Brinkmanship (also brinksmanship) is the practice of trying to achieve an advantageous outcome by pushing dangerous events to the brink of active conflict. It occurs in international politics, foreign policy, labor relations, and (in contemporary settings) military strategy involving the threat of nuclear weapons, and high-stakes litigation. This maneuver of pushing a situation with the opponent to the brink succeeds by forcing the opponent to back down and make concessions. This might be achieved through diplomatic maneuvers by creating the impression that one is willing to use extreme methods rather than concede. The term is chiefly associated with American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, during the early years of the Eisenhower administration 1953-1956. Dulles sought to deter aggression by the Soviet Union by warning that the cost might be massive retaliation against Soviet targets.[1]

Cubacrisis 17 Oct 1962
The handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis was described as brinkmanship


Brinkmanship is the ostensible escalation of threats to achieve one's aims. The word was probably coined by Adlai Stevenson in his criticism of the philosophy described as "going to the brink" in an interview with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles under the Eisenhower administration, during the Cold War.[2] In an article written in Life Magazine, John Foster Dulles then defined his policy of brinkmanship as "The ability to get to the verge without getting into the war is the necessary art." [3][4] During the Cold War, this was used as a policy by the United States to coerce the Soviet Union into backing down militarily. Eventually, the threats involved might become so huge as to be unmanageable at which point both sides are likely to back down. This was the case during the Cold War; the escalation of threats of nuclear war, if carried out, are likely to lead to mutually assured destruction.[5]

Credible threats

For brinkmanship to be effective, the sides continuously escalate their threats and actions. However, a threat is ineffective unless credible—at some point, an aggressive party may have to prove its commitment to action.

The chance of things sliding out of control is often used in itself as a tool of brinkmanship, because it can provide credibility to an otherwise incredible threat. The Cuban Missile Crisis presents an example in which opposing leaders, namely U.S. president John F. Kennedy and Russian Leader Nikita Khrushchev, continually issued warnings, with increasing force, about impending nuclear exchanges, without necessarily validating their statements. Pioneering game theorist Thomas Schelling called this "the threat that leaves something to chance."[6]

Cold War

Brinkmanship was an effective tactic during the cold war because neither side of a conflict could contemplate mutual assured destruction in a nuclear war, acting as a nuclear deterrence for both the side threatening to pose damage and the country on the 'receiving end'. Ultimately, it worsened the relationship between the USSR and the US.[7]


In the spectrum of the Cold War, the concept of brinkmanship involved the West and the Soviet Union using fear tactics and intimidation as strategies to make the opposing faction back down. Each party pushed dangerous situations to the brink, with the intention of making the other back down in matters of international politics and foreign policy, to obtain concessions. Nevertheless, in the Cold War both parties were confronted with devastating consequences since the threats of nuclear war were unmanageable in any situation. By escalating threats of nuclear war and massive retaliation, both parties were forced to respond with more force. The principle of this tactic was that each party would prefer not to yield to the other; however, one would simply have to yield since if neither of the parties yielded, the outcome would be the worst possible for both. The problem, however, was that yielding would result in being labelled as the weaker of the two and in the Cold War both the Soviet Union and the United States had a reputation to uphold to both their populations and their neighboring countries or allies, thus making brinkmanship utterly risky. Since neither country would budge, the only way to avoid mutually assured destruction (MAD) was compromise. The British philosopher, mathematician, and intellectual Bertrand Russell compared it to the game of chicken:[8]

Since the nuclear stalemate became apparent, the governments of East and West have adopted the policy which Mr. Dulles calls 'brinksmanship.' This is a policy adapted from a sport which, I am told, is practiced by some youthful degenerates. This sport is called 'Chicken!'.


The Soviet Union and the West spent nearly 50 years on the brink of war. During conflicts like the Cuban Missile Crisis the tensions escalated to the point where it seemed as if the Cold War would turn into an actual weaponized war. Brinkmanship was one of the steps prior to the point where war would actually break out.

In a conflict between two nations that were so ideologically opposed, it seemed as if drastic policies such as brinkmanship were the only way to come to any sense of agreement. Both the United States and the Soviet Union maintained strict policies not to respond to military threats at this time, but by making the possibility of a war more and more likely, the two nations were able to make significant progress in discussions and peace.

