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Through the examination of different themes and subjects the book provides an in depth analysis of the concept of deterrence and its utility in dealing effectively with current threats. Although the concept of deterrence precedes the Cold War, in modern times and in its traditional form deterrence is seen as the product of the Cold War, which transformed 'narrow' deterrence approaches into widespread orthodoxy. Increasingly however emerging threats and challenges call into question the traditional concept of deterrence. There are many elements that challenge the concept of deterrence and its effectiveness. For instance it is not just that the concept can be ambiguous and broad, but also there have to be a number of conditions for it to be successfully implemented.

This collection contributes to a growing field of research in a relatively under-studied area of interrogating the concept of deterrence itself through a multi-disciplinary approach. Through the use of primary and secondary sources, as well as interviews, this book covers a wide range of disciplinary approaches on deterrence and the contributors cover a broad array of subjects. The research assembled here focuses on deterring extremism, conflict resolution and diplomacy, investigating technological developments, effects of globalisation, social movements, economics, the relationship of resilience to effective deterrence, and the associated complexity of contemporary interdependencies to create a contextualised concept of modern deterrence. Social science and historical methodologies are utilized to gain a comprehensive cross-section of analysis that will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the use of deterrence as a national security strategy, as well as highlighting the various types of power available for use by the state to create multi-faceted deterrence in order to deal effectively and efficiently with complex emerging challenges.



Deterrence: Concepts and Approaches for Current and Emerging Threats

By exploring and analysing the complexities associated with the development and application of the concept of deterrence in resolving conflicts, this chapter sets the context of the book. Deterrence has to do with maintaining the status quo by convincing an opponent or ally that the cost of an unwanted action is greater than the rewards. Deterrence, on the one hand can act as a delaying mechanism in dealing effectively with opponents, in which case the aim would be to contain a conflict and the focus is zero-sum and more short term. On the other, deterrence can have the role of a proactive mechanism, where the focus is longer term. To be able however, to make shifts from zero-sum to a positive-sum the deterring party needs to be aware of context specific variables such as the opponent’s values’ system, the mind-set, and decision making processes. Routinely, mirror-imaging influences decision making leading states to develop deterrence policies with limited impact and effectiveness, as deterrence requires an understanding of the other’s as well as one’s own motives, objectives, and decision-making processes. Mirror-imaging leads to questionable assumptions about opponents’ values and how they will behave under pressure.
Anastasia Filippidou

Resilience and Deterrence: Exploring Correspondence Between the Concepts

Classic theories of deterrence do not envisage the concepts of resilience and deterrence as even remotely connected. However, these two notions may not be poles apart and may, in fact, offer complementary perspectives in envisioning options for dealing with the security challenges of the twenty-first century. This chapter explores the correspondence between the two concepts. Firstly, it discusses definitions and key tenets of these concepts in relation to security. Then, it goes on to review what differentiates and what links these concepts in terms of the risk approach each presents; this includes an examination of rationality in deterrence and resilience frameworks as well as looking at the growing acknowledgement that their evolution is influenced by systems thinking. The chapter then considers in what way deterrence theory and the emerging resilience theory display areas of complementary and mismatch. This is achieved by examining how, on the one hand, both approaches may be able to support one another and, on the other hand, how the significance of change and transformation in both frameworks can provide pointers to where future thinking might lead.
Edith Wilkinson

Deterrence and Diplomacy

This chapter considers the roles of, and the relationship between, deterrence and diplomacy, exploring these concepts in the context of power politics, threat perception and fear, and how these factors and the underlying political philosophies of liberalism and realism shape relevant policies and strategies. The challenge to deterrence through the impact of reputation shaped by perceptions of states’ success and failure in past conflicts, is used to identify the current crisis in deterrence capability. That crisis is aggravated by the changing nature of security threats and these are examined to establish the positive role that diplomacy can play in addressing them through a different way of thinking and approach. Deterrence of emerging challenges, including hybrid warfare, and the need to update nuclear deterrence thinking are also discussed from a diplomacy perspective.
Afzal Ashraf

Nuclear Deterrence in a New Age of Disruptive Technologies and Great Power Competition

