M.A.D. is broken

Mutually Assured Destruction is the name for the idea that none of the nuclear powers will start a nuclear war because it will result in nuclear holocaust, destroying civilization and possibly ending the human race.

But what if they don’t care? What if a nuclear power believes their decline and extinction as a nation is only a matter of time, that their ethnicity is dying off, and their culture being subsumed? Why wouldn’t they start a nuclear war? What have they got to lose? And what if this country is a autocracy, with no legal barriers to stop their leader, if they believed these things, from choosing to end their nation’s history on their terms?

M.A.D. assumes rationality and some reason to seek tomorrow’s sunrise, but if despondency leads to mania, it fails.