The Double Game: The Demise of America's First Missile Defense System and the Rise of Strategic Arms Limitation

How did the United States move from position of nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1960s toward arms control based on nuclear parity and the doctrine of mutual assured destruction in 1972?

James Cameron tackled this question by examining the nuclear policies and rhetoric of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon. He showed how all three presidents engaged in a double game, hiding their true beliefs behind a façade of strategic language while grappling in private with the complex realities of the nuclear age. At a time when the Trump administration has just produced its nuclear posture review, this talk  illuminated an earlier period when US nuclear superiority was under question.


James Cameron

James Cameron is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil. After earning his PhD in history at the University of Cambridge, he was a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale University.



Matthew Jones is a Professor in the Department of International History, LSE and member of the LSE US Centre Steering Committee.This event is co-hosted with the Department of International History.

Event photos

This event was co-hosted with the Department of International History and held on 13 March 2018.


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