Friday, March 14, 2008

War Games

On October 14, 1962 a lone American U-2 spy plane returned from a mission with a collection of photographs, images  that showed the Russians building missile bases on Cuban soil.

The news triggered an alarm. The affront to National security forced President Kennedy to issue an ultimatum: withdraw or
face war. The Russians, defiant refused.

The worlds two nuclear superpowers stood on the edge of the brink. Nuclear Armageddon  the bogey man of post-world war foreign policy and cultural history for more than a decade was real. But sanity would prevail; negotiations in the UN, compromises made -missiles bases in Turkey withdrawn by the Americans in exchange for the Russians giving up the Cuban bases -  ended the standoff.

That was the world's one encounter with Nuclear fate, at least that's what everyone has been led to believe. Newly released historical documents reveal that President Nixon and a group of his advisers took the world to the nuclear brink in 1969. Wired Magazine features an  article by Jeremi Suri on the alleged method behind the madness.

Well schooled in the Game theory of Real Politics Nixon and company decided they would use a stratagem of the Madman branch of Game theory in the hopes it would force the Russians to withdraw their support of the Vietcong and bring an end to the Vietnam war.

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