Nuclear deterrence in retrospect
The role of nuclear weapons in Soviet-American relations has been hotly debated. Politicians, generals, and most academic strategists believe that America’s nuclear arsenal restrained the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. Critics maintain that nuclear weapons were a root cause of superpower conflict and a threat to peace. Controversy also surrounds the number and kinds of weapons necessary to deter, the political implications of the strategic balance, and the role of nuclear deterrence in hastening the collapse of the Soviet imperium.