Is MAD...

Is Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) simply another word for murder or justice?

Once an enemy has launched its missiles is there any point in retaliating and sending its population into oblivion? Is it morally correct to punish a whole set of people on account of some, presumably, mad (no pun intended) person?

If the principle of M.A.D is to be an effective deterrent, devastating retaliation must remain a real threat. Does that make it right? No more than the act of beginning the initial attack would be, so I guess no to the entire set of actions. I must admit though, that most people faced with a similar choice in daily life, i.e. against a murderous mugger, or home invader, the choice to end the life of a misanthrope would not be easily discarded. One thing to remember, is that those very Governments chose to allow their own populations to be killed when they decided to launch their missiles in the first place.

Yes, the pre-emptive strike does resemble national suicide. As you say, that’s the thinking behind MAD as a deterrent. Without the commitment to retaliate it wouldn’t work.

It was simply a name for a concept that became reality with the possibiity.
I think it was possibly effective as a deterrent.

In the UK they did a sort of ‘What if’ scenario film. They took a gradual build up conflict based on events in Ukraine (pro russian seperatists leading to confirmed Russian involvment in one of the Baltic countries that was part of NATO).

The ‘players’ were former leaders of the British Cabinet and Military who would have had to make the desicions leading to war and just what the response would be.

World War Three: Inside the War Room

The final parts of the escalation to total war were the Russians had just nuked a British Carrier - should the British respond as required by the NATO treaty and the limited response idea.

The vote came down to - No - it was not worth going to total war or even escalating the conflict by sending in more than advisers just for a couple of million people. Which was tantamount to saying NATO would break up and be powerless when faced with a real equal challenge.

Ok it was former players with hindsight and their safe future to look forward to rather than actually on the edge of their seats real lives involved, but it did give an idea of the mindset and a likely result of a vote to go nuclear (always assuming it was a slow build up and not a major first strike scenario)

I doubt it will go anywhere conventional much less nuclear, but we’re already seeing the breakdown of the ceasefire in Syria. The U.S. accidentally bombed a Syrian Army post so the Russians decided to takeout a UN relief column…