Were nuclear weapons the primary reason the United States and Soviet Union maintained the peace for almost fifty years?
- While nuclear weapons are destructive, so is fully industrialized war.
- Both World War I and World War II were unimaginably deadly. A similar war today would be exponentially more destructive even without nuclear weapons.
- Thus, the effect of nuclear weapons might be overkill—a fall from a twenty story building is worse than a fall from a ten story building, but a rational person would go to great lengths to avoid both.
- The original idea comes from Retreat from Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major War by John Mueller.