Non- Nuclear Deterrence


Maj. Gen. V.M. BURENOK, Doctor of Technical Sciences

Col. O.B. ACHASOV, Candidate of Technical Sciences

Deterrence (strategic deterrence) is understood as an aggregate of non- power and power measures (political, diplomatic, military, economic, etc.) undertaken by a state unilaterally or on coalition basis and aimed at convincing a potential aggressor of inability to achieve its military goals since the effects of retaliatory actions for this potential aggressor would be unacceptable.1

For quite a long time nuclear deterrence was considered to be the most effective instrument among other power actions since it had proved its high efficiency in preventing large- scale wars and war conflicts between the most powerful states and coalitions. However, in recent years the efficiency of such kind of deterrence in preventing military conflicts, as well as local and even regional wars, has considerably decreased. This is especially typical of war actions between nuclear and non- nuclear states (for example, the USA and NATO against Yugoslavia; the USA and the Coalition Forces against Iraq). This proves the expediency of its combining with the measures aimed at deterring a potential aggressor by non- nuclear weapons in the ratio adequate to the character and scales of threats to national security.2 By analogy with nuclear deterrence, such kind of deterrence could be called "non- nuclear deterrence."

Therefore, non- nuclear deterrence should be understood as a demonstration of readiness to carry out a threat of causing- by non- nuclear means- reciprocal or anticipatory damage to vital interests and targets of potential aggressors, which would consciously exceed the benefits from the aggression itself. In addition to the aforementioned definition, we could produce some more arguments for such deterrence: increase of the threshold of nuclear weapon application in case of a conflict between countries possessing such weapons; check of the gravity of atheoretical aggression from a probable enemy (if it turns out to be impossible ...

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