Russian sailors line a deck of the nuclear ballistic missile submarine in Saint Petersburg, July 2021
Sputnik /Aleksey Nikolskyi / Kremlin via Reuters

In recent months, American policymakers have more than once found themselves contending with a danger that had for decades seemed consigned to the dustbin of Cold War history: the prospect of war with a nuclear-armed adversary. A clash with China over Taiwan has seemed more and more possible as U.S. and Chinese aircraft and vessels increase their presence in the Taiwan Strait. And in the past weeks, the Ukraine crisis has generated a risk of escalation with Russia that has sidelined all other foreign policy issues.

Such challenges, coming in the wake of a years-long refocusing of U.S.

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