I thought the same thing after your comment. During my conversation last night, my friend mentioned something I vaguely knew, but hadn’t really thought about that much. Even during the cold war, just a single ONE of our most modern subs could have unleashed arguably more destructive power than what had been unleashed in all previous wars. When you figure multiple missiles with multiple (sometimes 10+) MIRVs, that’s quite a destructive nuclear force (or “nuke-u-ler” if launched by George W.). Just one little ship in the middle of the ocean could do all that.
So, perhaps that’s what they’re working on – a capability to provide an unacceptable 2nd strike capability as a deterrent to a foreign first strike. I well remember the sadness – even some shock – I felt when basic Air Force doctrine deleted the prohibition of a first strike. Who knows, anymore?