Deterrence in Nuclear Age


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Deterrence in Nuclear Age

  1. 1. Deterrence in Nuclear Age
  2. 2. Table 1 The Purposes of ForceType Purpose Mode Targets Characterist icsDefensive 1. Fend Peaceful and 1.Military; Dissuasion value; off Physical Defensive Acts can 2. Industrial look aggressive; attack First strikes for 2. Reduce defense damage of an attackDeterrent 1. Prevent Peaceful 1.Civilian Threats of adversary from retaliation made 2. Industrial without being initiating an 3. Military carried out; second action strike preparation can be seen as first strike preparation.Compellent Get adversary Peaceful and All Three Easy to recognize to stop doing Physical but hard to achieve; something or competent actions start doing can be justified on something defensive groundsSwaggering Enhance Peaceful None It can be prestige threatening; Difficult to describe because of instrumental and irrational nature
  3. 3. Nukes are Unique because:• Scale of their destructive capability;• The superiority they render to offensive over defensive forces an postures;• The uncertainty they create in judging both the power and actions of other governments, thus making rational calculations extremely difficult;• Their unlimited range which depreciates the effectiveness of geographic barriers;• The high speed of their delivery, which eliminates any meaningful attempt to permit a time for reaction to their deployment and consequently also creates a virtual certainty of retaliation by the target state in the event of attack.• MAD creates stability in the relations among nuclear powers.
  4. 4. Deterrence Evaluation• Deterrence is not simply a matter of announcing a commitment and backing it with threats – the commitment must be validated by its relationship to an appropriate national interest.• Deterrence is highly context- dependent – as the deterrence situation changes, so does the calculus of the commitment/threat calculation• Since deterrence is context dependent it is often difficult to design a strategy that will deter all options available to the dissatisfied power.• Deterrence fails in stages rather than all at once• Deterrence is a time buying strategy and as such it is only one instrument of foreign policy and not a substitute for a creative approach that also relies on other means.
  5. 5. Impact of nuclear Revolution• Art and Waltz:“…the immense and sudden destructive power of nuclear-tipped missiles has shifted the emphasis of strategic planners from victory and defense to deterrence…the distinction between victory and defense, on the one hand, and deterrence, on the other, has been sharpened; and the emphasis shifted from the first to the second.” Robert J. Art and Kenneth Waltz, eds. The Use of Force: International Politics and Foreign Policy (Boston: Little Brown and company, 1971), p. 4
  6. 6. What is nuclearization?• Acquiring Weapon Grade fissile material• Developing nuclear devices• Conducting cold tests for the designs• Acquiring delivery systems• Conducting successful nuclear tests• Verifying weapon designs through a series of critical tests. Sub-critical tests can be simulated on computers• Weaponization• Deployment• Targetting Posture
  7. 7. Steps to Produce and deploy Nuclear WeaponsAcquisition of Nuclear Weapons materials•Mining of uranium-bearing ore•Milling to extract uranium concentrate in the form of “yellow cake” (u308) orother uranates•Chemical processing to convert yellowcake into useful compounds (suchas U02, UF 6,UF4, UCI4)Uranium-235 based weapons:•Enrichment of uranium to high levels of uranium-235(most often carried outuranium hexafluroide, UF6, or other Uranium compounds)•Conversion of enriched uranium product to uranium metalPlutonium-based weapons:•Uranium fuel fabrication in the form of metal or oxide (using alloys,ceramics, zircalloy or aluminum cladding, etc)•Reactor construction and operation (typically requiring a graphite or heavy-moderator, unless enriched uranium fuel were available)•Reprocessing of spent fuel to extract plutonium product•Conversion of plutonium product to plutonium metal
  8. 8. Steps to Produce and deploy Nuclear WeaponsWeapon fabrication (plutonium or uranium weapons)•Design and fabrication of fissile core•Design and fabrication of nonnuclear components(chemical explosives, detonator, fuze, neutron initiator,reflector etc)•Weapon AssemblyWeapon Testing and Deployment•Physics tests (hydrodynamic, hydronuclear, or nuclear)•Development of delivery system and integration withwarhead•Weapon transport and storage•Possible development of doctrine and training for useSource: Stephen M. Meyer, The Dynamics of NuclearProliferation (Chicago, 1984), p. 175
  9. 9. What is Deterrence• The term deterrence with French roots means “to frighten from”. Simply put it means “dissuasion by means of threat.”• Even though the concept is as old as the human civilization itself, as an explicit justified and guided by theory, the most developed form of deterrence originates in the special case of the international relations of the nuclear era.• In the context of the nuclear age, the idea was first articulated by Bernard Brodie in 1946 in his famous statement: “Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars. From now on its chief purpose must be to avert them.”
  10. 10. What is Deterrence• Alexander George defines deterrence as “an effort by one actor to persuade an opponent not to take action of some kind against his interests by the convincing the opponent that the costs and risks of doing so will outweigh what he hopes to gain thereby.” In its emphasis on threat, deterrence is often distinguished from more general forms of persuasion, including those based on the offer of rewards. It is the threat of punishment which is the defining characteristics of deterrence.
