Dominic Cummings points out that US nuclear strategy has always rested on false and self-serving assumptions.
In the Cold War America based its nuclear strategy on an intellectual framework that was false.
It defined standards of ‘rationality’ then concluded the Soviets would not use nuclear weapons in many scenarios. There was a governing tautology: rational leaders would be deterred otherwise they would be irrational. Given this tautology, more vulnerability improves ‘stability’ (e.g submarine launched weapons), while better defence is ‘destabilising’ (e.g missile defence).
The Cold War was won. The West concluded ‘we were right’. Many in the world of policy concluded: there is a reliable theory of nuclear strategy that allows us to send carefully calibrated signals, like ‘escalate to de-escalate’. You can see this false confidence in many politicians, journalists and academics over the past month. E.g Professor Elliot Cohen’s calls for America to attack Russian forces because he’s confident Putin is bluffing.
After the 1991 collapse some scholars went to talk to those actually in charge in Russia. They read documents. They discovered that we’d been wrong in crucial ways all along. Actually the Soviets planned early and heavy use of nuclear weapons in many scenarios including outbreak of conventional war in Europe.
The theoretical basis of some of the west’s analysis, such as game theory from the likes of the economist Schelling, had been disastrously misleading. More important (I think) was the development of a theory that encouraged leaders/strategists to ignore an eternal lesson of history: one story after another of people risking death in ways opponents or observers thought ‘irrational’, ‘crazy’.
Despite being a game designer, I would not hesitate to declare that history is a much more reliable guide to anticipating human behavior than game theory. Because humans are irrational creatures and game theory relies upon something that is observably rare, to the extent it can even be said to exist at all, which is to say human rationality.
Cummings also points out that the globalist narrative concerning the Russian leader flies directly in the face of these strategic assumptions.
The more you think ‘Putin made a terrible blunder in invading Ukraine, he’s lost the plot, isolated by covid fear, the institutions around him don’t work, he’s fed lies by sycophants’ — which is the standard view in London and DC today — the more sceptical you should be that simplistic ideas from the Cold War about ‘rationality’ and deterrence would work as planned.
Fortunately, the globalist narrative is entirely false. Which, no doubt, is why Cummings has reached the correct conclusion that should be shared by every Christian, every defender of Western civilization, and anyone who cherishes the Good, the Beautiful, and the True.
If you care about ‘preserving western values’, I strongly advise that you focus on regime change in London and Washington, not in Moscow. Putin is less dangerous than our own idiocracy.