"From 1949 to 1991 the terrible potential of the Cold War loomed over the United States, the Soviet Union, and by extension, the rest of the world. The seeming certainty of global nuclear conflict defined and articulated the cultural, political, and, in particular, the military evolution of both nations. The Cold War provoked an unprecedented military buildup, and the rapidly advancing technology of warfare inspired fundamental changes in strategy and tactics." "Many books have been written about the politics of this turbulent period, but none have so comprehensively examined the conflict's strategy and tactics. Using newly declassified information, David Miller, a noted military historian, reveals not only the vast effect that Cold War technology had on the military, but also how the threat of war very nearly became a terrible reality. Chillingly, Miller reveals that while the menace of nuclear war dominated the military theory of the time, there was little in reality that corresponded to these theories. Miller goes on to examine the formation of the two great alliances, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and the strategies and major weapons in the rival navies, armies, and air forces."--Jacket.