According to Peter Weller, Star Trek into Darkness‘ Admiral Marcus is not dissimilar from a relatively unknown historical figure from the early 1960s.
Like that historical figure, the admiral wanted to strike first and take the advantage that doing so would bring.
“Marcus is no different than Curtis LeMay, with a conscience,” said Weller. “I don’t know if people remember who Curtis LeMay [was], but he hid eighteen nuclear missiles from President John F. Kennedy. He was the guy who wanted to pull the trigger on the Cuban Missile Crisis. If you see Fog of War, it was all about ‘First strike! First strike!’ That’s a warmonger. So these warmongers exist, man, and LeMay personifies that. They were real. They are real. The thing that Marcus doesn’t have is faith in the pacifistic attitude of this particular terrestrial organization because the Klingons are aggressive. A war is coming. They’re encroaching. And what Marcus is thinking is he wants to get a jump on them, just like Curtis LeMay. Anybody who is critical of this, just watch the Errol Morris documentary Fog of War. It’s from 2003, and listen to [Robert McNamara] talk about LeMay.”
“Here are the facts,” said Weller, “as Marcus sees them: ‘The Klingons are coming. They’re aggressive. I don’t believe in the pacifistic whoo-ha, touchy-feely, go-out-five-years-and-explore-brave-new-worlds …horseshit. There’s a war coming on.’ So what I do is I take out the plutonium nukes, if you will, called Khan. I take them out. And I made a mistake. I even say it. So I don’t know what people are missing. He’s a guy who did it, by his own conscience, to protect his own particular world and then realizes that he fucked up. Now, the thing that makes him bad, from a moralistic view, is that he’s willing to sacrifice Kirk and the Enterprise to put this thing back in its shell. And he feels that’s a calculated risk. ‘I was never going to spare your crew.'”