Tag: Deterrence

Winter of Discontent Prolonged for Dictators?

 

The pattern of precision strikes this past year against ISIS leaders, the IRGC Quds Force commander, and one or more senior proxy militia commanders not only has put the Khomeinist regime on notice but also serves as a useful object lesson to Little Rocket Man, Kim III. Notice that the promised “Christmas surprise” never arrived through the full 12 days of Christmas. Whatever Kim’s calculations, the American military just reminded him, and everyone else, that there is nowhere the eagle’s talons can’t strike.

Chris Wallace asked Secretary Pompeo if impeachment trial talk was weakening the president’s hand in foreign policy. Pompeo’ deadpan answer: “You should ask Soleimani.” Kim has enjoyed a family tradition of acting the mad dog and getting thrown nice meaty bones time after time. Suddenly he has an opponent who gets showmanship and high-pressure negotiations. And the man just had a senior official in the old axis of evil snuffed out, an official all had believed untouchable; off-limits as the game was being played.

If Kim is ever to get past the winter of his discontent, it is now less likely to be with the artificial sunshine of an open hydrogen bomb test, at least so long as Donald J. Trump is president of these United States.

The Hoover Institution hosted a discussion and a preview of the new film The Price of Peace from Free to Choose Media. How do we prevent war? How do we maintain peace? These questions have been posed by nations and people throughout history. The insights of historian and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Victor Davis Hanson guide this documentary investigation of the United States’ successful deterrence of enemy aggression in the past and the efforts to sustain it in an era of rogue nations and nuclear proliferation.

Time To Dust Off Nuclear Deterrence

 

Dr._StrangeloveSince the Cold War ended a quarter century ago, we haven’t learned to love the Bomb, but we have stopped worrying about it. As the Obama administration insists on driving the entire Middle East toward nuclear weapons, we had better start worrying about it again. A good place to start may be to dust off the concept of deterrence and re-familiarize ourselves with it.

What is deterrence?

Deterrence is a strategy of using the threat of military punishment to dissuade an aggressor from attempting to achieve his objectives. A defender deters his opponent by convincing him that any expected gains from his aggression will be outweighed by the punishment he will suffer. A threshold assumption underlying the logic of deterrence is that the aggressor is “rational,” in the sense that his military means are reasonably related to his political goals and he acts based on a comparison of expected gains to potential costs.