Much is made of the need for our nuclear deterrent to be credible. Otherwise, it would be useless. An exchange on September 16, 1980, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has much to say about that quest:
Senator Glenn: I get lost in what is credible and not credible. This whole thing gets so incredible when you consider wiping out whole nations, it is difficult to establish credibility.
Secretary of Defense Harold Brown: That is why we sound a little crazy when we talk about it.