Deterrence and ‘compellence’
- deterrence: discourage through fear of punishment
o choice rests with the target of the deterrence threat
o deter an attack
Deterrence is the situation in which an actor believes that gains from pursuing a certain action are outweighed by the costs that would be imposed by other actors for taking that action.
A deters B when 1) A threatens some cost x on B if and only if B commits some action y and 2) the cost x to B is greater than the gains to B from action y.
- compellence: encourage through application of punishment
o choice rests with both parties
o compel a withdrawal
Compellence is the situation in which an actor ceases or reverses actions because the costs imposed by other actors are or will soon outweigh the gains of those actions
A compels B when 1) A imposes some cost x on B after B has committed some action y and cost x to B is greater than the gains to B from action y.
- both sides are cooperating
o parties must prefer limited cooperation even if only to avoid mutual disaster
Requirements of Deterrence /Compellence
Communicate the threat
- what to not do or to do
- the cost of defiance
Credibility of threat
- State threatening must be capable and willing to impose punishment
Threat must be effective
- State being threatened must fear punishment more than any other alternative.
- Not-y < cost x
Credible Promise Implicit in Threat
the threatened state does not do y,
the threatening state will not punish
- If punished state complies, punishment will be reversed (compellence)
- If not-y, the not-x
- Failure to assure threatened state of the promise undermines deterrence
Deterrence/compellence rests on inter-dependent or inter-subjective relationships.
The accuracy of mutual perceptions about what the actors value and fear are critical to the success of deterrence attempts.
Techniques to Deter/Compel
Last Clear Chance
- who has the last clear chance to avoid disaster?
- abandoning the initiative and control is necessary
Power to Hurt
- diplomacy of violence
- punishment may compel and deter
- no superiority of capabilities necessary
Credible v. Incredible Threats
- can the threat be carried out?
- will the threat be carried out?
Role of 'Hostages '
- to endanger that which you seek to protect may better protect it
- societies as hostages
- military forces as hostages or trip-wires