Ideas on how to achieve security have greater impact on this society than does any other set of ideas. Intellectual history involves, both the study of ideas and of how and why ideas took hold. As such, it involves an attempt to grasp the elusive concept known as “strategic culture”—that national soup of ideals, interests, and propensities upon which decision-makers have been nourished as professionals and as citizens. The end of the 1970s witnessed the strange, aborted debate which brought the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) era to a close. Critics of the SALT II treaty lacked consensus on its flaws and on whom or what to blame for them. The general literature maintains that the major theoretical foundation for modern nuclear arms management was laid in the late 1950s and early 1960s after disarmament efforts had proven unproductive. The central publications and intellectual momentum behind the theory are generally associated with work then underway in Cambridge Massachusetts.