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Simply Scientific: Mutual assured destruction

by Jad Abukasm September 17, 2019
Simply Scientific: Mutual assured destruction

After World War II, all of humanity crossed their fingers, dreading the recreation of another deadly war in a not-so-distant future.

During that time, political tensions escalated again and we brushed up against the possibility of annihilating the human race. According to an article in the Global Research,  the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is why humanity is still here today.

This week, Simply Scientific dives into political science and explores the implications of the MAD doctrine.

Prior to the creation of nuclear weapons, traditional warfare was straight forward: two opposing camps fight in a deadly face-off until one group is defeated and the other emerges victorious. This could take hours, days, or years, but it eventually resulted in a clear winner and a loser.

However, during the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were confronted with the possibility of a lose-lose outcome. Actually, a lose-lose-lose outcome, according to some political scientists. Some hypothesized the extinction of life on Earth from radioactive fall-outs.

MAD goes as such: countries possessing weapons of mass destruction aim to hinder the use of such weapons, out of fear that initiation would prompt retaliation of the same nature from their opponent.

In other words, engaging in an attack is signing your suicide note.

Therefore, the destructive potential of some countries coupled with the fear of personal annihilation is what saved humanity from extinction during the Cold War.


Feature Photo by @sundaeghost

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