* Thanks to "Sam" For This Link
Incredibly, it has taken 50 years for people in the United States to conclude what the Rand Corporation figured out shortly after World War II and the first detonation at Hiroshima.
It is not ground bursts that are unreliable. Ground bursts are more effective for total casualties than air bursts. You heard that right.
All my life I have heard that modern nuclear weapons are about airbursts and that the ground burst is science fiction. They're not theoretical if you intend your weapon to be efficient.
Total casualties in the ground burst are the people inside the crater plus the exponential damage done by the extremely dirty fallout ash kicked up at the point of detonation. Total body count is formidable for people downwind without shelter.
What's the real reason you have not heard about this your whole life except on Vault-Co?
If people realised nuclear war was about ground bursts they would quickly realise that foregoing civil defense preparations is nothing short of deliberate suicide. Civil defense could cut casualties 90% from ground bursts if people have shelters. With a proper civil defense program, the majority of people outside the crater survive and the majority of all secondary casualties are in people walking around in the city or in their cars when that ground burst goes off a few blocks away. In a nation with a good civil defense program, you would find that almost everybody survived in the suburbs and rural areas beyond that. If this were a country like Switzerland then once you find out how limited airburst damage really is and fallout ceases to be a real problem and you know what? The enemy starts to think to himself that nuclear war just does not satisfy risks-versus-costs ratios.
There is nothing you can do to encourage nuclear war more than to go without civil defense for your population. It is a hopelessly doomed strategic position in nuclear brinksmanship. Doomed. The think tanks figured it out a half century ago but modern people can't remember anything that happened last week. Not a good spot to be in for Western civilisation, especially now.