Eisenhower's "New Look" policy

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's New Look Policy reverted to the older notion that they could contain the Soviet Union, assuming that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was aiming to expand the Soviet's further still. This tactic was supposed to isolate the Soviet Union so that communism could not spread and would collapse in on itself. To enforce this tactic they set up many alliances with countries that would have been considered to be within the Soviet sphere of influence. As it was now known that the Soviets possessed nuclear weapons which stood the US and the Russians on more of an even playing field. To combat this problem, Eisenhower threatened to use all of his arsenal if the Soviets took offensive measures. This was a bold move as it established the stakes to be extremely high, as this action could cause mass destruction for either side. This threat caused an increase and buildup of tension, neither one wanting to pull the trigger on the other for fear of what the reaction might be.

Kennedy's Flexible Response

Flexible Response was a defense strategy executed by John F. Kennedy in 1961. Its aim was to address skepticism President Kennedy Administration's held towards President Eisenhower's New Look, specifically its policy of Massive Retaliation. Flexible response requires Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) at tactical, strategic and conventional levels, bestowing upon the United States the ability to respond to aggression across the spectrum of Symmetrical Conventional Warfare and Nuclear Warfare.

Flexible Response required the continuous presence of substantial conventional forces. The forces were to serve two purposes; acting as a deterrent and fighting limited wars. Kennedy hoped to deter all wars regardless of their nature. Although both Eisenhower and Dulles wanted to achieve goals similar to those of Kennedy, they were rather the more concerned with cost. In order to avoid both escalation and humiliation, Kennedy highlighted the importance of adequate flexibility and disregarded cost. Prior to nuclear war, Kennedy wished to increase the range of available options. He also believed that the European allies should be contributing more to their own defense. Fundamentally, the notion of flexible response was to "increase the ability to confine the response to non-nuclear weapons".[9]

Practices and effects of Cold War

Korean War (1950–1953)

The Korean War was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). It started on June 25, 1950, and armed hostilities ended with the Korean Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953; however, this ceasefire was not a Treaty under International Law. Meaning, both UN Coalition Forces and DPRK remain in a technical state of War. The United States les the UN Coalition and Resolution-82 supporting the Republic of Korea, and the Soviet Union & People's Republic of China supporting DPRK, the Korean War was the first armed conflict, or Proxy War, of the Cold War, escalating tensions between the West and Communist Powers. In September 1949, the USSR tested its first A-Bomb,[10] making a 'limited war' virtually impossible.

Fears of communism had risen after the Second Red Scare, led by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, indirectly calling for a policy to limit Communist Threat: NSC 68. In accordance with NSC 68, a report which stated that all communist activities were controlled by Joseph Stalin, leader of the USSR, and called for military and economic aid to any country deemed to be resisting Communist threats, the United States sent troops to South Korea when it was invaded by the North on June 25, 1950. While it contradicted the report, in that the United States was once again at war (the report stated that the United States should avoid war), President Harry S. Truman feared a 'domino effect,' and wanted to prevent Communism spreading, stating:

If we let Korea down, the Soviets will keep right on going and swallow up one piece of Asia after another.... If we were to let Asia go, the Near East would collapse and no telling what would happen in Europe.... Korea is like the Greece of the Far East. If we are tough enough now, if we stand up to them like we did in Greece three years ago, they won't take any more steps.[11]

With the USSR boycotting the UN Security Council (because the US refused Communist China entry), the United Nations, supported by the United States, freely passed a resolution requesting military action against North Korea. Led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the UN Forces arrived along with the US Forces on July 1, 1950. While Truman believed that the North Korean atomic threat was "a threat based on contingency planning to use the bomb, rather than the faux pas so many assume it to be," (and hence not just brinkmanship), he continuously opted for limited war. His beliefs in ceasefire and peacekeeping between the North and the South were cause for great conflict with MacArthur, who sought total war. MacArthur believed that the United States should take the opportunity to wipe out communism permanently before it grew stronger, using all of its weapons, hence turning the war into nuclear war.[12] MacArthur was dismissed as a result of his continuous defiance to Truman and other superiors on April 11, 1951, after he sent an ultimatum to the Chinese Army, without consent of Truman.

