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By Christopher J. Bright (auth.)

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Extra info for Continental Defense in the Eisenhower Era: Nuclear Antiaircraft Arms and the Cold War

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Presidential aide and former Minnesota governor Harold E. ” Ike rejoined that “there was a point beyond which one could not go,” implying that the weapon could not be hurried regardless of the emphasis which the NSC might place on it. The president was obviously reluctant to mandate a schedule for Genie deployment. It is probable that he feared the high cost and other difficulties that might result from a rushed deployment effort. Consequently, a formal decision about the schedule for continental defense programs was tabled until the next NSC meeting.

66 In this period, the president was especially vocal in his support for measures to protect against a Soviet attack. 69 Days later, Wilson addressed the Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives. He explained the high priority the administration was placing on protecting the United States from bomber attack. 71 It concluded that the USSR was rapidly fielding atomic weapons. ”74 Later, an aide to the Defense Secretary wrote to the JCAE to update the committee on missiles scheduled to receive nuclear warheads.

Although the NSC “could say that the air-to-air rocket program was so important to be almost vital” setting an operational date might “concentrate too much effort on merely meeting the deadline instead of the best solution,” he argued. ” Eisenhower was not persuaded. He said he “had no objection” to NSC 5422 referencing such an “estimate,” implying that his concern focused only on the possibility of stipulating a deadline, but actually revealing that he did not share the understanding of the threat.

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