Strategy for an Atomic Stalemate
By 1949 atomic bombs were viewed in the United States through two contradictory perspectives. On the one hand they were seen as being particularly suitable for aggressors and unprovoked surprise attacks, and thus at variance with American constitutional and military practice. On the other hand they were also increasingly assumed to be, at least for the time, a valuable strategic asset. They offered an effective instrument for maintaining law and order in the post-war world, attractive because they were less expensive in terms of money, materials and manpower than conventional weapons, and, above all, because they were an American monopoly.