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June 26, 1948


Author Affiliations

The Air Surgeon Washington, D. C.

JAMA. 1948;137(9):759-762. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890430001001

From the War of 1812 until the present time, the wooden and later iron and steel walls of the British and American fleets have stood between our heart land and the aggrandizements or military threats of any potential enemy. Neither the Central Powers in World War I nor the Axis nations in World War II were able to breach these barriers or approach our continental installations and resources, wherein lie the bulk of our military potential. This unchallenged security, based on our position of relative geographic immunity, encircled and protected by a ring of steel, has perhaps engendered an attitude of domestic complacency, a complacency which may, for the first time, have been jolted a bit, simultaneously with the realization of the devastation wrought by the atomic bomb bursts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the conclusion of World War II. Just as the massed infantry assault tactics and tremendous personnel

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