The basic function of all states throughout history has been to ensure the security of their populations from threat. States that have failed in their security responsibilities are usually the ones that have eventually fallen by the wayside as they lose legitimacy in the eyes of their population. Hence, security has always been at the centre of the policy-making agenda of individual states and between states. The populations and policy-makers of states have learned by harsh experience that the creation of a viable security policy is a complex task, fraught with risk, and which requires imaginative and comprehensive approaches. It is therefore ironic that during the Cold War, just as states and the international system faced the greatest destructive risks, in some ways the making of security policy became relatively easier. For while nuclear weapons posed the greatest and most immediate destructive threats in history, the bipolarity that accompanied these weapons systems also gave policy-makers the confidence – whether misguided, or not – that they could identify clear enemies and clear strategies and procedures for dealing with the prevention of conflict. Of course, these conceptions of security did not mean global peace, as the superpowers and other major developed powers fought out their struggles through intervention in low-intensity conflicts in the developing world.