Talk:Massive retaliation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Old comment[edit]

Mutually Assured Destruction has never been official US policy, ever. It has always been "Assured Destruction", e.g. we WILL destroy you.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:10, June 15, 2006

Problems with the theory section[edit]

Actually, Massive Response is a form of MAD. The theory section is also wrong in saying that Massive Response encourages first strikes.

There are many problems with this page. Massive Retaliation is described simplistically. It is not equivalent to MAD, nor does it posit preemptive war. Assured Destruction was actually a policy the resulted from McNamara's efforts to get away from Massive Retaliation. --Corinthian 13:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, massive response is NOT a form of MAD. Massive response was Ike's baby, it arose from a fear of an imbalance between Soviet and American forces (with the Soviets perceived to have the advantage) and the belief that nuclear forces would be a cheaper balancer than would a buildup of conventional forces. Also, the wiki states something about a "strict reading" of massive retaliation - this doesn't make much sense because the "policy" was intentionally left vague. Kennedy came up with flexible response BEFORE the Cuban Missiles crisis, MAD came about after it because Kennedy and staff began to believe that deterrence was more of a black/white thing and that the graduated responses called for under flexible response were insufficient. (talk) 21:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Question about the 'Policy Shift' section[edit]

Is it accurate to say Kennedy abandoned 'massive retaliation' during the Cuban Missile Crisis? The Soviets tried to intimidate the U.S., but there was no actual attack to retaliate against. To say Kennedy abandoned 'massive retaliation' seems to imply that 'massive retaliation' precluded diplomacy, that the policy of 'massive retaliation' was to retaliate against threats, not just actual attacks. In his Missile Crisis speech, Kennedy said: "It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union." A promised 'full retaliatory response' to a single nuclear missile launch, not just against the U.S. but against any nation in the hemisphere -- I think that fits 'massive retaliation.'Ten-K (talk) 06:40, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

He never abandoned retaliation, he was ready to escalate and had the war plans drawn to invade Cuba which could have led to a nuclear conflict. Schnarr 04:01, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't think that section is accurate. As you point out, moving missiles is not an attack, and so does not not require massive retaliation. Kennedy was free to try diplomatic responses rather than attack, while still being ready to retaliate if an attack occurred.

Frankly, this entire article feels like it should be folded in the MAD article, since it doesn't reference any type of retaliation other than nuclear retaliation. (talk) 08:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Flexible response predates the Cuban Missile Crisis. SIOP-63 went into effect in July 1962. It was the flexible response plan designed by McNamara which replaced the massive retaliation plan--SIOP-62. The missiles were discovered on Cuba in October 1962 and were removed shortly afterwards. The flexible response remained until the end of the Kennedy administration and beyond.--Maxaxax (talk) 06:34, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. -- (talk) 13:32, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


We're down to one working citation now, and I don't see it as a reliable source. I'm not finding much in a casual Google search to distinguish this from Deterrence theory so, if there's no objection (and I don't find a better cite), I plan to redirect this article there. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:26, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Is this not known as the Dulles Doctrine?[edit]

The corresponding article in some other languages is titled Dulles Doctrine. But in the English Wikipedia, Dulles Doctrine redirects to Dulles' Plan. Some scope for confusion here. See also List of eponymous doctrines. RichardVeryard (talk) 22:22, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Massive Retaliation and Mutually Assured Destruction[edit]

These clearly do not work on the same principle. Massive Retaliation presupposed nuclear monopoly or overwhelming nuclear superiority, such that the Soviet Union could not respond in kind. It was intended as a way in which the US could contend with the vast Soviet conventional forces. Mutually assured destruction presupposed nuclear parity, which was achieved by the Soviet Union in the 1960s — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 28 December 2014 (UTC)