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How the USA gave up on protecting its citizens against nuclear attack, and settled for just elite shelters

How the U.S. Government Might Have Survived a Nuclear War,  Yes, this is the real Deep State, National Interest, by Steve Weintz, 18 Nov 18 

With the arrival of the Bomb and its immense destructive power, the efforts to protect elites and commoners alike from swift destruction assumed novel and at times grotesque forms. Civil defense foundered in America upon the sheer scale of the problem—getting tens of millions of urbanites out of cities and into shelters before enemy nukes arrived. Ultimately the United States quietly gave up on protecting the majority of its residents from nuclear attack via shelter, and opted for a grand technological fix in missile defense.

Elite shelter concepts, however, had better success. Ostensibly, this makes sense; targeting the enemy leadership can sometimes win a struggle. The assassination of Admiral Yamamoto by the U.S. Navy in 1943, for example, derailed Japan’s defense of its island conquests. But such a policy opens a door into a very dark room, as many leaders instinctively know.

Tofrom early on in the Nuclear Age the U.S. government explored numerous ways to keep itself safe during and after Armageddon.

The Greenbriar Resort in West Virginia, a grand old vacation destination abounding in stately elegance, now includes a Cold War extra amongst a tour of its premises: the congressional bunker built in the late 1950s under the guise of a resort expansion. The Greenbriar bunker is a true time capsule, its rotary-dial phones and fusty office chairs ready for the cast of a period movie.

The Greenbriar bunker was never used for its intended purpose and was decommissioned in 1992 after a news expose. When members of Congress evacuated the Capitol on September 11, 2001, they flew to the Mount Weather emergency command facility in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Now run by FEMA, Mount Weather can shelter several hundred people from all three branches of government for months.

Along with Congress agencies such as the Federal Reserve made accommodations for apocalypse, including giant vaults full of currency . As Strangelovian as it sounds, the work of returning American society to some semblance of pre-war routine would depend on cash and banking.

As aircraft became faster and missiles faster still the warning times for nuclear attack shrank from hours to minutes. Even as Greenbriar and Mount Weather were conceived and built,  the evolving threat demanded more urgent safety measures. As Mark, the author of Atomic Skies blog writes:

“Two solutions were considered: mobility and hardness. Mobility meant keeping the president on the move, on plane or train or ship, so that the Soviets could not find and kill him. Hardness meant burying the president, deep underground, deeper than even a nuclear weapon could reach.” ………

So are there deep bunkers carved into the American soil still hiding in the dark? Vast sums have been spent since 9/11 and much is unaccounted for. But the same concerns that kept super bunkers from being built – cost, capacity and effectiveness—mitigate against any grand caverns of doom.

Yes, this is the real Deep State.


November 19, 2018 - Posted by | history, USA, weapons and war

1 Comment »

  1. There will be no, earth after a nuclear war. Every reactor on earth will explode. Every nuclear fuel pool on earth and nuke dump will catch fire! w100s of thousands to millions of tons of hi level nuclear waste, will catch fire! The earth’s atmosphers will turn black and red and glow blue. Every living thing shall perish.

    Comment by Abigail Lawton | November 20, 2018 | Reply

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