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MAD About You: It's Time to Turn Mutually Assured Destruction Into Mutually Assured Stability

June 14, 2013
Ellen Tauscher and Igor Ivanov
This is a summary of an article originally published by Foreign Policy.

The authors call for U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin to move away from the traditional doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) to what they describe as “mutually assured stability.” Mutually assured stability would involve more cooperation, more transparency and more arms limitation. The article asserts that MAD is no longer applicable to a multipolar, globalized world and that as U.S.-Russian relations have improved since the Cold War, now is the perfect time to renegotiate the nuclear settlement between the two countries. They laud Obama’s recreation of Phase IV of the European missile defense program to address Russia’s concerns about distortion of nuclear parity. The authors call this a good first step and advocate for more cooperation, including a joint fusion center where U.S. and Russian officials can easily work out nuclear issues. The article calls on the leaders in Washington and Moscow to seize this important opportunity to increase world nuclear security.

Read the full text at Foreign Policy.


Ellen Tauscher

Ellen Tauscher is the vice chair of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Secretary and was formerly under secretary of state for arms control and international security.


Igor Ivanov

Igor Ivanov is the president of the Russian International Affairs Council and previously served as foreign minister of the Russian Federation.

Photo by Snr Airman Lael Huss shared in the public domain.