trigger-happy postures, and excessive destructiveness, we must satisfy ourselves and our allies, the neutrals, and, strangely important, our potential enemies. Since it is almost inevitable that the future will see more discussion of these questions, i will be important for us not only to have made satisfactory preparations, but also to have prepared a satisfactory story. Unless every-body concerned, both laymen and experts, develops a satisfactory image of strategic forces as contributing more to security than insecurity it is most improbable that the required budgets, alliances, and intellectual efforts will have the necessary support. To the extent that people worry about our strategic forces as themselves exacerbating or creating security problems, or confuse symptoms with the disease, we may anticipate a growing rejection of military preparedness as an essential element in the solution to our security problem and a turning to other approaches not as a complement and supplement but as an alternative. In particular, we are likely to suffer from the same movement toward "responsible" budgets pacifism, and unilateral and universal disarmament that swept through England in the 1920's and 1930's. The effect then was that England prematurely disarmed herself to such an extent that she first almost lost her voice in world affairs, and later her independence in a war that was caused as much by English weakness as by anything else.“

—  Herman Kahn

The Magnum Opus; On Thermonuclear War

„However, even those who expect deterrence to work might hesitate at introducing a new weapon system that increased the reliability of deterrence, but at the cost of increasing the possible casualties by a factor of 10, that is, there would then be one or two billion hostages at risk if their expectations fail. Neither the 180 million Americans nor even the half billion people in the NATO alliance should or would be willing to design and procure a security system in which a malfunction or failure would cause the death of one or two billion people. If the choice were made explicit, the United States or NATO would seriously consider "lower quality" systems; i. e., systems which were less deterring, but whose consequences were less catastrophic if deterrence failed. They would even consider such possibilities as a dangerous degree of partial or complete unilateral disarmament, if there were no other acceptable postures. The West might be willing to procure a military system which, if used in a totally irrational and unrealistic way, could cause such damage, but only if all of the normal or practically conceivable abnormal ways of operating the system would not do anything like the hypothesized damage. On the other hand, we would not let the Soviets cynically blackmail us into accommodation by a threat on their part to build a Doomsday Machine, even though we would not consciously build a strategic system which inevitably forced the Soviets to build a Doomsday Machine in self-defense.“

—  Herman Kahn

The Magnum Opus; On Thermonuclear War

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„In addition to not looking too dangerous to ourselves, we must not look too dangerous to our allies. This problem has many similarities with the problem of not looking too dangerous to ourselves, with one important addition—our allies must believe that being allied to us actually increases their security. Very few of our allies feel that they could survive a general war—even one fought without the use of Doomsday Machines. Therefore, to the extent that we try to use the threat of a general war to deter the minor provocations that are almost bound to occur anyway, then no matter how credible we try to make this threat, our allies will eventually find the protection unreliable or disadvantageous to them. If credible, the threat is too dangerous to be lived with. If incredible, the lack of credibility itself will make the defense seem unreliable. Therefore, in the long run the West will need "safe-looking" limited war forces to handle minor and moderate provocations. It will most likely be necessary for the U. S. to make a major contribution to such forces and to take the lead in their creation, even though there are cases where the introduction of credible and competent-looking limited war forces will make some of our allies apprehensive—at least in the short run. They will worry because such forces make the possibility of small wars seem more real, but this seems to be another case where one cannot eat his cake and have it.“

—  Herman Kahn

The Magnum Opus; On Thermonuclear War

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