Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)

What are the large-scale effects of nuclear proliferation?

Takeaway Points

  1. The threat of large-scale nuclear destruction deters war.
  2. Thus, mankind’s most deadly creation might actually be its best peacemaker.
  3. The peace will not work if one state can achieve a splendid first strike—nuclear attack that destroys most of the opposing nuclear arsenal.
  4. States therefore develop secure second strike capabilities to deter other states from launching preemptive nuclear attacks.