The Cold War represents the classic case of nuclear deterrence in action. The issue during the Cold War became the credibility of threat – each side had to present a credible threat that it would be willing to use nuclear weapons in order to protect its interests. The conflict between the US and USSR turned into tests of the opponent’s resolve to defend specific commitments and interests in the world. Played out as a series of crises, where the threat of force replaced the actual use of force – however, in each crisis, the potential for war existed, and each side had to project a credible threat to escalate to nuclear war in order to maintain the balance of terror. Each crisis was basically a game of chicken – both sides attempted to achieve escalation dominance – both sides would resolve to steadily and incrementally move up the ladder of use of force (through conventional means) and threat of greater force, until one side was presented with a choice of unacceptable escalation (the use of nuclear weapons) or
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