Thoughts on Dissuasion

Glen M. Segell, Ph.D

Abstract


Implementing dissuasion against terrorists and rogue states is different from 'the laws of dissuasion' in nuclear affairs and conventional warfare. Centuries of writings on dissuasion have generated ambiguity due to the various uses and definitions. This adds to confusion amongst adversaries but also constrains allied co-operation. Clarification furthers the implementation of dissuasion amongst allies. Contemporary dissuasion rests on psychological means and retribution in countering extremist politics, radicalism militarism and suicide terrorists as well as missile defences against rogue states. Inherent to implementation of dissuasion are the identities of the self and the other. Dissuasion also requires pre-emptive armed force, control of pace rather than space, and multiple realities to be credible in the projection of force to dissuade an adversary. Dissuasion is the negation of adversaries' options.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.