by Prof. Gordon L. Bowen, Ph.D.
definition: “With deterrence strategy, states commit themselves to punish a target state if the target state takes a negative action. Threats or actual warfare is used as an instrument of policy to dissuade a state from pursuing certain courses of action. If the target state does not take the negative action, deterrence is successful and conflict is avoided. If it does choose to act despite the deterrent threat, then the first state will deliver an unacceptable blow.”
Karen Mingst, Essentials of International Relations, (first edition):126
Requirements for a successful deterrence policy:
1. States must have the hardware, the means through which to undertake a response to the negative action, a second strike capability.
2. States must communicate their objectives and the threat to retaliate to negative actions.
3. States must have the will to follow through if necessary, and this will to act must also be effectively communicated.
4. Both the deterring state and the deterred state must behave rationally.
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