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Mutual assured destruction was a military strategy for deterring nuclear war, which posited that if both sides of a conflict were sufficiently armed, neither would launch an attack for fear of a catastrophic reprisal.
Such a strategy was in play during the Cold War between the United States of America and the Soviet Union in the mid to late 20th century. A similar situation was at play in the conflict between the "Greens" and the "Browns" on planet Talin IV in the mid 23rd century. (TOS novel: Prime Directive)