MAD doctrine

Published - July 12, 2017 12:02 am IST

International relations

A military doctrine, also known as the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, which states that when two adversaries possess nuclear weapons, neither of them is likely to use them. This is because both sides are likely to suffer severe losses from a nuclear attack, irrespective of who attacks first. The MAD doctrine is considered an application of the Nash equilibrium, wherein the threat of a strong retaliatory attack prevents both sides from initiating a conflict. The result is lasting prevention of a nuclear attack. The doctrine has been criticised for assuming that the victim of the first attack will possess sufficient capabilities after the attack to retaliate strongly.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.