Cold War Timeline: A Different Kind of War

Controversy and Opposition

Controversy has always surrounded nuclear technology, whether for peace or war, and nuclear submarines were no exception. In the public arena, opposition derived from widespread fears of all things nuclear, and questions about the morality of nuclear weapons. Perceived as part of the nuclear arms race, ballistic missile submarine bases became the target of demonstrations at home and abroad.

Within the military establishment, money was an issue. For instance, during the peak years of Polaris spending, 1959 to 1964, the program consumed 8 to 14 percent of a Navy budget that remained almost constant. Every other project suffered a 10 percent funding cut, because the overall Navy budget did not increase. The result was significant opposition to Polaris among those Navy officials who favored other approaches, especially since both nuclear propulsion and ballistic missiles represented, at that time, novel technologies.

Nuclear Deterrencecontroversy and oppositionAmerica's Wars in Vietnam

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