MAD doctrine

July 12, 2017 12:02 am | Updated 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.

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