But when former Stalin's friend Hitler invaded Russia on June 22, 1941 and in a month and 5 million dead russians later was near Moscow, we felt a little silly (or should I say sorry?) that we had almost nothing to stop him. Four years and 20 millon dead russians later (by the way, after clearing most of Europe from Hitler) we felt that indeed, it was silly. Every family had lost either father, or brother, or son, or more. Most of the country was ruined. (Hitler did not even hesitate to kill children, women and elderly in specially built death camps.)
So after that lesson we decided that it is better to have less butter on the table than less people around the table. And ever since the defense was a top priority, regardless who would try to outnumber us - friends like China, or not exactly friends like NATO. Even if a friend can not be trusted - who can then?
Also, dropping A-bombs on Japan was not a neseccity, because Japan was about to surrender. But Truman wanted to show to Stalin a "big stick" with clear indication that he will not hesitate to use it against Russia next. This started a nuclear race.
V-2 showed that bombs could be delivered across long distances quickly and accurately, and a missile/space race started in parallel to nuclear race.
Fortunately, siberia has plenty of oil, gas, gold, aluminum, copper, diamonds, uranium, titanium, etc, and with the proper education system you can teach plenty of people how to build strong enough defense to answer anyone's "big stick" (whether it is biological one, laser, etc.) with even "bigger one".
So, well remembering bitter 20-million lesson we'd rather "be prepared". Just in case.
What would you do being in our shoes?