6 Pages

International Affairs
Course Code
INR 4083
Brian Crisher

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Deterrence 03/25/2014 Deterrence is: An effort to preserve the status quo through the threat of force In other words, challenge me and I will hurt you Types of deterrence: General ▯ trying to protect your own state & status quo Successful means force is not used, if you see use of force than deterrence has failed Extended ▯ offering to protect an ally, essentially U.S trying to deter China from invading Taiwan Structural Deterrence Theory (Branch of Classical Deterrence)  International stability determined by the distribution of power So, security is determined by the structure of the system  What school of thought does this sound like? Neorealist Look at pair of states and see the distribution of power to determine how structure of system is affected The costs of war are also important Is war more or less likely as costs increase? Less likely Structural Deterrence Theory: Major Deductions Parity (equal) relationships, when coupled with high war costs, are especially stable ▯ Bipolar system (U.S  & U.S.S.R w/ nukes) Asymmetric power relationships are unstable If you’re weak & tell a stronger state not to mess with you (incredible threat) As the absolute cost of war increases, the probability of war decreases According to Mearsheimer, “the more horrible the prospect of war, the less likely it is to occur” Peace in the Cold War caused by a “balance of terror” Structural Deterrence Theory: Policy Implications Quantitative  arms races can help prevent war Balance is remaining b/c both sides are increasing their power. A launches an aircraft carrier so B launches  an aircraft carrier Qualitative  arms races are destabilizing  Balance falls apart b/c quality of weapons are different. A launches an aircraft carrier that is massive and B  launches one that is not. Qualitative imbalance Effective defense systems are destabilizing  The selective proliferation of nuclear weapons can help prevent war Give out nuclear weapons to help maintain parity, increase costs of war, promotes peace Accidental war is the gravest threat to peace Structural Deterrence Theory: Empirical Problems A balance of power is not a good predictor of peace Major power wars occur b/c of balance of powers WWI & Cold War Nuclear states do not seem to act differently than non­nuclear states An asymmetric distribution of power is not a good predictor of major power war States seldom pursue proliferation policies  Decision­Theoretic Deterrence: Major Premises & Predictions (also Classical) Relationship between nuclear states is best modeled by Chicken Worst outcome in Chicken is both states defecting Multiple equilibriums Both actors act at the same time▯ never happens Nuclear war is “irrational” Only accidental war is possible During crises, states should pursue “commitment tactics,” such as making an irrevocable commitme
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