24. Drowsiness and other mundane human failings
According to one account, Napoleon lost at Waterloo because had a chill19. How is it reasonable to expect that the President of the United States would make the best possible decision if he is abruptly awoken in the middle of the night? Add in the basic inability of human beings to precisely follow instructions, and the finiteness of instructions it is possible to execute, and you have plenty more obvious limitations which come into play in a crisis. Someone might be cranky that their girlfriend dumped them, they have loose stools, or they just haven't had enough to eat lately and their blood sugar is low. Even a trained soldier might experience a slight lapse in consciousness for no reason at all. Given how easy it is for a head of state to make a call and initiate nuclear war, it is hard to overestimate how mundane or seemingly stupid the reason for starting a conflict or missing a crucial safety detail may be.