MAD and Boomerst throughout the Cold War

1327 Words Jan 26th, 2018 5 Pages
The differences between the ideologies of the communist USSR and the capitalist United States led to a rapid deterioration in relations. The era between 1945, which marked the end of World War II, to 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved, became known as the Cold War due to the fact that despite the lack of large scale conflict, both sides still feared a nuclear holocaust. Both the United States and the Soviet Union followed the military strategy of mutually assured destruction (MAD), meaning that neither side was willing to risk first attack lest the other nation retaliate massively . The fundamental tenet behind MAD that enabled it to serve as an effective deterrent was the idea of secondary strike capability. In essence, it was the ability of a nation to launch a counterattack and thereby ensure mutual destruction. Submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) fulfilled this criteria admirably due to their ability to stay submerged for extended periods of time, the difficulty involved with locating a submarine, and their invulnerability to nuclear missile attacks when submerged. As a result, the United States attempted to corner this leg of the nuclear triad. In 1949, the United States signed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and other capitalist states . Through this treaty, the countries agreed to defend each…

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