A nightmare gripped the Prime Minister of Israel. He twisted the corner of his pillow, which had transformed into something critical in his dream, until he suddenly awoke, hyperventilating. He released the pillow and looked around, as he tried to reorient himself to reality. He realized that he was still deeply troubled, even though he was now fully awake. Stepping out of bed, the head of state tried to ignore his pounding headache; he had worked through many over the last week.

He had barely made it to the closet and stress was already assaulting him from every direction. As he got dressed, competing priorities and pressures turned in his mind: political threats to bring down his governing coalition, a ballooning budget to balance, and – above all – a potentially existential military threat. There were countless conventional and chemical warheads already pointed at Israel, and nuclear warheads could soon enter the strategic picture as well. The emergency phone on his desk rang. He rushed to answer it.

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