Modern Warfare: Getting Schooled on Deterrence – What is it Exactly?

I could really care less about Politics, Politicians or the Lies they tell.

I am posting this article so you guys can get a textbook definition of “Military Deterrence” and understand what it really is so you can THINK for yourselves regarding Foreign Affairs and not have some Talking Head D.C. Zombie mislead you.-SF


In a recent interview with The New York Times, Donald Trump suggested that the United States can continue to deter aggression even if it withdraw from its overseas bases and reduces its commitments to longstanding allies. “If we decide we have to defend the United States,” the Republican presidential candidate proclaimed, “we can always deploy [from American soil] and it will be a lot less expensive.”

Trump’s critics seized upon this statement as further evidence of his ignorance of foreign affairs. They argue that Trump understates the economic costs of this strategy, and they are right. But there’s an even more fundamental issue at stake.

Even if Trump is correct that some allies are not paying their fair share, there are at least two compelling reasons to remain committed to those allies and retain military bases abroad. The first is deterrence. The second is anti-area/access-denial, or A2AD, technology. Both are inexorably linked.

To deter aggression the United States must convince potential adversaries that they will pay an unacceptably high cost for attacking. Successful deterrence therefore requires that the United States communicate that it is willing and able to carry out the threat. Deterrence fails when an adversary thinks the United States either cannot or will not follow through.

For decades, the United States has relied upon overseas bases to demonstrate that its deterrent threats are credible. Forward-deployed troops offer a tangible symbol that the United States has “skin in the game” and that it will pay the price to make good on its threats.

Forward-deployed troops also enhance deterrence because they put military personnel, aircraft, and ships close enough to potential hot spots to be of immediate use in a fight. Deterrence is better than fighting, but successful deterrence paradoxically means being able to fight well.

This observation leads us to consider the technological dimension that characterizes contemporary military affairs — anti-access/area denial. This is the practice of preventing an adversary — in this case, the United States — from getting to the battlefield and operating there effectively.

Read the Remainder at War is Boring


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