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first strike

A preemptive attack against an enemy, especially one using nuclear weapons against an enemy armed with nuclear weapons.

first′-strike′ adj.


(Military) (of a nuclear missile) intended for use in an opening attack calculated to destroy the enemy's nuclear weapons
References in periodicals archive ?
Here Sanders writes: "RADARSAT-2's GMTI [Ground Moving Target Indication Surveillance] is being groomed for use in gathering target data for first-strike US and NATO attacks during 'Theatre Missile Defense' (TMD) engagements.
NATO is prepared to use nuclear weapons as a first-strike option.
Moscow, Jan 25 (ANI): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned that his country would deploy its first-strike nuclear missiles if NATO fails to co-operate in reaching an agreement with the country's alliance on the latest proposal about the European anti-missile defence (AMD) system.
And the number of first-strike warning letters and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC) given out has also decreased.
The report said the Jewish state has been threatened by a biological or nuclear first-strike that seeks to exploit Israel's small space and high population density.
By definition, a rational state enemy of Israel will accept or reject a first-strike option by comparing the costs and benefits of each alternative.
Amid the myriad computer-virus warnings, for example, was the Net rumor that the Russians would use the confusion around Y2K to launch a first-strike nuclear attack against the U.
Finjan Software Inc says that its proactive first-strike security system, SurfinShield Corporate, blocks attacks by the new Win32.
Basic to NATO doctrine was a first-strike nuclear option.
This has encouraged the Soviet Union to expand their first-strike forces.