Studies have shown that we assess risk based mainly on what we hope to gain, not what we fear to lose. People go to casinos because of the small chance of becoming a millionaire, not because of the very large chance of losing all their money.
It’s no different with the fate of nations. War games in 1918 and 1941 showed that there was a large probability of failure. They also showed there was a very small chance of a smashing success. As for modern financial risk-management techniques, we had better pass over those in silence, out of respect for the dead.