Senior Fellow John Isaacs wrote for The National Interest about the Pentagon’s counting problem, Cold War mentality, nuclear weapons and China.
The dawn of the nuclear age changed every aspect of military calculations except for, unfortunately, the Pentagon’s counting skills. The United States continues to bear the consequences of this failure every day.
Up to then, counts of weapons and personnel were key measures of power in war and peace. Such arithmetic lost its meaning with the advent of these new devastating weapons.
In the nuclear age, a country that deployed 1,000 nuclear weapons rather than an adversary’s 500 is not twice as powerful since a handful of weapons could devastate both countries. But the Pentagon and political leaders did not learn this critical lesson. Read more