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Nebraska and the Cold War

The period known as the Cold War (1945 - 1991) was known as a time of heightened tension between the world's two remaining superpowers after World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union. Although called the Cold War, historians have also named this period the "Long Peace" in that major armed conflict did not occur between the major powers. Had a third world war had occurred, the introduction of nuclear weapons (followed by intercontinental ballistic missiles) would have ensured that the results would have been catastrophic. A major nuclear exchange may have resulted in millions of deaths and had effectively destroyed human civilization. It was also an entirely new concept of warfare that could not really have been effectively tested. Military planning communities and civilian "Think-tanks" flourished during the period questioning the "What Ifs?" posed by nuclear weapons. Very quickly, work was set in motion to turn these weapons into a &quo