As historian Bruce Cumings noted,[13] the Korean War heightened the Cold War, bringing both nations closer to a nuclear war. The United States wanted to ensure that the United Nations wouldn't fail, as it had done with the League of Nations, and hence wanted to show off its power to the world. Additionally, it wanted to exhibit that it could still tame the communist threat, now also present in Asia. Similarly, the Soviet Union wanted to demonstrate its newly built military strength to the United States.[14]

Berlin Crisis

Between 1950 and 1961, "the refugee flow continued at a rate of 100,000 to 200,000 annually" with people moving from the East to the West. The economic conditions were better in West Berlin than in East Berlin, and therefore attracted more young workers. Trying to find a way to stop the people from moving, Walter Ulbricht, president of East Germany, pressured the Soviet Union to help with the matter of Berlin and emigration. Khrushchev wanted the Western Allies to either leave Berlin or sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany, fearing that West Germany would economically and politically overwhelm East Germany, in turn undermining the Warsaw Pact that the Soviet Union dominated.[15]

On November 10, 1958, Nikita Khrushchev delivered a speech in which he demanded that the Western Powers pulled out of Western Berlin within six months. Furthermore, Khrushchev declared that East Germany was to take control of all communication lines and therefore, West Berlin would only be accessible by the permission of East Germany. Interpreting Khrushchev's speech as an ultimatum, the United States, France, and Britain declined the ultimatum and said that they would remain in West Berlin.

In 1959, the Big Four powers held a conference in Geneva where the foreign ministers attempted to negotiate an agreement on Berlin. However, the conference did not do much, other than open up talks between the Soviet Union and United States. The USSR wanted Western powers out of West Berlin in an attempt to reunify Berlin. The United States refused to give up the freedom of West Berliners. In 1961, Khrushchev met with Kennedy and they continued to solve the issue on Berlin. Again, Khrushchev sent an ultimatum to the United States, asking them to leave West Berlin. As a result, Kennedy increased military and defense expenditures.

On August 13, 1961, Walter Ulbricht had ordered barbed wire between East and West Berlin. The barbed wire was later changed to cement walls. This prevented the movement between the two sides. The division between the two Berlins was known as "The Berlin Wall". The United States heavily condemned the Berlin wall and responded by placing troops on the West German side. Their actions were followed by Soviet Union, when they placed their troops and tanks on the East German side. This led to the iconic image of tanks facing each other at "Checkpoint Charlie", which symbolized the East-West division, which is the division of the east and west parts of Germany.

Any action taken by either of the troops had the possibility of resulting in a nuclear war between the USSR and the US. As a result, in the summer of 1961 John F. Kennedy met with Khrushchev in Vienna in order to try to find a solution regarding the problem of Berlin. Kennedy suggested Khrushchev to remove the Soviet troops, after which the United States would remove their troops. However, they found no solution, because neither side was ready to make concessions. The conference ended with Khrushchev issuing another ultimatum to the United States, giving them six months to get out of Berlin. The division of Berlin had become a symbol for the success of capitalism and showed a sharp contrast between the communist and capitalist system.[16] As a result, Kennedy refused to back down and instead prepared for military action, leading to further military escalation by Khrushchev.[16]

Cuban Missile Crisis

A prime example of brinkmanship during the Cold War was the Cuban Missile Crisis (15.10.62 - 28.10.62), a 13-day conflict between the US, USSR and Cuba.[17] The US and the USSR, each armed with nuclear weapons, both practiced brinkmanship during this conflict. The Cuban Missile Crisis was not only the closest the US and USSR came to an armed conflict[18] during The Cold War, but also, to this day, the "closest the world has come to [a full-scale] nuclear war."[19]

The crisis was caused by the placement of Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, an island that was within the "Sphere of Influence" and launching distance of the US. This was arguably an act of brinkmanship from the USSR, intimidating the US with weapons within the region. The US responded to the presence of the weapons by blockading Cuba.[20] The Cuban blockade was also an act of brinkmanship since the US, instead of succumbing to the pressure from the USSR, decided to see how the Soviets would react to the US stopping their vessels from entering Cuba.