An increasingly dangerous ‘second nuclear age’ is threatening the survival of humankind as geopolitical competition increases between established nuclear powers, unstable ‘rogue states’ and transnational terrorist groups seek nuclear arms, and an emerging technological arms race breaks out. In this context nuclear weapons look set to remain a permanent feature of the international strategic landscape, making it critical that developments undermining nuclear deterrence and strategic stability are interrogated. This chapter does this in four stages. First, it outlines the evolution of nuclear deterrence theory during the Cold War, and how changes after the Cold War led to a reconceptualization of deterrence theory and strategy by the United States. Second, it shows that a raft of emerging technologies, including ballistic missiles defenses, cyber technologies, Artificial Intelligence and social media, are undermining the foundations of nuclear deterrence and strategic stability. Third, it explains why contemporary international politics is not conducive to the nuclear disarmament agenda, as great power competition escalates between the U.S. and China, and U.S. and Russia. It concludes by asserting that the arms control regime must be reconfigured to address the most destabilising features of the contemporary security environment.
Reuben Steff

What’s in a Name? Deterrence and the Stigmatisation of WMD

Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are distinct methods of warfare. This distinction has led to the categorisation of these weapons under the term Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Whilst government decision makers and military experts, tend to refer to a range of terms, such as CBRN, NBC etc … to address the threat from these weapons, the term WMD is commonly referred to within the media and by the public. This term has significance and it is synonymous with the stigmatisation of these weapons. The process of stigmatisation has emerged progressively, through time, as a result of the strategic and normative quality of WMD. Even though each of these weapons differ greatly from the other, they are all perceived to cause long term, lasting destruction.
Patricia Shamai

Deterring Violent Extremism and Terrorism

There is an ongoing debate among scholars and policy makers regarding the role and utility of deterrence in countering terrorism and violent extremism (Lupovici 2016; Levy 2008; Freedman 1998; Jervis et al. 1991: 211). The chapter focuses on the effectiveness of deterrence on non-state actors and on violent extremism in protracted conflicts. The emphasis on non-state actors highlights additional challenges of deterrence, such as the element of asymmetry, while the protracted aspect emphasises the idea of complexity. For the purposes of this chapter the terms terrorism and violent extremism are used interchangeably in order to avoid the definitional conundrum, owing to the lack of a universally agreed definition of these terms, and also because the two terms reflect better the breadth and depth of deterrence. The gamut of deterrent measures in combination with the numerous types and manifestations of violent extremism, make it very challenging to identify one single case study that can cover all points. Thus the chapter uses the case study of intelligence gathering and extraordinary renditions as a springboard to further examine specific key elements of deterrence that were also partially analysed in chapter “Deterrence:​ Concepts and Approaches for Current and Emerging Threats” of this book. Deterrence forms part of a broader policy of countering violent extremism, but the different elements of this policy are interdependent and interlinked. This chapter focuses on the key arguments that pertain particularly to deterrence within the terrorist context and it considers questions such as: How can a state deter but not alienate? In what way can the traditional concept of deterrence be expanded and adapted to deal with current complex realities? How can engagement with non-state actors be best conceived and brought into policy?
Anastasia Filippidou

Deterrence and Drones: Are Militaries Becoming Addicted and What Is the Prognosis?

There is little doubt that some militaries would appear to be realising the benefit of utilising armed unmanned aerial systems or drones as they are commonly referred to by academics and the media. There is an obvious allure to drones by the military. They can typically loiter longer than a manned aircraft, observe and strike with lethal force with far more confidence due to their intelligence collection capabilities and decision making process. Furthermore, they eliminate the physical risk to pilots and ultimately reduce the financial costs of projecting military power by negating or reducing the requirement of physically deployed troops to a theatre of operations. A manned alternative of ‘boots on the ground’ in the form of invading troops or hostile over flight in contested airspace is inherently dangerous either in terms of an unfavourable foreign policy decision or from having to sustain number of casualties. Drones appear to nullify this risk by being armed and allegedly deterring a state or individual actor from committing acts that a nation would normally trigger an armed conflict. This paper will discuss key areas associated to the apparent allure and addiction to utilising armed drones in a deterrence role: First, why is there a growing demand by nations on securing armed drones and why are armies becoming dependent on them? Secondly, if this addiction is not going to be remedied, what is the prognosis and is there a better way to manage it in preparation for the next conflict?
Ben Tripp

