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To War or Not to War

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When I was a young lieutenant sitting alert on an F-4 Phantom in West Germany in the mid-’70s, waiting for the signal to go bomb a target in response to an attack by Russian forces from Communist Eastern Europe, I figured the chances of returning would be slim, assuming there was an airbase left to return to. We were given an eyepatch to wear, so that if an enemy nuclear weapon detonated far enough away not to vaporize us, but near enough to blind us in flight, we would still have one good eye to make it to the target. Although that signal never came, we were willing to risk it all if called to do so for God, country, and the American way of life. We won that Cold War through deterrence; always a better alternative to death and destruction. When I think back on that, it surprises me …

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