first strike

noun
the initial use of nuclear weapons in a conflict, in which the attacker tries to destroy the adversary's strategic nuclear forces.

Origin:
1960–65

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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WordNet
first strike

noun
the initial use of nuclear weapons to attack a country that also has nuclear weapons; considered feasible only when the attacker can destroy the other country's ability to retaliate; "the Pakistani president promised no first strike against India" 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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Example sentences
He's teaching the bird to come in after the prey and then come in again if it
  misses its quarry on the first strike.
The first strike smashed the starboard rail, killing or maiming nine marines.
One sees that affectations do not first strike him as ludicrous, merely, but as
  detestable.
And also an obsession with the strategic first strike.
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