Courtesy Reuters

The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy

PRESENT AT THE DESTRUCTION For almost half a century, the world's most powerful nuclear states have been locked in a military stalemate known as mutual assured destruction (MAD). By the early 1960s, the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union had grown so large and sophisticated that neither country could entirely destroy the other's retaliatory force by launching first, even with a surprise attack. Starting a nuclear war was therefore tantamount to committing suicide. During the Cold War, many scholars and policy analysts believed that MAD made the world relatively stable and peaceful because it induced great caution …

View More on Foreign Affairs