Modern-day Russia seems to have embraced the Cold War concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD); and Vladimir Putin’s order to put his nuclear forces on a higher level of alert is consistent with Russia’s military doctrine.


This article by Andrew Tillett, writing for the Australian Financial Review (AFR), makes the following points:
  • The MAD approach is something strategists have dubbed ‘escalate to de-escalate’—a strategy used to deter the use of nuclear weapons.
  • The strategy calls for threatening nuclear strikes to force Russia’s adversaries to buckle.
  • This theory—escalate to de-escalate—follows from Moscow’s mistaken assumption that the West will capitulate on terms favourable to Moscow.
  • Putin controls the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal, with 6255 warheads. The tally is greater than NATO members the US (5550), France (290) and the United Kingdom (225) combined.


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