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User:William GF Wilson/sandbox3
The alternate history scenario, A World not MAD, explores the idea that instead of the United States and the Soviet Union adopting the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) nuclear stratagem, the nations adopt the Mutually Assured Decapitation Strike (MADS) stratagem, which limits the loss of civilian life and reduces the chances of complete economic and environmental catastrophe.
The point of divergence (POD) occurs during the Eisenhower administration when the President and Premier Khrushchev both agreed from their experiences in the second world war, that the loss of civilian life would be greatly compounded by the use of large-yield nuclear weapons. In the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Premier Khrushchev, in his Secret Speech, also denounced Stalin's terror tactics against civilian targets, such as the blockade of Berlin which led to the Berlin Airlift. This inclusion to the speech would also shape the Soviet's nuclear strategy, and similarly the United States would follow in 1956 when the House of Representatives passed the Military and Civilian territorial separations Act, championed by House Speaker Sam Rayburn, which stated that no new military installations were to be built within the vicinity of already existing civilian centers (large towns and cities).
Because of these developments, the SALT treaties would not be put forth in this timeline. Including the lack of efforts to denuclearize, Brezhnev was more antagonistic than Khrushchev concerning relations with the United States. Following the Glassboro Summit, which failed on the terms of the US and Soviet Union finding common ground concerning the Vietnam War, several Soviet spies were captured attempting to steal documents from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. This coupled with the behaviors and accusations of Brezhnev, led to increased diplomatic confrontation. On September 14, 1971, an American A-5 Vigilante spy plane was shot down over Soviet airspace and crashed into the Port of Vladivostok and damaged the cruiser Admiral Fokin. Admiral Nikolay Smirnov, upon receiving reports of "...an American bomber attack...", contacted Brezhnev and requested the immediate launch of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. At 13:07 (UTC) Brezhnev gave the order to launch the arsenal.