[lit-ideas] Re: Don't Panic

I can't agree that the prevention of nuclear war was the only imperitive - clearly a predictable response I suppose - though this isn't to say that this imperitive didn't exist and that containment policies quite likely got equally as bad on both sides. However, I have to wonder at your third sentence: that if 'one side "won" too much, the other side would increasingly adopt the pre-emptive nuclear strike strategy.' This can only be an assumption since such a strategy must include the pre-emptive strike to be noticeable. On only one occasion (so far as I'm aware) - the Cuba crisis - did matters get out of hand and that was resolved not by overt/covert containment but by good old diplomacy.


But to get back on topic, I'd submit that whatever the imperitives that created policy and action, it doesn't absolve the originators (whether US or Soviets) of responsibility. Was the ousting of Allende worth the terrors of Pinochet for example; could anyone say with certainty that a democratically elected Socialist government in Chile would have inevitably led to a nuclear confrontation between the superpowers.



----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Yost" <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2007 2:26 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Don't Panic


Simon: Was the avoidance of nuclear war the only imperitive behind those decisions?

Eric: From my reading, yes. Problem with the Cold War was that, until late in the Seventies, no side could let the other side win too much. If one side "won" too much, the other side would increasingly adopt the pre-emptive nuclear strike strategy.

Hence the Containment battle waged in the Third World ... it was the only place the two could fight without going nuclear, and neither side trusted the other enough NOT to fight.

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