All through my childhood there were bombers with nuclear weapons continuously flying. I remember the eighties. The USSR had 65 tank divisions. NATO had 8, and many of them had such fancy engines that they had to be swapped out within 12 hours because they would use all the fuel in forward positions. The USSR had something like 2 million troops in forward positions with another 2.5 million within a day's travel. They were probably not all willing sacrifices for Global Communism, they were just regular guys who had to stand pointing in the other direction. But the numbers stacked up: any reasonable model of how a European war would turn out had us pressing the nuclear button first because we were losing so badly within 24 hours. Given the octogenarians that were in charge (we all mis-read Andropov), it seemed they might want to write their names on the book of history, maybe somewhere on the the last page, where everyone sees it.
Upping the NATO spending by any practical amount would never have closed the gap. Where are those numbers these days? Nope, all bogeymen. Ukraine & Crimea? The history is so much more complicated than the simple idea that Russia must have took them from Someone. Remember the Odessa Steps scene from 'Battleship Potemkin'? That was part of Tsarist Russia. Before then, it was part of the British Empire. Germany hasn't been Germany that long. It's complicated. It's always complicated. Anyone who says it is easy is up to something.
Guys out there. We have peace. We have had it for many years. Many of you may be too young to remember the perpetual threat of war. Just, don't screw it up, okay?