Nuclear utilization target selection

From Academic Kids

Nuclear utilization target selection (NUTS) was a strategy developed during the Cold War as a means for one world nuclear power to achieve victory against another world nuclear power. To be victorious, the attacker had to destroy the target country's nuclear arsenal in a massive first strike. This would then have given the attacker superiority in the nuclear arms race and relieve them from the threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

The strategy was first mentioned in the 1970s when the technology involving inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) allowed a nuclear payload to be delivered with exceptional accuracy to any location on the planet.

However, because nuclear missiles were able to be launched from submarines (SLBMs) or mobile installations (the Soviet SS-20s), the idea of targetting fixed installations that the NUTS theory entails would not have been successful. Additionally, early warning systems would make it especially difficult to guarantee that an attacker would actually be able to achieve first strike capability.

The acronym itself is probably constructed as a joke on the insanity of nuclear war and the opposing strategy "MAD", called a backronym.

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