Winning: Mutually Assured Peace

 

Nuclear weapons are good for you. While nearly 2,100 nuclear weapons have been detonated in the last 66 years, only two of these nukes were used in war. That was enough to terrify major nations into avoiding major (but not minor) wars. The continued existence of nuclear weapons has created a new dynamic between the major military powers. This nuclear standoff came to be known as “mutually assured destruction” (MAD) during the Cold War. As a result of MAD, there has not been a war between the Great Powers in Europe since the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945, a peace that has lasted 66 years so far. This is the longest period of major-power peace in Europe since before the fall of Rome 1500 years ago. The second-longest such period of peace among the European Great Powers was the 43 years between the end of the Franco-Prussian War (January 31, 1871) and the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia (July 28, 1914), which signaled the outbreak of the First World War two days later. In effect, since November 5, 1988, every day that the European Great Powers have not been at war with each other has set a new European regional –and pretty much a world– record for the duration of a peace.

Winning: Mutually Assured Peace

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