"I see their missiles. east and west
and they're pointing straight at you
they are rearming to be the best
and there is nothing you can do"
— Pretty Maids, "Battle of Pride"
Dr. Strangelove: The whole point of the doomsday machine...is lost if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world?
Ambassador Alexi: It was to be announced at the party congress on Monday. As You Know, the premiere loves surprises.
—Dr. Strangelove, on a doomsday machine that would end the world if Russia was hit with a nuke
"The only winning move is not to play."
— JOSHUA, WarGames
“What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the priority target for nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons? By threatening the use of nuclear weapons. And we can't get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons. The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.”
— Martin Amis, ''Einstein's Monsters'
"Here, as I understand it, is how the MX is supposed to work: We would put a bunch of missiles where the Russians can’t hit them with their missiles. That way, if the Russians shoot at us, we’ll be able to shoot back, and everybody will wind up dead. This is considered to be much more desirable than what would happen without the MX, namely that the Russians would still be alive and we would be dead. Obviously, the best solution would be for us to be alive and the Russians to be dead, but for this to happen we would have to shoot first, and we wouldn’t do that because the whole reason we built all these nuclear devices in the first place is to preserve world peace. So we are going for the peace-loving solution, which is to guarantee that if anybody attacks anybody, everybody winds up dead."
Cpt. Blackadder: You see, Baldrick, in order to prevent war in Europe, two superblocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side, and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way, there could never be a war.
Pvt. Baldrick: But, this is a sort of a war, isn't it, sir?
Blackadder: Yes, that's right. You see, there was a tiny flaw in the plan.
Baldrick: What was that, sir?
Blackadder: It was bollocks.
— Blackadder Goes Forth
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
"It's like we as a species have collectively pulled the pin on a grenade. We're not sure we can put it back in, we know we better not drop it. We can only hope that the brain that figured out how to make that grenade can figure out a way to save us from it."