Two major factors have influenced East/West relations since the Second World War: the development of nuclear weapons together with intercontinental delivery systems. These two factors led to the concept of nuclear deterrence. How well off could the world have been without nuclear weapons, is a question that should be asked quite frequently. One of the big problems with nuclear weapons is really not worrying about the people known to that have them, but the countries or sub-cultural groups that are pursuing the fight to maintain them. Despite the fact that people are trying to get there hands on them, the two main countries that have had them for the longest time have been going through the process of the reduction and limitation of this weapons. How the world deals with this problem is called strategic stability. .
What is strategic stability? Strategic stability when referring to the United States and Russia (Soviet Union) is an intricate set of moves or polices set by both countries relating to their nuclear weapons. Almost like a game of chess where the right move could wipe out your opponent or severely hurt your defense. U.S. strategic planners historically set the required level of damage against vital targets at the 80 percent level. Throughout the whole nuclear arms race the goal at the end of each national defense system was to try to maintain the "first incentive strike." Through this incentive it allows one country to attack the other country with out the threat of retaliation. .
If the U.S. has significant number nuclear bombs and Russia only has much less then there is no strategic stability, U.S. has the upper hand and ultimately controls the world. This is equivalent to requiring our strategic forces to be able to destroy 80 percent of the 2,260 Russian targets, which in turn requires the ability to deliver approximately 1,800 warheads to their targets.(4) By having Russia maintain the same level of nuclear weapon the level of strategic stability is up.