A bud of mine, Josh Zaker, passed this piece to me over 8 years ago and I came across it again just the other day. It was written for Foreign Affairs in the Spring of 1957… amazing at how relevant Dr Kissinger’s words are still for us 63 years later. I have pasted the conclusion to the article below the rest is at the link.
Conclusion: In the absence of a generally understood doctrine, our actions will of necessity prove haphazard; conflicting proposals will compete with each other without an effective basis for their resolution. Each problem, as it arises, will seem novel and energies will be absorbed in analyzing its nature rather than in seeking solutions. Our services will find it impossible to make a meaningful choice among the mass of new weapons with which their research and development programs will soon overwhelm them. We will continue to cede the initiative to others and our course will become increasingly defensive. Many of our problems in the postwar period have been produced by our failure to accept the doctrinal challenge. We have tended to ascribe our standards of reasonable behavior to the Soviet leaders; we have had difficulty in defining our purposes in relation to the revolutionary forces loose in the world. Above all, we have had a penchant for considering our problems as primarily technical and to confuse strategy with the maximum development of power.
One of the paradoxical lessons of the nuclear age is that at the moment when we are acquiring an unparalleled command over nature, we are forced to realize as never before that the problems of survival will have to be solved above all in the minds of men. In this task the fate of the mammoth and the dinosaur may serve as a warning that brute strength does not always supply the mechanism in the struggle for survival.