Is War Obsolete?

Were nuclear weapons the primary reason the United States and Soviet Union maintained the peace for almost fifty years?

Takeaway Points

  1. While nuclear weapons are destructive, so is fully industrialized war.
  2. Both World War I and World War II were unimaginably deadly. A similar war today would be exponentially more destructive even without nuclear weapons.
  3. 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.
  4. The original idea comes from Retreat from Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major War by John Mueller.