A dangerous gap between American assumptions of Soviet intentions and the reality of these intentions came to light when in 1983 the Reagan administration discovered to their alarm that Soviet leaders had interpreted the NATO exercise Abel Archer 83 as preparations for a real, imminent nuclear first strike on the USSR and ordered Soviet nuclear forces on high alert.
Of course, Russia actually did believe in MAD. It was in their interest to do so.
However, it wasn’t until they met Reagan that they realized the US didn’t.
Talk about fear trumping honor and interest 🙂