When I became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, I felt during my very first meetings with people that what worried them the most was the problem of war and peace. Do everything in order to prevent war, they said.
By that time, the superpowers had accumulated mountains of weapons; military build-up plans called for “space combat stations,” “nuclear-powered lasers,” “kinetic space weapons” and similar inventions. Thank God, in the end none of them were built. What is more, negotiations between the U.S.S.R. and the United States opened the way to ending the nuclear arms race. We reached agreement with one of the most hawkish U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan, to radically reduce the arsenals.
Today, those achievements are in jeopardy. More and more, defense planning looks like preparation for real war amid continued militarization of politics, thinking and rhetoric.