It can be argued that Brinkmanship, in this case, went too far. Had the US attacked Cuba through an airstrike to eliminate the weapons, the USSR may have responded in Berlin where NATO would have been pulled into a war. Had the US left the weapons where they were they would have been a threat to the majority of the American population, in the case of a Cuban missile strike. In either of the cases, retaliation could have led to a full-scale nuclear war. Had any of the two superpowers been pushed over the brink the lives of millions of people would have been at stake.

Successful brinkmanship, however, is when you push your enemy to the brink of war, but not over it, getting him to back down under the pressure. Considering this, Brinkmanship during the Cuban Missile Crisis was successful, as war was avoided. The crisis, however, was a peculiar case of brinkmanship since the two opposing powers had near equal power [21] during the crisis. Thus, in order to avoid war, both powers backed down and compromised, the Soviets removing their weapons from Cuba and the Americans secretly agreeing to remove missiles from Turkey. [2]

Arms race

The US was building up its missiles, with President Eisenhower issuing the National Defense Education Act in 1958, which was an attempt to close the missile gap with the Soviets. It gave funds to U.S. schools to start researching more so that the United States' military could catch up with the Soviet's technology. Eisenhower also started NASA from NACA, several research laboratories, and parts of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, see Creation of NASA.

Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis


The Détente was essentially a stilling of the waters between the US and the USSR. It was started by Richard Nixon, elected President of the United States in 1968, and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger and continued on through to 1980 and the start of the 'second Cold War'.[11] It focused on a 'philosophical deepening' of American foreign policy to adjust to the changing international order as opposed to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations which were too single-minded in their pursuit of victory in Vietnam.[22] This move away from focusing solely on military buildup heralded a 12-year period wherein the world experienced a kind of peace due to the decreased tensions between the US and the USSR.

Ronald Reagan and the end of the Cold War

Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president of the United States on January 20, 1981. His idea of how nuclear relations was, from the outset, much different from the Détente's goal of 'stability'.[11] He effectively ended the previously accepted agreement of Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, between the USSR by almost immediately increasing the pace of the buildup of arms in the US to an unprecedented rate. As well as the buildup of conventional arms, military technology was also improved. With the introduction of the stealth bomber and neutron bomb, the US again began to pull away from the Soviet Union. But the most pivotal among these was the Strategic Defense Initiative which, though it was later called 'Star Wars' because of its improbability, simultaneously brought the US to the brink of war with the USSR as the SDI nullified the idea of MAD as well as induced arms talks between Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the USSR.[11]

Donald Trump and North Korea

The North Korean Nuclear crisis, during the presidency of US president Donald Trump, has been described as representing brinkmanship between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.[23][24]

See also


  1. ^ Jackson, Michael Gordon (2005). "Beyond Brinkmanship: Eisenhower, Nuclear War Fighting, and Korea, 1953‐1968". Presidential Studies Quarterly. 35 (1): 52–75. doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2004.00235.x.
  2. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  3. ^ Sheply, James. "How Dulles Averted War." Life 16 January 1956: 70+. Print.
  4. ^ Stephen E. Ambrose (2010). Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938, Ninth Revised Edition. Penguin. p. 109.
  5. ^ Watry, David M. (2014). Diplomacy at the Brink: Eisenhower, Churchill, and Eden in the Cold War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press..
  6. ^ Schelling, Thomas, The Strategy of Conflict, copyright 1960, 1980, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-84031-3.
  7. ^ Watry, David M. (2014). Diplomacy at the Brink: Eisenhower, Churchill, and Eden in the Cold War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press..
  8. ^ Russell, Bertrand W. (1959) Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare London: George Allen & Unwin, p30
  9. ^ "Key Issues: Nuclear Weapons: History: Cold War: Strategy: Flexible Response". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  10. ^ Greenpeace, Greenpeace Archives: History of Nuclear Weapons Archived 2005-11-21 at the Wayback Machine, 1996
  11. ^ a b c d 'Kelly Rogers, Jo Thomas, History: The Cold War, 2009
  12. ^ PBS, Douglas MacArthur - The American Experience, 2009
  13. ^ Kelly Rogers, Jo Thomas, History: The Cold War, 2009
  14. ^ M. Ruch, American History Notes: the 1950s, 2007
  15. ^ "Khrushchev's Speech on Berlin, 1961." Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. [1] Mar. 2010.
  16. ^ a b "The Berlin Crisis, 1958–1961", U.S. Department of State. Web. Mar. 2010.
  17. ^ "Timeline of the Cuban Missile Crisis | The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Look Back from the Brink". Archived from the original on 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  18. ^ "Office of the Historian". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  19. ^ "The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  20. ^ "Office of the Historian". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  21. ^ "Office of the Historian". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  22. ^ John Mason in The Cold War (Routledge, 1996) p.51
  23. ^ Choe, Sang-Hun (2017-09-22). "North Korea Hits New Level of Brinkmanship in Reacting to Trump". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  24. ^ Noack, Rick (2018-01-03). "Under Trump, nuclear brinkmanship is the new normal". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-01-05.