Deterrence and Third Party Amplification: The Case of Hezbollah and Al Manar

When achieved, deterrence constitutes an exercise of power through the application of either Conditioned Power, in the form of Persuasion or Manipulation, or Condign Power in the form of psychological or otherwise non-physical violence (Galbraith 1983, p. 70; Wrong 1979, p. 4–5). Deterrence can be said to occur when an individual or entity chooses to change his, her, or their behavior based on information received from an external source that intentionally seeks to compel the particular behavioral change; that is, deterrence transpires when someone modifies their behavior either to do something that he or she otherwise would not have done, or vice versa – someone chooses not to do something that he or she otherwise would have done. The catalyst of this change in behavior comes from the delivery of information from an external source, the power holder, and its processing and subsequent action taken by the individual or entity, the power subject. There necessarily exists a power relationship between power holder and subject, which is characterized by the intentionality of the holder and his or her effectiveness upon the subject. The power holder must act deliberately and achieve the intended effect upon the subject for an exercise of power to manifest – these are universal attributes of power relations. Deterrence occurs when information plays the determinative role in the decision-making process of the power subject, and the power holder achieves his or her desired effect through the use of persuasion, manipulation, or psychological violence.
Kirby Wedekind

‘The Outrage Was Really Quite Visceral’1: Overt and Covert Deterrence Effects on Social Movement Activism

Environmental resources and how these should be managed are an area where tensions between state and social movements have long festered. Direct action by social movement actors is particularly challenging in this context, as it requires the state to physically engage with activists. When coupled with the proliferation of media technologies the reputational costs can be high, with activists demonstrating the heavy-handed nature of the state’s responses. Attempting to reduce the potential backlash, states may turn to preventative deterrence, dissuading social movement participants by raising the potential costs to those involved. Overt methods, including banning orders, legal restrictions, or regulation can be effective, but risk reinforcing portrayals of the state as preventing the free expression of deeply felt concerns. Covert or hidden methods can enable the state to gain information and develop more sophisticated deterrent tools and subvert from within, but risk significant reputational damage if exposed. This chapter considers the case of New Zealand to examine how overt and covert forms of deterrence have been used to deter environmental activism and how these have impacted the environmental movement.
Thomas O’Brien

Linking the Deterrence Concept to Migration

On 24 January 2017, U.S. president Trump addressed employees at the American Department of Homeland Security. In his speech, he announced that his administration was going to put into action his promise regarding building the wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico. The U.S. president said, “The Secretary of Homeland Security, working with myself and my staff, will begin immediate construction of a border wall. So badly you needed – you folks know how badly needed it is as a help – but very badly needed. This will also help Mexico by deterring illegal immigration from Central America and by disrupting violent cartel networks. As I have said repeatedly to the country, we are going to get the bad ones out – the criminals and the drug dealers and gang members and cartel leaders. The day is over when they can stay in our country and wreak havoc”. The border wall announced by the U.S. president is merely one step in his anti-migration policy. In addition, in his first month in office, the U.S president ordered the extension of the controls by which undocumented migrants might be apprehended more effectively, the enhancement of deportations, and the implementation of a travel ban on citizens of mainly Muslim countries.
Charis Anastasopoulos

Anglo-American Strategic Relations, Economic Warfare and the Deterrence of Japan, 1937–1942: Success or Failure?

The study of the use of deterrence as a strategic concept employed by a Great Power, or combination of Powers, has traditionally been associated almost entirely with the Cold War and the use of nuclear weapons within a containment strategy context (Freedman 2004, 2005, pp. 789–801). Therefore, like the concept of containment, deterrence has not been assessed rigorously as a viable strategic tool within the conventional conflict spectrum. Furthermore, the use of empirical historical analysis as the means of providing that assessment has also been absent from considerations regarding the utility of deterrence in the modern international security environment. Finally, deterrence has most often been associated with the threat of the use of military power being the mechanism by which changed or deterred behaviour is achieved (Gaddis 2005; Heuser 1998, pp. 311–328; Tarock 2016, pp. 1408–1424; Milevski 2016). Through an analysis of British and American economic and fiscal policies from 1937 to 1941, aimed at deterring Japan from disrupting the balance of power system in place in the Far East that protected their imperial possessions in the region, a better appreciation of non-military deterrence is achieved (Lacey 2015).
Greg Kennedy
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