This chapter presents limited war, in both its conventional and tactical nuclear forms. As the quantities of weapons at the disposal of the powers grow, the destructiveness of all-out nuclear war becomes absolute, total war ceases to constitute a rational course of action, and only limited war remains within the scope of rationality. The development of American theories on the limited war was greatly influenced by the example of the Korean war and the reactions to it. Americans claim that limited war is possible only when conventional weapons are used, and urge that non-nuclear Soviet aggression or invasion be met by conventional means. It is also claimed that preparedness for a conventional limited war has in itself a deterrent value, in that it is known that defeat in such a war would arouse public opinion and create emotional preparedness to cross the threshold into a nuclear conflict.