Curtis LeMay: the photo

by Chris Zappone

“If I see that the Russians are amassing their planes for an attack, I’m going to knock the shit out of them before they take off the ground.” – Curtis LeMay in 1957 (pictured below, continues)

525px-Curtis_LeMay_(USAF)

This is the kind of rhetoric that made LeMay a destabiliser to the strategic balance of the Cold War. You can’t have this kind of talk that circumvents the norms of behavior between big powers. And yet, according to the unnamed US official in this article, this is the effect the PLA’s sustained $100B worth of economic hacking a year on the US is having.

“The Cold War enforced norms, and the Soviets and the U.S. didn’t go outside a set of boundaries. But China is going outside those boundaries now. Homeostasis is being upset,” the official said.

Here is something else LeMay said in 1965:

“I’d like to see a more aggressive attitude on the part of the United States. That doesn’t mean launching an immediate preventive war…”