Bugs and Nukes, Ethics and Leadership


Manage episode 296885029 series 1272224
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August 21, 2013-Dr. Conrad Crane

Though the Korean War was a limited conflict, there were many operational and technological temptations to expand it. America's allies feared the United States would again resort to atomic bombs as they did against Japan, and Communist enemies propagated elaborate accusations about the employment of biological warfare. Political and military leaders certainly considered using such weapons, though the reasons they never did are varied and complex. Dr. Conrad Crane describes the practical and ethical reasoning behind strategic leaders' decisions, particularly emphasizing the pressures they faced in a limited war with the potential to be much worse. He also discusses the research process to investigate such decision-making and the special difficulties involved in dealing with classified sources about weapons of mass destruction. The lecture is a detective story with twists and turns and more than a little luck involved.

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