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M.A.D World | When The Nuclear Arms Race Got Out Of Control

The Cold War: When nuclear weapons kept the entire world on the edge of M.A.D. – Mutually Assured Destruction. As Russia, China and the USA flex their military muscles on the global stage today, ‘M.A.D. World’ takes a close look at the last time we were threatened by the might of world superpowers: The Cold War.

In this episode:

- The first Marxist government to be democratically elected is thrown out by a military coup, plunging Chile into a brutal military dictatorship. There is no doubt now that the CIA played a role in supporting the actions of the military.

- After 10 years of fighting a proxy war, the US pulls its troops out of Vietnam and the North Vietnamese forces march peacefully into Saigon.

- The nuclear arms race is out of control as the superpowers build huge numbers of ever more sophisticated nuclear warheads. High level discussions begin to put the build-up of weapons into reverse.

- A war that could be worse than Vietnam breaks out in Angola as Portuguese colonisers leave and rival groups fight for supremacy. US and Soviet weapons flow into the country as well as a new trend in proxy wars – mercenaries.

- Talks to reduce nuclear arms stumble as the USA objects to huge numbers of Russian tanks on European soil and the soviets demand the Americans remove their nuclear weapons from West Germany.

- The most chilling weapon of the Cold War is tested in Nevada and sends headlines of horror across the globe. The Neutron Bomb uses an intense burst of radiation to maximise casualties while minimising damage to property.

- Against a backdrop of mass anti-nuclear protests, Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev meet in Vienna to sign a treaty limiting nuclear weapons systems to a total of 2400 each.

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