A thread:

A nation developed nuclear weapons, and chose to use them to achieve strategic goals, while recognizing the other negative effects of them. Despite their best efforts, an opposing nation also got nukes shortly thereafter. Now the first nation had to consider not (1/8)
only the damage a nuclear attack could do, but also the risk that the opposition would nuke them in return. The opinions of those directly and indirectly hurt by the attack were a consideration, but not as important as "if we launch, they will launch."

The right (2/8)
thing to do is "never nuke anyone." But if you say "I have nukes but I will never use them" what stops your opposition from nuking you? You have to absolutely convince them beyond a shadow of a doubt that if they start shit, there's gonna be shit all over them in return. (3/8)
This becomes very important when both nations have enough nuclear capability to annihilate each other, if not the whole world, and is called Mutual Assured Destruction. It's the existential version of "you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason (4/8)
themselves into:" if one side is going to be crazy enough to develop the ability to destroy the world, the only real check is to match crazy with crazy.

But at the same time, you really don't want to do the evil thing, so you have to continually figure out ways (5/8)
to walk back from actual nuclear war. This is called "brinksmanship" and uses skills familiar to poker players, augmented, hopefully, with good intelligence about the motivations, capabilities, and expectations of the other guy.

So, to recap: Once one side does the (6/8)
Morally Wrong Thing in pursuit of their strategic goals, and opens up a way to bring the whole system down so that no one has a good outcome, the opposing player has only one valid game plan:
1. Develop the same power
2. Convince them you will use it (loudly, all (7/8)
the time)
3. Open up a back channel to negotiate ways to not have to both destroy everything.

Note: This thread was actually about political appointment of judges and Supreme Court Justices. (8/8)
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