The Logic of Deterrence

Analyse & Kritik 9 (1-2):47-61 (1987)

This article describes the important structural characteristics of a recently developed game-theoretic model of deterrence, summarizes the major deductions drawn from it, and discusses its implications for both the theory of deterrence and the current strategic relationship of the super-powers. The model shows that a credible threat and a power advantage are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for stable deterrence. It also suggests that, even under ideal conditions, deterrence is an intricate and fundamentally fragile relationship that rests, ultimately, upon the preferences and perceptions of key decision-makers rather than upon the nature and composition of each side's strategic arsenal
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DOI 10.1515/auk-1987-1-202
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