The United States has achieved a great deal of success in the post- Cold War era. Our forces are more capable and better equipped than those of any conceivable adversary. The quality of our troops is good and morale in the armed forces is high. Analysts do point out that we might have problems in executing a strategy of fighting nearly simultaneously two major regional contingencies. But these problems lend themselves to straightforward analysis, and the solutions are straightforward if challenging in an era of tight defense budgets. In the immediate future, there does not seem to be a threat to our interests from a nation that we cannot handle militarily. Yet, a handful of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons in the hands of the wrong country, can change this situation overnight. The use of a few of these weapons, or even the threat of their use, changes the context in which our national command authority makes decisions about the terms under which we go to war or whether we go to war at all.