April 1958: "Nature of Future War"

In April 1958, J.C. Arnell, the DRB's Director of Plans, delivered a lecture at the National Defence College. In it, Arnell examined the nuclear threat and recent developments in missile technology. Arnell predicts that the “arrival of the missile age” will be 1965, and “in considering a future war it is assumed that the main attack will be in the form of long range ballistic missiles, for which there will be little warning.” He also considers the “rather frightening” implications of current US strategy and its reliance on nuclear deterrence and massive retaliation. It is clear from this lecture that there is a real fear of nuclear war and a great deal of uncertainty regarding survival of such a war. The biggest threats according to Arnell are ICBMs and submarine-launched missiles.

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J.C. Arnell, "The Nature of Future War," 8 Apr. 1958, LAC, RG 25, vol. 4903, file no. 50115-P-40, part 3.