— Stansfield Turner former United States Navy admiral and former Director of Central Intelligence and President of the Naval War College 1923 - 2018
Interview (18 December 1997) http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/interviews/episode-21/turner1.html for CNN : Cold War. Episode 21 : Spies (14 March 1999)
Kontext: America and Russia have excessive numbers of nuclear weapons today because we treated nuclear weapons, at the end of World War II, like they were just bigger conventional weapons. If you have tanks, and the other side has more than you, you may be in trouble — or airplanes or ships or whatever. With nuclear weapons, it's not the same: they're too powerful, and at some point you just can't use any more, it's just not meaningful. But what happened was, we had the lead of course, because we invented them. The Russians tried to catch up with us; we tried to stay ahead of the Russians; they tried to catch up with us, and we just had a never-ending race upward. By the mid-Sixties, we realized this, but because of the Cold War mentality, politicians couldn't stand up and say, "I'm willing to have less than the Soviet Union," and so the race continued, but we tried to mitigate it by instituting an arms control process, which at first tried to cap and then later to reduce these numbers. … there's just no way you can actually use them; they become so destructive. I estimate that a couple of hundred nuclear weapons, not just on the center of cities, but on economic positions in the country, will drive a country to the point it will never recover, it will never be the same again. It will survive, but it'll be a totally different country. You don't need thousands to do that. There are only a few hundred cities of any size in even Russia or the United States, like 200, and you just don't need thousands of weapons to demobilize a country.