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Thinking about Deterrence: Enduring Questions in a Time of Rising Powers, Rogue Regimes, and Terrorism


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We are in the postpostCold War era, and the strategic environment continues to shift before our very eyes. The US National Military Strategy notes that ongoing shifts in relative power and increasing interconnectedness in the international order indicate a strategic inflection point. The landscape at this inflection point is a mix of the familiar and the foreign. The United States remains the worlds preeminent power, as nation-states play the primary role in the globalized world they created. However, there are nation-states of increasing influence that were not coauthors of the existing rule sets and international norms. Many have a regional, not a global perspective, but their regional interests cannot be pursued without global effect. We do not yet know for certain how they will adapt and where they will challenge current structures. Instant global reach is a defining characteristic of the twenty-first century. It reinforces our interconnectedness and, at the same time, provides asymmetric opportunity to nonstate actors. Even now, there remain non-status-quo states that keep their populaces in the dark or subject them to information manipulation.



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