History class can become a jumble of years, dates, and odd names of people who have been dead for centuries. You have no choice! But once in a while your instructor may let you choose history essay topics. Are you clueless about where to start?
Mutually assured destruction MAD is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender see pre-emptive nuclear strike and second strike. The strategy is a form of Nash equilibrium in which, once armed, neither side has any incentive to initiate a conflict or to disarm. Under MAD, each side has enough nuclear weaponry to destroy the other side. Either side, if attacked for any reason by the other, would retaliate with equal or greater force. The expected result is an immediate, irreversible escalation of hostilities resulting in both combatants' mutual, total, and assured destruction. The doctrine requires that neither side construct shelters on a massive scale.
O n a cold March afternoon in , Wolfgang Leonhard slipped out of the East German Communist Party Secretariat, hurried home, packed what few warm clothes he could fit into a small briefcase, and then walked to a telephone box to call his mother. That was the code they had agreed on in advance. It meant that he was escaping the country, at great risk to his life. Though only 28 years old at the time, Leonhard stood at the pinnacle of the new East German elite. The son of German Communists, he had been educated in the Soviet Union, trained in special schools during the war, and brought back to Berlin from Moscow in May , on the same airplane that carried Walter Ulbricht, the leader of what would soon become the East German Communist Party.