The Mad Man Theory: Nixon, Trump and Bolton

Early in Richard Nixon’s presidency, he told his chief of staff Bob Haldeman that his secret strategy for ending the Vietnam War was to threaten the use of nuclear weapons.  Nixon opined that President Eisenhower’s nuclear threats in 1953 brought a quick end to the Korean War, and that he planned to use the same principle of threatening maximum force. Nixon called it the “madman theory,” getting the North Vietnamese to “believe … I might do anything to stop the war.”


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