It has long been widely accepted as orthodoxy that the world was saved from nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis because of the wisdom of John F. Kennedy and the diplomatic backchannel his aides had with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. But this is only half true. The Soviet sources that have emerged since the end of the Cold war as well as recently declassified KGB archives suggest that, more than anything, we were saved from nuclear annihilation by sheer luck. Could such a close-shave unfold today? The recent shift in how Britain is to manage its nuclear arsenal suggests lessons have not been learnt from the Sixties. While nuclear technology has advanced phenomenally in the last few decades, the command and control system can always be a victim of human fallibility.
The Spectator 22nd May 2021 read more »