Re: “We’re safer carrying a big stick” (letter, 12-31).
The letter writer is right on target.
As a retired naval reserve officer who has attended the U.S. Navy War College, I speak from a perspective of international power.
Among the examples of “might makes right” – a philosophy of our defense establishment – I cite the nuclear philosophy of the 1960s known as MAD – mutually assured destruction. Many anti-war advocates grabbed this as an example of insanity; however, it was a prime example of retribution theory which held the Soviet Empire in check, although it could have overpowered Western Europe via the Fulda Gap (Germany) at any time.
The Soviets’ thoughts were tempered by their belief – and rightly so – that we would have retaliated with nuclear warheads. Since our use of those deadly and non-selective weapons in Japan in August 1945, it’s clear to this writer that the willingness to use overwhelming response, including nuclear weapons, has tempered many aggressors in their pursuit of conquest since that time.
Having a “bigger stick,” as first spoken by Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century, is indeed, a security asset.
Don’t ever think that quiescence is amenable to peace. Only through the willingness of our leadership do we remain risk-free of foreign domination. Bad guys will always try to overpower weaker people and nations. It’s a fact of life.