During the Cold War, a generation of nuclear-strategy and policy advisers, analysts, and writers was devoted to a crucial but negative concept: not exercising the vast, awful capacities that America had, while, at the same time, being sure that we could.
Denizens of this nuclear-age subculture, in and out of military uniform, spent a large part of their lives there because they believed that the instruments of war were critical to America. When they must be used, we must have enough of them to crush any enemy. But success in military strategy lies in not fighting. The ideal outcome is to deter and avoid war without surrendering national security or yielding on vital national interests.
The legacy of that first generation of nuclear-age politico-military eccentrics is this: We had the right number of nuclear wars! It is time to evolve another generation of warfare strategists in a new era. Their task will be more difficult.