Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. It is based on the theory of deterrence according to which the deployment of strong weapons is essential to threaten the enemy in order to prevent the use of the very same weapons.

The term is most commonly associated with the American and Soviet arsenals during the Cold War.

Mutual Assured Destruction in Worldwar[]

In the years after the Peace of Cairo, the Race grew apprehensive about the various free Tosevite powers being able to duplicate and surpass the Race's technology. The possibility that a Tosevite power might actually send a spacehip to Home itself grew more plausible as the years passed, and soon the Race had to consider the idea of Tosevites devastating Home with bombings from space without the Race being able to answer effectively. On several occasions, Race leaders considered launching an all-out premptive nuclear war on Tosev 3.

When that fateful day arrived in 2031 with the arrival of the FTL starship Commodore Perry, the Race developed a viable deterrant: should Home be devastated, one of the Race's existing sub-light ships would be used as a weapon of retaliation. The ship would travel towards Tosev 3 and would hit the planet at its full speed, half the speed of light. Such a hit would release so much energy as to cause untold damage to Toseve 3, making life on it impossible, if not completely destroying the planet. Though the Race's own colonists would also perish, the leaders made the threat in all seriousness.

At least as far as the relatively reasonable Tosevites of the United States were concerned, this mutual deterrence worked, and neither side made use of the possibilities at its disposal. It remained to be seen if this strategy would also work against the other Tosevites seeking to develop their own FTL flight, including the Soviet Union, Japan, and especially Germany, with its fanatic ideology and old scores to settle with the Race.