This is how the writer of a PM article sums up the revelation of one Cold War contingency plan:
“The document is a frightening alternative history of what could have been, during one of the most tense eras in our nation’s history. Thankfully it didn’t come to this. There’s no telling to what extent the Eastern Bloc may have retaliated.” [emphasis added]
Moron. The plan as described would have virtually obliterated any possible response before it could be initiated. That was the point: to develop a plan for an overwhelming response to an attack.
MAD was not insane. It relied on a basic human need for self-preservation. As such, it may have stretched dependence on rationality, but its very credibility was integral to winning the Cold War. . . which the US did, before throwing the fruits of victory to the winds.