Deterrence and Nuclear Strategy: A Conceptual Analysis
AbstractThe text explores various theoretical approaches to the concept of deterrence. It links deterrence with other strategies that utilize a threat of military action to achieve political goals. Furthermore, the difference between deterrence by punishment and deterrence by denial is highlighted in the article. To develop the debate further, the various roles of nuclear weapons in deterrence are examined, while four types of nuclear deterrence strategies – namely nuclear primacy, maximum assured destruction, minimum assured destruction, and automatic deterrence – are distinguished. The text shows the unique role of the strategy of nuclear primacy. This strategy relies on denial, while the conceptual foundations of the other three strategies lie in punishment, and it is well suited not only for deterrence, but also for compellence, as it eliminates mutuality from the deterrence relation.
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