The Challenge of “Limited Wars”

The Challenge of Limited Wars

For a nation that had entered WWII as a third rate military power and had exited that war less than 4 years later as the world’s only nuclear armed Superpower, the concept of fighting a war that was “limited” in its objectives seemed totally foreign. The principle reason for this radical change was the advent of nuclear weapons. The consequences of the massive use of these incredibly powerful weapons would be terminal, not just for our nation and our nuclear armed enemy’s nation, but for the whole world. Our nation’s principle strategy therefore radically altered – from winning through to “unconditional surrender” as we had in WWII, to one of deterring a war from ever starting in the so called Cold War.