Russia repeatedly sought negotiations with the United States. (As a side note, it’s somewhat telling how free and open the United States is considering that Cheney was appointed to be Assistant Deputy Secretary of State while her father was Vice President, and that her husband was given the plush job of Acting Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice.
No Soviet-style nepotism happening there, I’m sure.) Of course, the Soviet regime was nothing to celebrate.
While the official policy was that such an attack would only be used in response to a Russian surprise attack, the Nixon administration effectively eliminated the “no first use” doctrine. The Soviet Union might cease to function if its security agency, the KGB, were severely crippled. Once the defeat of the Soviet state is established as a war aim, defense professionals should attempt to identify an optimum targeting plan for the accomplishment of that goal. This is, incidentally, the exact same rationale that North Korea and Iran have today (considering what took place in Iraq, it would appear their concern is justified).
These overtures were ignored and one of the greatest war crimes in history was perpetrated.
However, as bad as the initial attack was, the resulting nuclear Cold War with the Soviet Union put the planet itself in peril.
As Burr, along with Jeffery Kimball, reported upon the release of new documents at The National Security Archive: Nixon told Kissinger about his interest in using “a nuclear bomb” as an alternative to bombing North Vietnam’s dike system, which was also a step he strongly favored. Schlesinger, outlined his policy of limited nuclear options (LNOs) that was considered a “compromise between the optimists of the minimum deterrence school and the pessimists of the so-called war-fighting persuasion,” according to Colin Gray and Keith Payne writing in the establishment journal If American nuclear power is to support U. foreign policy objectives, the United States must possess the ability to wage nuclear war rationally. In fact, the United States maintained a decisive nuclear advantage for the first 33 years of the Cold War.
A nuclear attack against another target, he assumed, would cause fewer civilian casualties yet make a powerful “psychological” impact on Hanoi and the Soviets. Interestingly, it was only at Russia’s peak nuclear capability of 45,000 weapons in 1986 that Reagan began making serious overtures for peace.