During the Cold War and the nuclear arms race, a US President had to defend the defense budget often. Describing the USA's nuclear arsenal as a deterrent, President Ronald Reagan said, "The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression — to preserve freedom and peace."
In a world where people are now very much taking the fight to one another, it seems that Reagan's use of the word "never" may have been rash. Still, it's worthy of any political thinker to remember the words of a President during a time of extreme international tension in these times of different, but in many ways similar unease.