Deterrence Failures and Deterrence Strategies

Or, Did You Ever Have One of Those Days When No Deterrent Seemed Adequate?

by Michael E. Brown

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback30 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Our notions of war prevention are based on well-known deterrence formulations. The author argues that conventional thinking on deterrence is wrongheadedly preoccupied with the short-term military balance, when in fact, a nation's long-term political and economic prospects may dominate military considerations in the decision on whether or not to go to war. Five case studies of decisions to attack are outlined as examples of these long-term political and economic factors: (1) Japan and Pearl Harbor, 1941; (2) Egypt and the Ramadan War, 1973; (3) Britain, France, and the Suez War, 1956; (4) China and the Korean War, 1950; and (5) Austria-Hungary, 1914. Successful deterrence strategy seeks to modify an opponent's perceptions so that he perceives his nation's long-term prospects are good. It also requires avoiding perceptions of national deterioration, lack of negotiative outlet, domestic insecurity of elites, perception of encirclement, and insufficient access to crucial natural resources.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.