February 21, 2012 | Quote
How Did We Forget About Mutually Assured Destruction?
In the National Review, Clifford D May writes: “During the Cold War, the United States adopted a strategic doctrine called MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction. The logic behind it was both perverse and compelling: So long as we were vulnerable to missile attack by the Soviets, and so long as the Soviets were vulnerable to missile attack by us, neither side would benefit by attacking first – on the contrary, a devastating retaliation would be assured. Assuming that both we and the Soviets were rational, the result would be a stand-off, stability, and peaceful coexistence.
“Veterans of the Cold War, still influential in the foreign-policy establishment and the Obama administration, believe that if this kind of deterrence worked then, it can work now.
“Missile-defence advocates – I list myself among them – counter that MAD is an idea whose time has come and gone.”