The RAND Corporation’s role in the development of nuclear deterrence, in the dynamics of strategic thought, and more broadly in the defense of Western interests has been so crucial that it is only natural to acknowledge at the beginning of this book the intellectual debt owed to the institution and to its most significant contributors in the area: Bernard Brodie, Paul Davis, James Digby, Herman Kahn, William Kaufmann, Andrew Marshall, James Quinlivan, Thomas Schelling, James Schlesinger, Jack Snyder, and Albert Wohlstetter. No other organization in the world has ever gathered such a glorious team of strategists. Many of them are now dead. One of the purposes of this book is to show that their thoughts are still alive. This does not mean that the validity of their analyses for the 21st century should go unquestioned, but it does mean that no work on nuclear issues can start without a serious examination of the remarkable books, articles, and reports they produced.
I thank James Thomson for instigating this project; Michael Rich for his constant support; David Gompert, Frank Miller, and Forrest Morgan for their excellent review comments and valuable suggestions; Lynn Karoly and Jocelyn Lofstrom for managing the quality assurance and production processes; Alissa Bazsali and the rest of the Kinetic group for the quality of the editing; and Erin Smith for her most precious assistance. The author presented earlier versions to Christophe Carle, Philippe Errera, George Perkovich, and David Yost, who commented on drafts. Thanks are also owed to them. The views expressed are the author’s alone.