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This review is from: Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World (Hardcover)
First, I must say that we shall never know whether this was a bluff or not. But that's what made Ike's policy so successful, and probably one that no president who succeeded him could get away with. He could confront the Soviets with the distinct possibility that, if they did something he really could not tolerate, he would use nuclear weapons to wipe them out. He knew, while newspaper pundits and other gurus were expounding on the 'bomber gap' and then the 'missile gap' (which may have provided the edge JFK needed to get into the White House) that the destructive powers of the United States were absolute. He also knew, as a principled military man, that he could not say this and reveal the secret source of his certainty (the U-2). His eight years in office have often been called 'dull'. Let us thank him for making them so.