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Herman Kahn

Kahn, Herman (kän) [key], 1922–83, American military strategist. b. Bayonne, N.J. After graduate work in physics at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the Rand Corporation. Unlike scholars such as Bernard Brodie, he believed that nuclear war could be won. At Rand, he studied the application of such analytic techniques as game theory and systems analysis to military theory. In 1961 he founded the Hudson Institute, where he conducted research into questions of national security and the future. His writings include On Thermonuclear War (1961), Thinking about the Unthinkable (1962), On Escalation (1965), The Emerging Japanese Superstate (1970), The Future of the Corporation (1974), The Japanese Challenge (1979), and Thinking about the Unthinkable in the 1980s (1984).

See biography by B. Bruce-Briggs (2000); study by S. Ghamari-Tabrizi (2005).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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