Deterring Maritime Gray Zone Aggression Ethically with Emerging Technologies
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Gray zone strategies have become more widespread in the maritime domain as states see an opportunity to advance their interests while staying below the threshold of a conventional military response. By exploiting the ambiguity, asymmetry, and instrumentalism that characterize gray zone activities, gray zone coercers are able to bypass traditional deterrence measures and effect substantial strategic change over time at minimal cost. In particular, gray zone provocateurs are able to capitalize on the fear of escalation to engender paralysis and negate effective responses to their coercive activities. Emerging technologies can be harnessed to strengthen deterrence by denial measures against maritime gray zone aggression by imposing significant expected costs at the point of aggression, thereby shifting the burden of escalation back to the aggressor. However, defenders must leverage these technologies while adhering to normative ethical and legal principles. Only then can they avoid undermining international laws and norms underpinning the rules-based order, which would prove counterproductive for their legitimacy in the long term.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Government and Political Science