In the article linked below, Professor Thomas Sowell remarks that today’s feckless policies mirror similarly feckless policies of the 1930’s. The Isolationism in the US and the appeasement of Hitler in Europe lead to World War II. He then notes that during the war, the Allies took a long time to make up for the position their feckless policies left them in. He commented that in a modern nuclear war we may not get the chance to make up for our mistakes. I would like to explain further why that’s the case.
During World War II the Allies were able to trade space for the time needed to build up the armed forces we needed to win. In those days, flying across the Atlantic or Pacific was done in a B-17 bomber with a cruising speed of 182 miles per hour. Since the bombers range was only 2,000 miles you needed refueling bases to get all the way across. The need for airbases was the reason for the island hopping campaign in the Pacific. Today, a B-2 bomber has a cruising speed of 560 miles per hour and, with air to air refueling, can fly nonstop from its base in Missouri to anywhere in the world. While the distances are the same, the time you can get for a given distance is much less. And, as Professor Sowell says, the destructive power of nuclear weapons also destroys military forces much more quickly than conventional weapons did in World War II. War today is a come as you are affair with very little room for second chances.