"President Kennedy found out that the missile gap did not exist. Like the bomber gap, it was a myth." #readingToday
Within weeks of taking office, President Kennedy found out that the missile gap did not exist. Like the bomber gap, it was a myth. For years it had been sustained by faulty assumptions, Soviet deception, and a willingness at the Department of Defense to believe the worst-case scenario— especially when it justified more spending on defense. The CIA had estimated that the Soviet Union might have five hundred long-range ballistic missiles by the middle of 1961. Air Force Intelligence had warned that the Soviets might soon have twice that number. But aerial photographs of the Soviet Union, taken by U-2 spy planes and the new Discoverer spy satellite, now suggested that those estimates were wrong. The photos confirmed the existence of only four missiles that could reach the United States.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser