We've seen it all before. Almost every generation that has ever existed has witnessed it and experienced it first hand. Animosity, resentment and the feeling of impending doom. Whenever anyone has a grudge against anyone else, the first instinct seems to be, "let's fight!"
But humans are nothing if not innovative, and so they are constantly looking to improve their odds for success. More often than not this means looking for allies, preferably ones that are willing to fight along side yourself in the event of conflict. Over the ages, some conflicts, for example those over resources, have caused bands of humans to coalesce on a virtual permanent basis; we call them nations, and every century on historical record has proof of such wars. From the odd skirish to full blown, all out combat , till the bitter end, wars.
The 20th Century was no exception. Early in the century, some assassination of a would-be leader gave country X reason to challenge country Y, but country Y had written agreements with country Z who had promised to fight alongside Y in the event of war. Country X also has such agreements with countries A, and B. If we add to this the fact that all countries had their own resentment issues with others (including I might add, with some of their own allies) and the next thing you know we have the world's very first WORLD WAR. They called it the Great War, because they thought it could never be repeated, and it represented the ultimate in tribalism. The ultimate in partisanship, the ultimate in war. A war where millions of people were dug into trenches facing each other, no more than a mile or so apart. Every now and then one side would charge the other, losing a few hundred thousands troops and gaining a couple of meters of ground at best. For years the two sides kept up this folly. Until one day, they stopped.
Yet less than twenty years later the same thing happened again, and once again the world was on fire. The resources that this war destroyed were such that it would take decades before anyone could rebuild them but that didn't stop some people from developing the most powerful armies in the world. But one thing had changed, and permanently. In their struggle for comparative advantage over each other in conflict, one team had invented a brand new toy. One with such destructive power, it would in fact render all resistance futile. After the end of World War II in Europe, America decided to speed up its other war in Asia and dropped its cutely named "Little Man" atomic bomb on Nagasaki killing millions. While such devastation had never ever been seen before and Japan was still reeling from the blow, three days later, America dropped a second, more powerful bombed, again cutely named "Fat Boy", on Hiroshima; and that was the end of World War II. Except it wasn't!
Country Y, now jealous of this new toy, spent the next 20 years developing its own, and were not averse to speeding up the process by bribing a few people to get hold of the other teams plans. So today we have 9 countries in the world (that we know of that have nuclear weapons. Plutonium, required fuel, is missing by the ton from global stage and the irony is that although there is considerable difference in the number of weapons owned by each nuclear power, less than a handful is more than enough to bring about armageddon. Meanwhile, while everybody is fixated on the nuclear club, newer weapons of mass destruction like biological, chemical or even biochemical make nuclear weapons look tame by comparison.
So there you have the MAD philosophy, mutually assured destruction. While a whole world is hungry and dying of starvation in some parts, apparently we have billions to spend on weaponry that frankly wouldn't make a blind bit of difference because the simple maths tells us it is only possible to blow up the world once, and all it takes is one maniac somewhere to throw the first strike, even an orange one.