||The 1980s was a period of transformation for the United States Armed Services. With Cold War relations between the two superpowers increasingly strained, the Soviet Union and the United States competed for strategic advantage both within the ranks of their militaries and at the bargaining table. At the 1986 Reykjavik Summit in Iceland President Reagan proposed banning all ballistic missiles, briefly offering the hope of a world without nuclear weapons. The talks failed, however, and policymakers returned to the realization that deterrence formed the bedrock of American defense policy. In an attempt to strengthen the U.S. military's deterrence capability, Secretary of the Navy John Lehman implemented a strategy that would create a 600-ship Navy for the United States. Proponents of the plan maintained that Lehman's forward maritime strategy would secure America's strategic advantage over the Soviet Union, while critics argued that it was an expensive and unnecessary expansion of a field in which the United States had already achieved military superiority. In this episode Robert Komer, former Undersecretary of Defense and leading expert on American conventional military strategy, discusses the proposed 600-ship Navy and the prospects for America's nuclear deterrence. As policymakers reevaluate nuclear weapons and U.S. maritime strategy, Komer answers the questions, should the United States move to a 600-ship Navy, and would the United States be safer without nuclear weapons?