A mushroom cloud created by the detonation of a nuclear weapon.
A mushroom cloud created by the detonation of a nuclear weapon.

Mutually Assured Destruction, or (MAD), was coined in reference to a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two opposing sides would effectively result in the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of both the attacker and the defender, becoming thus a war that has no victory nor any armistice, but only effective reciprocal destruction. An enemy will not dare to launch a first strike because the other side can and likely will retaliate in equal manner, effectively ending civilization on earth.

The strategy is effectively a form of Nash equilibrium in which neither side, once armed, has any incentive to disarm thereafter.

Sources: Wikipedia, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, RSOPerator.

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RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with over seven years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.