mutual assured destruction

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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 ?
During the Cold War, our nation's defense against a nuclear attack was based upon the concept of mutual assured destruction.
In a recent "BreakPoint" commentary heard on 1,000 radio stations, Christian conservative Chuck Colson spoke of "the moral insanity" of mutual assured destruction.
Never mind that it was the political equivalent of Mutual Assured Destruction, wiping out your own local guy as well as the other town's bum.
In less than 400 pages, he takes us from the first spear-thrusting Neanderthal through the age of mutual assured destruction.
Terminate reliance on the launch-ready alert of nuclear-armed missiles and the strategy of mutual assured destruction
One is to allow the Iranians to acquire the bomb and hope for the best--meaning a nuclear standoff, with the prospect of mutual assured destruction preventing the Iranians from actually using the weapon.
1) Mutual Assured Destruction 2) Franklin Delano Roosevelt 3) 1649 4) Mathieson 5) Clifford T Ward 6) Occident 7) China 8) Declan McManus 9) Batman 10) Forrest Gump, Philadelphia
attack with offensive nuclear weapons would be unable to completely destroy the Soviet capability to launch a retaliatory attack--the basis for the Mutual Assured Destruction stasis, the Soviets probably believed that a U.
He has authored and edited a number of works on proliferation-related issues, including Best of Intentions: America's Campaign against Strategic Weapons Proliferation (Praeger, 2001); Nuclear Heuristics: Selected Writings of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter (Strategic Studies Institute, 2009); and Getting MAD: Nuclear Mutual Assured Destruction, Its Origins and Practice (Strategic Studies Institute, 2004).
It was an era where nuclear confrontation was a reality and Mutual Assured Destruction a likely potential outcome.
During the 'Cold War' between the east and the west, the threat of nuclear confrontation was largely contained by a doctrine aptly referred to as MAD, which stands for Mutual Assured Destruction.
If the stakes weren't so high, conservatives might enjoy the spectacle of liberals embracing the doctrine of mutual assured destruction.