Excerpts from the Joint Chiefs of Staff "Statement of Effect of Atomic Weapons on National Security and Military Organization" of January 1946:

*Should there be an armaments race in atomic weapons -- and the world could not long survive such a race -- then the United States must for all time maintain absolute supremacy in atomic weapons, including number, size and power, efficiency, means for immediate offensive use and defense against atomic attack.

*If we were ruthlessly realistic, we would not permit any foreign power with which we are not firmly allied, and in which we do not have absolute confidence, to make or possess atomic weapons. If such a country started to make atomic weapons, we would destroy its capacity to make them before it had progressed far enough to threaten us.

*The atomic bomb is not an all-purpose weapon. One would not use a pile-driver for driving tacks when a tack hammer would do a better and a cheaper job.

*[The atomic bomb] is a weapon of suddenness, completeness and totality . . . . It makes war undendurable. Its very existence should make war unthinkable.

*Because an atomic-weapon war will not let us have months to prepare in comparative security, a larger percentage of our war force unit must be kept always ready . . . . With atomic weapons, a nation must be ready to strike the first blow if needed. The first blow or series of first blows may be the last.

*The atomic bomb is a terrifying advance over other weapons . . . . Its destructiveness makes it imperative that world peace be achieved. If the peoples of the major powers of the world really knew or could understand the peril inherent in atomic weapons, they would demand of their various governments a real solution to the problems of war.

*If there are to be atomic weapons in the world, we must have the best, the biggest and the most.