External links

...And Justice for All (album)

...And Justice for All is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on August 25, 1988, through Elektra Records. It is the first Metallica studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted after the death of Cliff Burton in 1986.

…And Justice for All was recorded in early 1988 at One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles. It features long and complex songs, fast tempos, and few verse-chorus structures. It is infamous for its sterile production, which producer Flemming Rasmussen attributed to his absence during the mixing process. The lyrics feature themes of political and legal injustice seen through the prisms of censorship, war, and nuclear brinkmanship. The cover, designed by Stephen Gorman based on a concept by Metallica guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, depicts Lady Justice bound in ropes. The album title is derived from the American Pledge of Allegiance. Three songs from the album were released as singles: "Harvester of Sorrow", "Eye of the Beholder", and "One"; the title track was released as a promotional single.

…And Justice for All was acclaimed by music critics. It was included in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll of the year's best albums, and the single "One", which also marked the band's first music video, earned Metallica its first Grammy Award (and the first ever in the Best Metal Performance category) in 1990. The group's best-selling album at the time, it is the first underground metal album to achieve chart success in the United States, peaking at number six on the Billboard 200. The album was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2003 for shipping eight million copies in the U.S., making it Metallica's second-best-selling album in the country. A remastering of the album was released on November 2, 2018 and reached number 37 and 42 on Billboard's Top Album Sales and Top Rock Albums charts respectively.

2006 Canadian federal election

The 2006 Canadian federal election (more formally, the 39th General Election) was held on January 23, 2006, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 39th Parliament of Canada. The Conservative Party of Canada won the greatest number of seats − 40.3% of seats, or 124 out of 308, up from 99 seats in 2004 — and 36.3% of votes, up from 29.6% in the 2004 election.The election resulted in a minority government led by the Conservative Party with Stephen Harper becoming the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada. By proportion of seats, this was Canada's smallest minority government since Confederation. Despite this, it was the longest-serving minority government overall.

Voter turnout was 64.7%.Elections Canada later investiaged improper election spending by the Conservative Party, which became widely known as the In and Out scandal. Charges were eventually dropped in a plea deal.

Balance of Power (video game)

Balance of Power is a computer strategy game of geopolitics during the Cold War, created by Chris Crawford and published in 1985 on the Macintosh by Mindscape, followed by ports to a variety of platforms over the next two years.

In the game, the player takes the role of the President of the United States or General Secretary of the Soviet Union. The goal is to improve the player's country's standing in the world relative to the other superpower. During each yearly turn, random events occur that may have effects on the player's international prestige. The player can choose to respond to these events in various ways, which may prompt a response from the other superpower. This creates brinkmanship situations between the two nations, potentially escalating to a nuclear war, which ends the game.

Crawford was already well-known, especially for Eastern Front (1941). His 1984 announcement that he was moving to the Macintosh platform to work on a new concept generated considerable interest. It was widely reviewed after its release, including an extremely positive review in The New York Times Magazine. It was praised for its inventive non-action gameplay that was nevertheless exciting and a distinct It has been named by Computer Gaming World as one of the most innovative computer games of all time.

Balance of Power was successful on the Mac, and combined with ports it ultimately sold over a quarter million units.

Beagle conflict

The Beagle conflict was a border dispute between Chile and Argentina over the possession of Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands and the scope of the maritime jurisdiction associated with those islands that brought the countries to the brink of war in 1978.

