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A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon

A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon - Neil Sheehan Starting with the prologue this book implies to the reader the importance of a military that is innovative and always one step ahead of the game when it comes to all the other players. In the early thirties, America was fairly complacent regarding the development of deterrent weapons. After World War II, the focus changed. We were a superpower. General Hap Arnold believed that as the US emerged as a "predominant power" it would be subject to continuing threats from potential enemies. It would appear that he foreshadowed the future of America very clearly and his belief in the need for scientific research, to develop weapons as a deterrent to our enemies then, seems even more necessary today with the sophistication of weaponry being developed by all nations, some bent on the destruction of others they consider enemies, some not yet fully developed enough to understand the consequences of their own actions.
There is a saying that everyone has heard which tells us that if we don't learn from the mistakes of history, we are doomed to repeat them. What I am wondering is, has our course and strategy in the USA, in this year 2009, not returned to the mindset of the early thirties since our current government's strategy seems bent on reducing our defensive capabilities?
This book has, early on, raised red flags for me. I am hoping to learn from this book, based on historical events, whether or not our administration can be successful if it continues to develop strategic defense deterrents or chooses rather to follow a policy of appeasement, returning to polices of the past, less scientific research and development including a reduction of arms around the world. Can we totally trust and depend on the other nations of the world to follow the rules when they have not done so in the past, and are we prepared to do this and face the possibility of failure?
Are we doomed to defeat because of our rigidity and unwillingness to follow any policy other than a strict adherence to political agendas at all costs? As I read and learn from historic events, I hope I will be enlightened as to how our country might be expected to act regarding the preparation and response to any catastrophic event or conflict facing this nation, and on the other hand, I expect I will learn the opposite, as well, how it might not.