Inhuman think-tank analysis on defence
There is an enormous gulf between what political leaders really think about nuclear weapons and what is assumed in complex calculations of relative 'advantage' in simulated strategic warfare. Think-tank analysts can set levels of 'acceptable' damage well up in the tens of millions of lives. They can assume that the loss of dozens of great cities is somehow a real choice for sane men. In the real world of real political leaders, a decision that would bring even one hydrogen bomb on one city of one's own country would be recognized in advance as a catastrophic blunder, ten bombs on ten cities would be a disaster beyond history, and a hundred bombs on a hundred cities are unthinkable. Yet this unthinkable level of human incineration is the least that could be expected by either side in response to any first strike in the next ten years, no matter what happens to weapons systems in the meantime.