Preventive war fought over a pretext

[Kennedy's] larger goal after that was to settle the Cold War, without either victory or defeat~~~~~a strategic vision laid out in JFK’s commencement speech at American University on June 10, 1963.

And that was, partly, a question of atomic survival~~~~~a subject that can only be said to have obsessed America’s civilian leadership in those days, and for very good reason. The Soviet Union, which had at that time only four intercontinental rockets capable of hitting the U.S. mainland, was not the danger that rational men most feared. The United States held an overwhelming nuclear advantage in late 1963. Accordingly, our nuclear plans were not actually about deterrence. Rather, then as evidently again now, they envisioned preventive war fought over a pretext.