cold war, strategic stability

During the years of the cold war, the two superpowers sought to create an environment of peace and stability. This was important and very necessary since only a small spark would have been needed to spark a nuclear weapons standoff. Diverse and exclusive acts of stability were accomplished covering a wide range of issues, compromises were negotiated, and both sides verified their trust in keeping the world from war: this multilayered issue is known as strategic stability. In this essay I will attempt to explore the origin andfirst steps of strategic stability, how technology influenced it, and how effective it was.
Strategic stability was the primary tool used by either side to preserve peace. It kept the balance between two superpowers from colliding. To best understand the atrocious and absolute necessity for strategic stability, one ought to consider a situation where stability and balance are lacking. Imagine two opponents who each have some number of missiles. Each of the missiles has some number of warheads. The warheads all target the missiles of the other side. When one side has high probability of being able to destroy all of the missiles of the other side, this situation is unstable. This is true for two reasons. First, the side with thefirst strike capability might be tempted to strikefirst in a tense situation, knowing that they have a high probability of destroying the forces of the other side. Second, and more subtle, is thinking of the weaker side. Knowing the stronger side will be tempted to strikefirst, and knowing that the weaker side's force will likely be destroyed if that happens , the weaker side has an even stronger incentive to strikefirst, knowing that they have no way to strike second. This situation is brutally unstable and leaves great potential for an escalation.
The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT 1) was signed and put into effect in 1972. Two nations assuring mutual destructio…

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