mutual assured destruction

(redirected from Mutual deterrence)

mutual assured destruction:

see nuclear strategynuclear strategy,
a policy for the use of nuclear weapons. The first atomic bombs were used in the context of the Allies' World War II policy of strategic bombing. Early in the cold war, U.S.
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mutual(ly) assured destruction (MAD)

(STRATEGIC THEORY) a situation where the nuclear arsenals of opposed nation states or alliances are approximately equivalent in capacity and invulnerability so that:
  1. neither could inflict sufficient damage on the other to immobilize it and prevent a retaliatory attack; and
  2. unacceptably high levels of destruction would inevitably result for both parties to the conflict if one were to launch an attack given that mechanisms for automatic retaliation are built-in to defence systems. Thus, assuming rational behaviour, the outcome of MAD was theorized to be that no attack will occur. Apart from the ever-present risk of nuclear war happening by accident, a further weakness of strategic thinking based on MAD is that it encouraged a continuous escalation of the ARMS RACE, including attempts to design defensive systems (e.g. the so-called ‘Star Wars’ programme) which would allow the possibility of victory in a nuclear war (see also SECOND STRIKE CAPABILITY). A further strategic option which earlier had also led to escalation of the arms race was the doctrine of ‘flexible response’: that in situations of limited attack, the ability to deliver an exactly appropriate level of response is required. This also led to the proliferation of new categories of nuclear weapons. see also NUCLEAR DETERRENCE.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, each action by Israel on the Golan risks a retaliation which will once again test the durability of the mutual deterrence between Israel and Hezbollah that has helped prevent the outbreak of another war for nine years.
Ideas about mutual deterrence based on second-strike capability and the deterrence "rationality" according to American or allied Western concepts might be inaccurate guides to the avoidance of war elsewhere.
There are actors in the Middle East for whom "mutual assured destruction'' is an invitation to a party -- not a system of mutual deterrence.
The fact that this has not happened now is an important marker that tells us much about the new mutual deterrence condition that now defines this hostile relationship.
Nonetheless, this is the first time that Palestinians have been able to create something close to mutual deterrence with the Israelis.
This leads not to Chinese domination of Asia, but to good prospects for a stable relationship based on mutual deterrence, which presents clear advantages.
The policy of mutual deterrence has been established.
The United States and Russia have sought to reduce the danger of nuclear war by limiting offensive strategic capabilities through negotiated agreements, relying on mutual deterrence based on reciprocal threats and the corresponding fear of retaliation.
In his testimony to the House committee, Bolton dismissed the idea of any mutual deterrence relationship with Iran because, he said, deterrence is only for atheists.
Calm may be restored gradually since mutual deterrence appears to be working, at least partially," wrote Amos Harel.
The probable scenario of Iran becoming a nuclear power is the application of mutual deterrence between it and Israel.