Fail Safe (1964): First Strike
In a meeting with ranking military and government staff, an American professor argues in favor of a first strike policy: one in which the United States attacks the Soviet Union first. He is countered by a general who questions the morality of such a stance and such action. This clip highlights the extremities in Cold War thinking.

Public Discussion Questions


  1. What does the professor advise?
  2. How does the professor justify this stance?
  3. Why does the general disagree with this call for a first strike?

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Standards


This clip is associated with the following standards:
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    analyze causes and effects of events and social issues such as immigration, Social Darwinism, eugeni...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    The student understands the impact of significant national and international decisions and conflicts...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    describe how Cold War tensions were intensified by the arms race, the space race, McCarthyism, and t...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    identify the following major events of the Cold War, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and ...
  • Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - Social Studies
    explain the effects of major new military technologies on World War I, World War II, and the Cold War

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