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Lecture 10

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL208Y1
Professor
Arnd Jurgensen
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 10 You can make a revolution with or without the military but not against it Military institutions are designed to be unitary actors but if it breaks down a transition to democracy can happen Divisions in the military and falls of dictators are no guarantee that a democratic regime will follow Reaganfs Star Wars initiative in 1983 to develop technologies needed to create a missile shield to protect North America from potential attacks from the USSR gThe US does not start fights wefll never be an aggressor Deterrence means making sure any adversary who thinks attacking us concludes that the risks outweigh the gainsh The US Could therefore attack the USSR after a first attack but thanks to the missile shield the USSR would not be able to attack back Deterrence is not a new concept it has been around for centuries if you want peace prepare for war Weakness invites conflict The worst thing a peaceful state could do is neglect its ability to defend itself because the perception of an incapable country is an invitation to the neighbours to use the vulnerability to their advantage States have to prepare for war even at times of peace but if state A starts to build up and become stronger the neighbour states can follow them and an arms race can begin Deterrence assumes rationality An irrational state cannot be deterred Only rational states that calculate costs and benefits of their actions can be deterred they know every benefit that comes from attacking neighbour is outweighed by the consequences war is not worth it It is assumed that all states are rational actors and can be deterred theocracies cannot be deterred because if they consider a conflict a holy war of a jihad and every person who dies is a martyr it is very difficult to be rationally analyzed and deterred Iran For deterrence to work the threat has to be credible the signals have to be clear and credible to be understood as such by the target which has to be deterrable
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