How mutually assured destruction isn’t really a safeguard and the looming threat of nuclear war
It is an undeniable fact that the world has had more years of conflict than of peace. It is the best of times and it is the worst of times, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, and we live in a globe that is simultaneously improving and destroying itself. From the armed conflicts in the Middle East, the food riots of South America, as well as the apparently ongoing passive-aggressive game the United States and Russia are playing, not to mention China and the threat of North Korea, there is no place in this earth that is completely at peace, including the ice in the North and South Poles, threatened by global warming.
In recent news, the United States has responded to the taunts of North Korea’s nuclear threats by sending warships. The United States has installed THAAD missiles in South Korea, and war is but a mere spark way. But what about mutually assured destruction? you ask.
What about it? What is it? And how will this principle keep the world safe from nuclear war when both parties are trigger-happy?
Mutually assured destruction came about after the end of World War II after the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States and after the Soviet Union also detonated its device. An arms race occurred, and both sides began to amass nuclear weapons until the end of the Cold War, when a balance of war was struck between the superpowers. It is a theory that assumes that each side has enough nuclear weaponry in its arsenal to destroy the other side, and if either is attacked for any reason, there will be retaliation without fail with greater or equal fore. Pretty scary, this mutually assured destruction. This principle is also used against missile defense.
This nuclear standoff that has lasted for over sixty years and the nuclear deterrence that has followed have given the world less anxiety, but times have changed, and there are those in power who do not care about such consequences. The detonation of the Mother of All Bombs over Afghanistan recently on ISIS tunnels was a show of military technological force that showed the extent of the power of the United States and could potentially mean the end of MAD.
Mutually assured destruction is not anymore a deterrent that will keep the world safe from nuclear war. All we can do is hope that the world’s leaders don’t jump the gun and end it all because of bravado. We can only sit back and watch the events of the world stage unfold.