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“Little Holes to Hide In”: Civil Defense and the Public Backlash Against Home Fallout Shelters, 1957-1963

July 23, 2012 Comments off

"Little Holes to Hide In": Civil Defense and the Public Backlash Against Home Fallout Shelters, 1957-1963

Source: Georgia State University Digital Archive

Throughout the 1950s, U.S. policymakers actively encouraged Americans to participate in civil defense through a variety of policies. In 1958, amidst confusion concerning which of these policies were most efficient, President Eisenhower established the National Shelter Plan and a new civil defense agency titled The Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. This agency urged homeowners to build private fallout shelters through print media. In response, Americans used newspapers, magazines, and science fiction novels to contest civil defense and the foreign and domestic policies that it was based upon, including nuclear strategy. Many Americans remained unconvinced of the viability of civil defense or feared its psychological impacts on society. Eventually, these criticisms were able to weaken civil defense efforts and even alter nuclear defense strategy and missile defense technology.

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The Psychological Cost of War: Military Combat and Mental Health

April 13, 2011 Comments off

The Psychological Cost of War: Military Combat and Mental Health
Source: Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

While descriptive evidence suggests that deployment in the Global War on Terrorism is associated with adverse mental health, the causal effect of combat is not well established. Using data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we exploit exogenous variation in deployment assignment and find that soldiers deployed to combat zones where they engage in frequent enemy firefight or witness allied or civilian deaths are at substantially increased risk for suicidal ideation, psychological counseling, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our estimates imply lower-bound health care costs of $1.5 to $2.7 billion for combat-induced PTSD.

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