The islands are strategically located off the south edge of Tierra del Fuego and at the east end of the Beagle Channel. The Beagle Channel, the Straits of Magellan and the Drake Passage are the only three waterways between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean in the southern hemisphere.

After refusing to abide by a binding international award giving the islands to Chile, the Argentine junta advanced the nation to war in 1978 in order to produce a boundary consistent with Argentine claims.The Beagle conflict is seen as the main reason for Chilean support to the United Kingdom during the Falklands War of 1982.The conflict began in 1904 with the first official Argentine claims over the islands that had always been under Chilean control. The conflict passed through several phases: since 1881 they were claimed Chilean islands, beginning in 1904 they were disputed islands, followed later by direct negotiations, submission to a binding international tribunal, further direct negotiations, brinkmanship and settlement.

The conflict was resolved through papal mediation and since 1984 Argentina has recognized the islands as Chilean territory. The 1984 treaty also resolves several collateral issues of great importance, including navigation rights, sovereignty over other islands in the Fuegian Archipelago, delimitation of the Straits of Magellan, and maritime boundaries south to Cape Horn and beyond.

Bruce Henderson

Bruce Doolin Henderson (April 30, 1915 – July 20, 1992) was an American entrepreneur and founder of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He founded BCG in 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts and headed the firm as the president and CEO until 1980. He continued to serve as chairman of BCG until 1985.

Burger wars

The Burger wars is a series of off-and-on comparative advertising campaigns consisting of mutually-targeted advertisements that highlight the intense competition between hamburger fast food chains McDonald's, Burger King and others in the United States. The term first came into use during the late 1970s due to an attempt by Burger King to generate increased market and mind-share by attacking the size of bigger rival McDonald's hamburgers.By the mid 1980s, the constant spending on advertising began to affect the major players. In 1987, Burger King laid off more than a hundred people from its corporate headquarters in Miami, Florida, while Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's reported its first quarterly operating loss since its founding in 1969. Conversely, McDonald's operating revenue and profit increase while its market share also grew. Smaller chains, such as Hardee's, worked to keep from getting caught up in the extensive financial brinkmanship by avoiding the expensive ad campaigns and by staying in smaller, more geographically limited locations.The New York Times states that the poor economy of the late 2010 recessionary period has led to the return of the Burger Wars. Because of tightened budgets, consumers have been forced to seek value and the major fast food chains are increasingly competing for those consumer dollars. The Wendy's chain has been at the forefront of the revival, airing a series of ads that feature founder Dave Thomas' daughter Melinda Lou Morse, the original "Wendy", advertising a series of new burgers and reviving its Where's the beef? advertising slogan. A March 2014 report in USA Today noted that Burger King is reviving the Burger Wars, including introducing clones of the Big Mac and McRib sandwiches, in response to business declines at McDonald's.

Chicken (game)

The game of chicken, also known as the hawk–dove game or snowdrift game, is a model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while it is to both players’ benefit if one player yields, the other player's optimal choice depends on what their opponent is doing: if the player opponent yields, they should not, but if the opponent fails to yield, the player should.

The name "chicken" has its origins in a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a "chicken", meaning a coward; this terminology is most prevalent in political science and economics. The name "hawk–dove" refers to a situation in which there is a competition for a shared resource and the contestants can choose either conciliation or conflict; this terminology is most commonly used in biology and evolutionary game theory. From a game-theoretic point of view, "chicken" and "hawk–dove" are identical; the different names stem from parallel development of the basic principles in different research areas. The game has also been used to describe the mutual assured destruction of nuclear warfare, especially the sort of brinkmanship involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Deterrence may refer to:

Deterrence theory, a theory of war, especially regarding nuclear weapons

Deterrence (penology), a theory of justice

Deterrence (psychology), a psychological theory

Deterrence (film), a 1999 drama starring Kevin Pollak, depicting fictional events about nuclear brinkmanship

Deterrence (film)

Deterrence is a 1999 French/American dramatic film written and directed by Rod Lurie, depicting fictional events about nuclear brinkmanship. It marks the feature directorial debut of Lurie, who was previously a film critic for the New York Daily News, Premiere Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Movieline, among others. Kevin Pollak, Timothy Hutton, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Sean Astin star.

