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View Diary: This is why civilizations have regulations, rules and laws (7 comments)

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    America’s policy of mutual assured destruction (MAD) during the cold war had worked quite well to prevent a nuclear holocaust (unless you happen to live in Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 1945)
    There was no Cold War nor a MAD doctrine (not a policy) in 1945. At that time, a world war was still ongoing and the only two working atomic bombs were used in the final days of it with the ostensible purpose of ending it. The Soviets were still our allies at that time, and no one else had atomic weapons. MAD could not have prevented anything as it did not yet exist.

    Thermonuclear weapons had not yet been invented either, nor had ICBM technology. MAD could not truly exist without those technologies. However, once it did, no atomic or nuclear weapons were ever used again, nor was there a conventional war between the superpowers. There has never been another World War. MAD has rendered the cost of such too high to contemplate and thus potentially saved millions of lives.

    Now, Europe is basically unified, the Russians are on relatively good diplomatic terms with the NATO nations, and China is too intertwined with the western world economically to even think about waging war. Global hostilities are mostly small-scale and localized, and even "large" wars like Vietnam and Iraq pale in comparison to what was common in the first half of the 20th century.

    To summarize:

    First half of the 20th century: Two world wars, countless millions killed and whole nations turned to rubble. Entire generations devastated. Civilian casualties beyond counting.

    Second half of the 20th century to current day: No world wars. Serious tensions between major world powers grind on for decades without erupting into major war, instead limited to saber rattling, propaganda, espionage and small scale proxy wars. First world nations suffer no war related death or destruction on their home soil. Casualties of wars that did occur reduced by several orders of magnitude compared to earlier wars with lower levels of weapons technology.

    Do you think that's a coincidence? Mankind didn't just suddenly learn it's lesson after WWII and renounce war, you know. No such luck. However, MAD made any major war unthinkable and forced nations to avoid it whether they liked it or not. Thanks to MAD, there was "no such thing as a winnable war" in the words of Sting, or as stated in the film Wargames war became a "Strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

    Don't tell me it didn't make a difference or save lives by the millions.

    "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

    by DarthMeow504 on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 04:09:35 AM PST

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