The desks would protect us from the nuclear blast, the shock wave, flying glass and falling debris. In our minds, we believed our desks could have been used to fight the Nazi tank commander, Rommel, because they were so strong and protective.
But it wasn't the Nazis we were preparing for--it was the Russians.
Now the Russians have stepped up nuclear survival measures as they see us as the possible threat and they are getting their old Soviet-era civil defense plans out of mothballs and upgrading bomb shelters ith their biggest cities.
As far as the Kremlin's Ministry of Emergency Situations is concerned, the Cold War has taken a curtain call. Russia has recently held its biggest civil defense drills since the U.S.S.R. had collapsed. About 40 million people all across Russia were involved with rehearsing a four-day response to chemical and nuclear threats.
Television stations aired videos of emergency workers in hazmat suits and other officials checking ventilation in bomb shelters. Students tried on gas masks and placed dummies on stretchers.
Commentators on state-run airwaves spoke in the strongest anti-American rhetoric in years. "Russia is sick of America's arrogant lies," Dmitry Kiselyov said a month after the Syrian peace plan fell apart. Kiselyov is a well-known and influential Russian.
Ironically, there isn't much coverage on what should be a growing concern over peace in the future. Does Russia know something we don't? Do they know something that our leaders are not telling us?
Should we worry, or should we continue to cut our military strength?