Memoirs of a Cold Warrior: The Struggle for Nuclear Parity

Memoirs of a Cold Warrior: The Struggle for Nuclear Parity

Memoirs of a Cold Warrior: The Struggle for Nuclear Parity

Memoirs of a Cold Warrior: The Struggle for Nuclear Parity

Excerpt

As Russia re-asserts itself on the global stage, and now the Peoples Republic of China, too, a look back at the hard, cold facts of the Cold War may improve Americans’ understanding of our relative strengths and weaknesses and the continuing vulnerability of our primacy in the world. An engineer who served on the frontlines of the struggle for military parity, I was party to and motivated many of the steps taken by US military, technical and industrial communities to assess, counter, and of course to seek to outperform the Soviet Union from 1952 to 1989. The US was the dominant power during the 1950s and 1960s, but the Soviets established overwhelming strategic military superiority in the 1970s and 1980s. The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, combined with successful arms negotiations, have established stability and essential strategic parity during the past twenty odd years.

The Cold War, which Americans consider began when the Soviet Union occupied Eastern Europe, blockaded Berlin, and supported North Korea during the “United Nation’s Police Action,” had clearly established the Soviet Union as a long-term strategic threat to the United States and our allies. As our most important national problem, helping to contain this threat was a vital endeavor and to it I devoted my professional lifetime.

The various interested parties who worked throughout the Cold War years on projects like Nike, the B-70, and other defense systems make up the “Military–Industrial Complex”; they provided the main cast of characters in this book.

After serving in the US Marine Corps in World War II and as a US Naval Technician during the Korean War, I developed a long professional career with the Bell Telephone Companies, IBM, the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the US Department of State, dedicated to enhancing the strategic defense posture of the United States. More important, I served as a voluntary defense consultant for over 30 years, advising the US Army, Air Force, Department of Defense, President Reagan’s transition team, subcommittees of the Senate Arms Services and the House of Representatives Interior and Armed Services Committees, and President Reagan’s Commission on Strategic Forces. For the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and . . .

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