The Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear bomb on August 29, 1949, leading to the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, shared by both the USA and the Soviets. The unwritten agreement by the two superpowers deterred nuclear war with an implied threat to blow up the world, if need be, to defend each of their interests.
I well remember the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, having been drafted into the military at that time. Mutually Assured Destruction had significant meaning to the whole world during this period. This crisis, along with the escalating ill-advised Vietnam War, made me very much aware of the problems the world faced during the five years I served as a USAF flight surgeon.
It was with great pleasure and hope that I observed the collapse of the Soviet Empire between 1989 and 1991. This breakup verified the early predictions by the free market economists, like Ludwig von Mises, that communism would self-destruct because of the deeply flawed economic theories embedded in socialism. Our nukes were never needed because ideas are more powerful than the weapons of war.