The essence of American foreign policy, and those of most nations is that the capabilities of an enemy must be carefully studied and considered in developing a foreign policy toward them. Years ago, the great foreign policy theorist, Hans Morgenthau warned that in creating foreign policy one must always examine your policy through the lens of your opponents. For example, America is very concerned that Iran must allow UN inspectors to examine their nuclear facilities. America is very concerned that a nation in the Middle East will gain DOES possess atomic bombs–its name is Israel. Our leaders assume that if Iran gained possession of an atomic bomb its intention would be to use it while Israel is committed to only employing atomic bombs if it is threatened with annihilation.
We assume evil intentions to those we dislike. Saddam Hussein did have a few missiles, none capable of going more than a few hundred miles, but President Bush was convinced those missiles somehow threatened the security of the USA. Of course, we possessed much more dangerous missiles, but he believed these would never be used against an innocent nation. Guess what happened?