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Nuclear utilization target selection

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Nuclear utilization target selection (NUTS) is a strategy for winning a nuclear war by destroying "enough" or all of the opponent's nuclear weapons in a first strike, relieving the attacker from the threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD). The strategy was first described in the 1970s, when the accuracy of the nuclear weapons became good enough to envision this scenario.

However, because of nuclear missiles that can be launched from submarines (SLBMs) or mobile installations (the Soviet SS-20s[?]), the United States really never had a chance to win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union using the NUTS strategy.

The NUTS strategy was based on what Ken Wu[?] called an "American First Strike" capability.

The acronym itself is probably constructed as a joke on the insanity of nuclear war and the opposing strategy "MAD". This is what hackers would call a backronym.

To do:

  • Who proposed the strategy? (Not Weinberger.)
  • Did the US take it seriously?

Quotes:

"MAD is for the nuclear aristocracy and NUTS is for the nuclear proletariat"

"A NUTS postures lent credence to the idea of deterrence because it was believed that nuclear weapons deterred only if there was a possibility that they would be used."

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