Diplomatic Counterterrorist Deterrence: Moving beyond Military Means
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST
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Deterrence is an ancient concept, common to nearly all human interactions. At its core, deterrence involves the act of influencing behavior by manipulating an adversary s cost-benefit analysis. Still, following the attacks of 11 September 2001 911, many policy makers and academics were quick to dismiss the strategic role that deterrence could play in counterterrorism policy. This lack of confidence has been continually echoed by policy makers and scholars alike. Chiefly, former president George W. Bush concluded that the traditional concepts of deterrence were meaningless in dealing with terrorist networks, which had no nation to claim as their own and whose members were willing to die for their cause.1 As a result, policy makers, military officials, and US allies have focused instead on militaristic, preemptive strategies for counterterrorism operations.2 The purpose of this research is to examine critically the role of deterrence theory and analyze whether it can be applied to counterterrorism operations as a means of increasing international security and realizing national objectives with minimal military investment. Alternatively, many people contend that the road to real success in foreign policy entails hard power alone, often in the form of military strength. However, we believe that it is not solely military power that leads to successful deterrence but the calculated and complementary application of each instrument of power.3 The principal instrument of this complementary power should be diplomacy. Military strength is still necessary, particularly following a large-scale terrorist attack such as 911, but to truly deter terrorism, one must take many other actions.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare