The ultimate oxymoron: a humanitarian bomb that kills humans and leaves buildings standing. The inverse of this is that in most major bombings (lately, anyway) I think they clear out the humans to destroy the buildings.
After the Manhattan Project, Cohen went to work for the RAND Corporation, where he developed his bomb.
He said the inspiration for the neutron bomb was a 1951 visit to Seoul, which had been largely destroyed in the Korean War. In his memoir, he wrote: “If we are going to go on fighting these damned fool wars in the future, shelling and bombing cities to smithereens and wrecking the lives of their inhabitants, might there be some kind of nuclear weapon that could avoid all this?”
Some critics worried that the neutron bomb’s limited damage could make nuclear strikes acceptable and even routine, while others faulted its emphasis on preserving structures. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev called the neutron bomb the ultimate capitalist weapon, built “to kill a man in such a way that his suit will not be stained with blood, in order to appropriate the suit.” Cohen, however, never stopped seeing his weapon as good for humanity, rather than evil. “The neutron bomb has to be the most moral weapon ever invented,” Mr. Cohen wrote in his 1983 autobiography, “Shame: Confessions of the Father of the Neutron Bomb.” (After the U.S. dismantled its neutron bombs, he retitled the book,
“F*** You! Mr. President.”)