  11. 11. Deterrence Effect• Deterrence Effect = Estimated Capability Estimated Intent.
  12. 12. What does deterrence mean?• To deter means to dissuade• Deterrence is a strategy of prevention• It has three components:• A)Capability• B)The intention to employ it• C)The ability to communicate both capability and resolve
  13. 13. Deterrence Defined• “Deterrence consists essentially of an effort by one actor to persuade an opponent not to take action of some kind against his interests by convincing the opponent that the costs and risks of doing so will outweigh what he hopes to gain thereby.”• Steps in Deterrence process:• Weigh interests at stake• Convey commitment to defend those interests• Back commitment by threats to respond if the opponent acts.• Make such threats appear credible and sufficient in the eyes of the opponent
  14. 14. How is it different from defense• Defense is the ability to defend oneself against an act of aggression.• Deterrence is the ability to persuade the adversary from committing act of aggression.• Defense follows the failure of deterrence• Deterrence is based on the threat of retaliation with force to inflict unacceptable damage
  15. 15. Deterrence and compellence• Deterrence focus is on “refrain”• Compellence focus is on “changing course”• Compellence is much harder to achieve than deterrence.
  16. 16. Underlying Assumptions of Deterrence Theory• 1. Decisions by both the defender and the challenger will be based on rational calculations of probable costs and gains, accurate evaluations of the situation and careful assessment of relative capabilities;• 2. A high level of threat, such as that posed by the nuclear weapons, inhibits rather than provokes aggressive behavior.
  17. 17. Underlying assumptions of deterrence theory• 3. The value hierarchies of both the defender and the challenger are similar, at least to the point that each places the avoidance of large-scale violence at or near top;• 4. Both sides have similar frames of reference so that signals of resolve and reassurance are perceived and interpreted accurately;
  18. 18. Underlying assumptions of deterrence theory• 5. Decisions are not sensitive to such extraneous considerations as domestic political pressures;• 6. Both sides maintain tight centralized control over decisions that might involve or provoke the use of strategic weapons. Deterrence thus presupposes rational and predictable decision processes.
  19. 19. Key assumptions ofNuclear Deterrence• Rationality• No objective is worth dying• Cost/benefit calculus• Mutual vulnerability – MAD• Deterrence is a process spread over many stages.• Perceptions are the key• Credibility is fundamental for effective functioning of deterrence
  20. 20. Escalation• One strategy used to try to compel compliance by another state is escalation – a series of negative sanctions of increasing severity applied in order to induce another actor to take some action.
  21. 21. The Dynamics of Escalation Old Dynamics • Prolonged conventional phase or massive surprise attack. • Sequential elevation of alert status. • Reciprocal signaling through forces posturing. • Crisis management (standing down). • Restoration of intra-war deterrence through deliberate limitations on retaliation, pausing on steps of traditional escalation ladder.New DynamicsLittle or no warning.Small, limited strikes, with political/symbolic objectives rather than strategic military objectives.Unlikely demonstrative use.
  22. 22. Implications, continued• Deterrence under current conditions must necessarily be "idiosyncratic."• We should be prepared to dynamically "raise" or "lower" the nuclear threshold, depending on circumstances.• In a crisis with a regional nuclear- armed power, it may be necessary to demonstratively "lower" the nuclear threshold, especially if convincing advanced conventional options are limited, unavailable, or likely to be ineffective.
  23. 23. Features of South Asian nuclearization• 1. Incremental growth and long-gestation period• 2. Delivery systems developed before actual weaponisation took place• 3. External support and help was critical, to varying degrees, for South Asia’s nuclear breakout• 4. Failure of coercive pressure to effect nuclear reversal
  24. 24. Features of nuclearization• 5. Raging debate about stability/instability dynamic• 6. Are nuclear weapons a source of stability• 7. System wide and unit level effects of nuclear weapons converge in South Asia.• 8. Nascent nuclear doctrines and evolving nuclear postures• 9. MND, NUTS and MAD are in contention with each other with no clear winner
  25. 25. Future of deterrence• Nuclear deterrence will be based on virtual arsenals - a responsive nuclear infrastructure consisting of functioning nuclear laboratories and some capacity to produce nuclear weapons.• For virtual deterrence to replace existing ready arsenals, agreement on following five key questions will be necessary
  26. 26. Virtual nuclear deterrence• 1. What are the key elements of a responsive nuclear infrastructure, that is, one with a capacity for limited and timely reconstitution of a deterrent, and how might that be phased out over time?• 2. What activities, facilities or weapon-related items should be limited or prohibited?• 3. What can be done to assure early and reliable warning of a breakout attempt to develop nuclear weapons?• 4. Can effective and plausible enforcement measures be devised and put in place?• 5. How closely could a civil nuclear programme resemble a responsive nuclear infrastructure in the case of states that had not previously built nuclear weapons?
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