The War That Must Never Be Fought borrows its title from President Ronald Reagan's State of the Union message of 1984 in which he declared "a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” In this introduction, former Secretary of State George Shultz relates how he felt on learning that U.S. atomic bombs had destroyed two major Japanese cities and paved the way for the end of World War ll in the Pacific. The news held a special and lasting meaning for him : he was on board a troop ship, a Marine officer returning to the United States from combat duty in the Pacific to prepare for the invasion of Japan. He provides his overview of the nuclear era since then and recalls how President Reagan thought about the idea of mutual assured destruction as a means of deterring war. The Secretary voices his current concerns about 'a rising threat of nuclear proliferation'. George Shultz closes this essay by remarking that the enthusiastic reaction of people around the world to his call for a world without nuclear weapons revealed how much they hungered for an infusion of hope.