Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD is a Cold War Theory first developed (in 1962), by US Military Strategists. The initial theory is that while two Opposing Nations – each with the capability to conduct a Nuclear War against the Other, they will not do so IF each believes that His Opponent will destroy The Other. This is achieved by Layered Protection. Even if Opposing Forces deploy Land and Air Nuclear Options, Sea Assets (such as Submarines), can still implement total destruction many days and even weeks later. As such, neither Opponent can in essence ''win'' a Nuclear War.
The MAD Theory has always been a form of ''Ultimate Deterrent'' for Nuclear Conflict. Regardless of size and overall destructive capabilities, the basic principle remains the same for all Countries capable of Nuclear Warfare. It is the opposite and more accepted means to what is sometimes referred to (especially in Post-Cold War terms) – ''Nuclear Diplomacy''.
While there is no Official Military stance known as MAD, it is commonly used by all Countries capable of full-scale, multi-level Nuclear Warfare.