On 7 March 1966, French President Charles De Gaulle officially informed the US about the decision of France to withdraw from the military organization of NATO.
This was preceded by, according to legend, this story. The President of France visited the USSR and First Secretary of the CPSU Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev showed him a launch of an Intercontinental ballistic missile. Shocked by the impressive sight, De Gaulle said, “the same rocket and aimed at Paris?”. Brezhnev smiled and hurried to “console” the General: “don’t worry. Not this”.
Of course, it is unlikely it was a single joke, but as you know, in every joke (and legend) is only partly a joke. And by the end of that NATO headquarters should be transferred from Paris to Brussels…
Perhaps, Leonid Ilyich in this case acted in exact accordance with the precepts of ancient Chinese military thinker sun Tzu, who said, “the rules of warfare best — save the state of the enemy intact, the second place is to destroy this state. Best is to keep the enemy army intact, the second place is to split it… So a hundred times to fight and win hundred times is not the best of the best; the best of the best to conquer foreign army, not fighting. Therefore the best war is to break plans of the enemy; in the next place — to break his alliances; the next place — to break his troops. The worst is to besiege the fortress.”
If all the war and always managed to win exactly that! 🙂