Essay: Deterrence By Anti-Missiles: Examining the Proposition That World Peace Can Be Maintained Only by Extreme Escalation

ONE of the basic facts about nuclear weapons is that few people really believe or can imagine that they will ever be used. As a result, any discussion of nuclear plans and possibilities assumes a certain air of unreal horror. And yet, short of a drastic change in the international situation or in human nature, the leaders responsible for a nation's security cannot rule out the possibility of a nuclear war. Hence, one of the most painful and long-deferred decisions facing Washington is whether or not the U.S. should install an anti-missile defense system....

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