My generation grew up in the shadow of a possible nuclear war. I was born a few months after the Cuba missile crisis, the closest humanity has come to nuclear Armageddon. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was a big political force as I was growing up.

My children’s generation is much more likely to demonstrate against climate change than nuclear weapons. Leading politicians also no longer worry so much about nukes. Nuclear arms-control negotiations, a staple of the Cold War, have fallen into abeyance. But this relatively relaxed attitude is having a paradoxical effect. It seems to be making countries armed with nuclear weapons more willing to risk military confrontation with each other.

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