I get the sense that you've never worked for the government. You've definitely never been around nuclear weapons and their progenitors.
The A-12 became the SR-71 because Curtiss LeMay didn't like the idea of the CIA having an air force so when the Bay of Pigs needed mapping and intelligence in order to succeed, LeMay let Bissell twist in the wind. This led to Bissell getting sacked for the failure of the Bay of Pigs, which led to all aviation landing squarely in LeMay's lap, where he could name Bissell's pet project after his pet project (the B-70) thereby cementing himself as Lord of the Skies. Meanwhile, McNamara came up with the idea of "launch codes" while LeMay countered with the idea of "Launch codes are all 1s" because whose missiles? My missiles.
if you're a tactician, a nuclear weapon is a gambit that is never intended to be used. It's a chess piece on an abstract board. If you're a general, a nuclear weapon is a physical object that takes up space and needs care and feeding. Project down the chain of command as far as it goes.
It's their world, you just live in it.
The hard drives were missing for 11 days last June but were later found behind a photocopier. The removable hard drives, which are about the size of a small wallet, contained information on classified procedures required to disarm a nuclear weapon in the event of an accident or terrorist incident. They are required to be stored in a secure vault and are normally subject to strict accountability procedures.
Somewhere out there is a set of articles about the laptops with classified information that were sold down in the Valley for meth but "los alamos missing laptops" gives you results from 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Thing of it is? Once you're actually face-to-face with the thing, it becomes real at least. I bought a desk (really a 3-phase-wired ESD workbench) out of Boeing Surplus back when there was such a thing; in one of the drawers was the manual for final QAQC on the detonation circuits for the SRAM II nuclear warhead.. I probably shouldn't have been able to grab that. It was probably classified (it didn't say so). but just seeing the damn manual made things really real for me and I grew up with people whose daddies machined explosives to go inside the damn things.
Here's the thing. If the CIA knows that the USSR has four missiles, and Eisenhower knows that the USSR has four missiles (he did), and the Air Force "estimates" that the USSR has 200-1000 ICBMs, then the CIA and the President know that the Air Force has no viable intelligence collection ability. Further, since it was the Air Force that leaked it to the Kennedy Campaign, you know that any intelligence you share with the Air Force is going to become public domain. Thus, the Air Force gets frozen out and decides "whose nukes my nukes." So long as they don't decide to go to war on their own, you have a dysfunctional but functional deterrent.
We're going to have to trade books. I'm cranking through Pearl Harbor in the Toland book and he makes it pretty clear that Pearl was basically a textbook case of incompetence on both sides; if we'd bothered to read our intelligence the attacks never would have happened and if the Japanese didn't suck so hard at warmaking we would have been finished off in 1941.
In my dotage, I've come to the conclusion that if we didn't blow ourselves up, it's not because we benefit from miracles. It's because however tenuous and risky the solution was, it happened to be good enough. I don't think Trump matters. I think the assembled braintrust of the United States government would never let a vain and incurious businessman anywhere near the levers of power if they thought he could do any real damage. I think ours is a self-stabilizing bureaucracy.
I think it was around the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis that people pointed out how close we got to armageddon and made the observation that if the Bush administration had been in power we'd all be living in Bartertown by now. I've come around to thinking that if the Bush administration had been in power back then we would have had a crisis that played to their strengths, not Kennedy's. Bay of Pigs wouldn't have been a bunch of expats, for example. It would have been the 101st Airborne.