Herman Kahn - Doomsday Quotes
3 Sourced Quotes
Here is another form of deterrence which, while not a Doomsday Machine, is still an"ultimate" of a sort. This could be called the Homicide Pact Machine, an attempt to make a failure of Type I Deterrence mean automatic mutual homicide. The adherents to this somewhat more practical device hope to divide the work of deterrence in a natural way: We destroy the enemy and the enemy destroys us, neither of us cheating by buying any effective Counterforce as Insurance for our respective societies. The Homicide Pact Machine is clearly more satisfactory to both humanitarians and neutrals than the Doomsday Machine and both should make the distinction.
Even though it is the ultimate in Type I Deterrence, the Doomsday Machine is an unsatisfactory basis for a weapon system. It is most improbable that either the Soviet or U.S.governments would ever authorize procuring such a machine. The project is expensive enough so it would be subject to a searching budgetary and operational scrutiny—a scrutiny which would raise questions it could never survive.
As far as patriots and nationalists are concerned, I believe that the Homicide Pact system has many of the same drawbacks as the Doomsday Machine, though not in so extreme a form. The major advantage of the Homicide Pact is that one is not in the bizarre situation of being killed with his own equipment; while intellectuals may not so distinguish, the policy makers and practical men prefer being killed by the other side. It is just because this view no longer strikes some people as bizarre that it is so dangerous.