6. Defining the world as a global battlefield: In fortress America, all realms have by now become battle spheres. Not only much of the planet, the seas, air, and space, as well as the country’s borders and its increasingly up-armored police forces, but the world of thought, the insides of our minds. Think of the 17 intertwined intelligence outfits in “the US Intelligence Community” and their ongoing “surge” for information dominance across every mode of human communication, as well as the surveillance of everything. And don’t forget the national security state’s leading role in making cyberwar a reality. (Indeed, Washington launched the first cyberwar in history by deploying the Stuxnet computer worm against Iran.)
One prominent feature of the nuclear arms race, especially following the massed deployment of nuclear ICBMs due to the flawed assumption that the manned bomber was fatally vulnerable to surface to air missiles, was the concept of deterrence via assured destruction, later, mutually assured destruction or "MAD." The idea was that the Western bloc would not attack the Eastern bloc or vice versa, because both sides had more than enough nuclear weapons to reduce each other out of existence and to make the entire planet uninhabitable. Therefore, launching an attack on either party would be suicidal and so neither would attempt it. With increasing numbers and accuracy of delivery systems, particularly in the closing stages of the Cold War, the possibility of a first strike doctrine weakened the deterrence theory. A first strike would aim to degrade the enemy's nuclear forces to such an extent that the retaliatory response would involve "acceptable" losses.