Trump Card: Holding America's Enemies at Bay William E. Howard Author
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Trump Card is the dramatic story of the difficult birth of American nuclear deterrence - a global strategy that has worked for more than a half century. Of the critical lessons of that technological birth the most important is the necessity of maintaining absolute credibility - credibility that many fear has been eroding. As in the Old West, for deterrence to work, the bad guys must not only believe that the sheriff is a very good shot but that he will not hesitate to pull trigger. Bluffing is fatal. Today fourteen US nuclear submarines, the boomers, cruise on rotation somewhere beneath the surface of the world's oceans. Each boomer is armed with 24 Trident II missiles; each boomer packs a total of more than 70 half-megaton nuclear warheads. The oceans where the Trident boomers are hidden surround the great World Island, homeland of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and the countries that harbor the terrorist armies of Islam. The boomers hold at bay America's most deadly enemies. The Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile System is the latest version of a powerful deterrent strategy evolved more than 50 years ago at the height of the Cold War to prevent a major nuclear exchange with the Communist Soviet Union. How that system was developed is the contemporary history told here of the difficult birth of the Polaris Fleet Ballistic Missile system in the 1950's. That development succeeded over enormous opposition, Byzantine bureaucracy, and much human stupidity. Once the first Polaris submarine, the George Washington, submerged the Kremlin never doubted its ability to deliver enormous destruction nor that the White House would hesitate to push the button.

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