Doomsday device

A doomsday device is a hypothetical construction — usually a weapon or weapons system — which could destroy all life on a planet, particularly Earth, or destroy the planet itself, bringing "doomsday", a term used for the end of planet Earth. Most hypothetical constructions rely on the fact that hydrogen bombs can be made arbitrarily large assuming there are no concerns about delivering them to a target (see Teller–Ulam design) or that they can be "salted" with materials designed to create long-lasting and hazardous fallout (e.g., a cobalt bomb).

Doomsday devices and the nuclear holocaust they bring about have been present in literature and art especially in the 20th century, when advances in science and technology made world destruction (or at least the eradication of all human life) a credible scenario. Many classics in the genre of science fiction take up the theme in this respect. The term "doomsday machine" itself is attested from 1960, but the alliteration "doomsday device" has since become more popular.

Galahad at Blandings

Galahad at Blandings is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United States on 31 December 1964 by Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York under the title The Brinkmanship of Galahad Threepwood, and in the United Kingdom on 26 August 1965 by Herbert Jenkins, London.It forms part of the Blandings Castle saga, being the ninth full-length novel to be set there.

International crisis

The term international crisis is widespread term without a single common definition. To some, it involves "a sequence of interactions between the governments of two or more sovereign states in severe conflict, short of actual war, but involving the perception of a dangerously high probability of war".

James Batman

James Batman is a 1966 Filipino Batman/James Bond cinematic spoof produced by Jose O. Vera and released by Sampaguita Pictures.

It stars the Philippine comedian Dolphy as Batman and James Bond and Boy Alano as "Rubin" (Robin).

John Foster Dulles

John Foster Dulles (; February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American diplomat. A Republican, he served as United States Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.

Born in Washington, D.C., Dulles joined the New York City law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell after graduating from George Washington University Law School. His grandfather, John W. Foster, and his uncle, Robert Lansing, both served as United States Secretary of State, while his brother, Allen Dulles, served as the Director of Central Intelligence from 1953 to 1961. John Foster Dulles served on the War Industries Board during World War I and he was a U.S. legal counsel at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. He became a member of the League of Free Nations Association, which supported American membership in the League of Nations. Dulles also helped design the Dawes Plan, which sought to stabilize Europe by reducing German war reparations.

Dulles served as the chief foreign policy adviser to Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican presidential nominee in 1944 and 1948. He also helped draft the preamble to the United Nations Charter and served as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. In 1949, Dewey appointed Dulles to fill the Senate vacancy caused by the resignation of Sen. Robert F. Wagner. He served for four months but left office after being defeated in a special election by Herbert H. Lehman.

After Eisenhower won the 1952 presidential election, he chose Dulles as Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, Dulles concentrated on building and strengthening Cold War alliances, most prominently the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He was the architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, an anti-Communist defensive alliance between the United States and several nations in and near Southeast Asia. He also helped instigate the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état. He favored a strategy of massive retaliation in response to Soviet aggression. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina but rejected the Geneva Accords that France and the communists agreed to, and instead supported South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference in 1954. Suffering from colon cancer, Dulles resigned from office in 1959 and died later that year.

No Thoroughfare

No Thoroughfare is a stage play and novel by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, both released in December 1867.

Nuclear blackmail

Nuclear blackmail is a form of nuclear strategy in which an aggressor uses the threat of use of nuclear weapons to force an adversary to perform some action or make some concessions. It is a type of extortion, related to brinkmanship.

Triple Alliance (1717)

The Triple Alliance was a treaty between the Dutch Republic, France and Great Britain, against Spain, attempting to maintain the agreement of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. The three states were concerned about Spain becoming a superpower in Europe. As a result of this, militarisation took place, causing great havoc to civilians. This enraged Spain and other states, leading to brinkmanship. It became the Quadruple Alliance the next year with the accession of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

Why Britain is at War

Why Britain is at War is a polemic treatise written by Harold Nicolson and first published by Penguin Books on 7 November 1939 shortly after the Second World War began. In the book, Nicolson explores Adolf Hitler's insatiable grasp for power, the foreign policy brinkmanship and deception ploys adopted by Nazi Germany, and Hitler's use of actual and implied force to get his way at the negotiation table. The Penguin Special edition originally cost 6d (six old English pennies) and sold a hundred thousand copies.


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