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Better Safe Than SorryThe Ironies of Living with the Bomb$
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Michael Krepon

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804760638

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804760638.001.0001

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Finding Safe Passage in the Second Nuclear Age

Finding Safe Passage in the Second Nuclear Age

Chapter:
(p.174) 6 Finding Safe Passage in the Second Nuclear Age
Source:
Better Safe Than Sorry
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804760638.003.0006

This chapter looks at the philosophy towards attaining the key elements for a safe passage into the nuclear future. American presidents employed five key elements to deal with the bomb during the Cold War: deterrence, military strength, containment, diplomatic engagement, and arms control. These elements for dealing with the Bomb did not always coordinate, but none could be jettisoned due to the exclusion of increased nuclear dangers. Success during the first nuclear age needed creative friction and complementarities between these elements of nuclear risk reduction. These elements also caused many successes during the first nuclear age. In addition, the U.S. strategic concept of leadership by dominance is addressed. Safe passage during the first nuclear age needed steadfastness, good fortune, learning from mistakes, and, above all, wisdom. Safe passage during the second nuclear age will require more of the same.

Keywords:   safe passage, nuclear future, bomb, Cold War, deterrence, military strength, containment, diplomatic engagement, arms control, leadership

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