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Deterrence and Dissuasion for the 21st Century Ryan Henry Principle Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy IFPA-Fletcher Conference December 14,

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Presentation on theme: "Deterrence and Dissuasion for the 21st Century Ryan Henry Principle Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy IFPA-Fletcher Conference December 14,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Deterrence and Dissuasion for the 21st Century Ryan Henry Principle Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy IFPA-Fletcher Conference December 14, 2005 UNCLASSIFIED

2 POLICY 2 Overview  New security environment warrants a review of our approach Shift away from Cold War view of deterrence Develop better understanding of dissuasion and how to operationalize the concept Understand how we can effectively assure our allies  Key documents that reflect our strategic shift: Quadrennial Defense Review (2001) Nuclear Posture Review (2002) Report to Congress on Strengthening US Global Defense Posture (2004) National Defense Strategy (2005) Quadrennial Defense Review (2006)

3 POLICY 3 Security Challenges Irregular  Non-state and state actors employing “unconventional” methods to counter stronger state opponents—terrorism, insurgency, etc. (erode our power) (e.g., terrorism, insurgency, civil war, and emerging concepts like “unrestricted warfare”) Likelihood : very high; strategy of the weak Vulnerability : moderate, if not effectively checked. Disruptive  Competitors employing technology or methods that might counter or cancel our current military advantages. (capsize our power) (e.g., technological – bio, cyber, or space war, ultra miniaturization, directed-energy, other – diplomatic blackmail, cultural or economic war) Likelihood : low, but time works against U.S. Vulnerability : strategic surprise puts American security at risk Traditional  States employing military forces in well- known forms of military competition and conflict. (challenge our power) (e.g., conventional air, sea, and land forces, and nuclear forces of established nuclear powers) Likelihood : currently decreasing due to historic capability-overmatch and expanding qualitative lead Vulnerability : low, but only if transformation is balanced Catastrophic  Terrorist or rogue state employment of WMD or methods producing WMD-like effects against American interests. (paralyze our power) (e.g., attack on homeland, global markets, or key ally that would generate a state of shock and preclude normal behavior) Likelihood : moderate and increasing Vulnerability : unacceptable, single event can alter our way of life LIKELIHOOD VULNERABILITY Lower Higher Lower Our approach should be tailored to deter and dissuade across the challenges

4 POLICY 4 Deterrence: What’s New Cold War Deterrence 21 st Century Deterrence Relatively well-understood opponent Mature strategic relationship Poorly understood opponents Nascent strategic relationship Single opponent (i.e., Soviet Empire)Multiple state and non-state opponents Deterrence is the cornerstone of national strategy Deterrence is only one component of our national strategy Targets to hold at risk were easily identifiable Targets to hold at risk are difficult to identify Deterrence policy relied primarily on retaliation and less so on denial Deterrence policy emphasizes denial as well as retaliation Primarily nuclearNuclear and non-nuclear Reliable channels of communicationUncertain channels of communication

5 POLICY 5 Deterrence: Why and What  Deterrence is generally preferable to going to war because it: Forestalls behavior contrary to US interests Can be less expensive in terms of human, economic, and political costs Conserves national power – but requires a focus of will  Strategic interaction(s) in which a party uses threats to forestall adversaries from taking an action(s) that they otherwise would have taken had the threat not been present. The party does so by threatening to: Impose unacceptable costs upon the adversary in response to their action(s) Deny the opponent any prospect of attaining its perceived goals  Deterrence requires: The ability to identify and understand that which the adversary holds dear, how it assesses its security situation, and its decision-making processes Having or developing the perceived capabilities and credibility to impose unacceptable costs and/or to deny gains to the adversary The ability to communicate effectively with the adversary

6 POLICY 6 Dissuasion: Why and What  To discourage others from developing capabilities and/or adopting courses of action that are hostile to the interests of the United States  Dissuasion seeks to shape the nature of military competitions in ways favorable to the United States by: Inducing restraint in the behavior of adversaries; Channeling an opponent’s strategies and resources in less threatening directions; and Complicating an opponent’s military planning  Dissuasion could: Make deterrence easier by reducing the robustness of an adversary’s capabilities and strategies and its confidence in them “Buy time” with some adversaries

7 POLICY 7 Dissuasion and Deterrence DeterrenceDeterrence  Deterrence and dissuasion both hinge on understanding and influencing an opponent’s decision-making (e.g., no “mirror imaging”)  Dissuasion can be thought of as a kind of “pre-deterrence” -- preventing an adversary from developing:  Capabilities before they can be used; and  Courses of action before they can be adopted  In some circumstances, we may be trying to dissuade adversaries from expanding, improving, or transferring a capability while deterring them from using it TIME DissuasionDissuasion Example: Deterrence and dissuasion of an adversary’s capability or course of action

8 POLICY 8 Tailored Deterrence Deterrence and Dissuasion Violent Extremists Terrorist Networks IrregularCatastrophic TraditionalDisruptive Rogue Powers IrregularCatastrophic TraditionalDisruptive Near Peer Competitors IrregularCatastrophic TraditionalDisruptive We need to stimulate those outside of the government to think through deterrence and dissuasion in each of these categories We need to stimulate those outside of the government to think through deterrence and dissuasion in each of these categories

9 POLICY 9Deterring... Peer / Emerging Peer Rogue States Violent Extremists (VE) Senior Leadership Military Commanders Trigger Pullers General Populace Deterring Diverse Audiences X X X X X x x x x Volunteers from General Populace Sympathetic Patrons and Supporters Families Figureheads Tribes Cells State Sponsor Org Leaders Is there a “unified field theory” for deterrence?

10 POLICY 10 Deterrence and Dissuasion: Violent Extremists  Who : Actors in a violent extremist network, including foot soldiers, leaders, financiers, radical clerics, et. al.; State supporters of terrorist networks; and Elements of the population susceptible to violent extremism  Deter what: Members of the network from taking actions hostile to the United States including attacks, terrorist fund raising, preaching of incendiary fatwas, etc.; and States from supporting terrorist networks, most importantly the transfer of WMD  Dissuade what: Elements of the population susceptible to violent extremism from supporting or engaging in violent extremism

11 POLICY 11 Rogue Powers  Who: States that pose significant regional challenges but lack the ability to project traditional military power outside of their region  Deter what: A range of actions hostile to U.S. interests  Dissuade what: Development, modernization, and expansion of capabilities that pose a significant challenge to the US and its allies Courses of action hostile to key US interests

12 POLICY 12 Near-Peer Competitors  Who: States with the ability to project power globally Capabilities may include: nuclear weapons, advanced conventional military capability, and other forms of non-military power  Deter what: Use of WMD against the United States and its allies Other attacks or coercion against U.S. allies and partners  Dissuade what: Development of advanced military capabilities that pose a significant challenge to the US Modernization of existing capabilities that pose a significant challenge to the US Development of hostile courses of action

13 POLICY 13 Way Ahead  USG is focusing its efforts to better understand our adversaries and develop tailored deterrence and dissuasion strategies  Need to reinvigorate intellectual debate on deterrence and dissuasion Key to this debate is growing our knowledge of the world views, goals, and strategic approaches of 21 st century adversaries


15 POLICY 15 Deterrence vs. Dissuasion Deterrence Forestall adversaries from taking hostile action(s) Threats made to convince adversaries that the costs of taking hostile action will outweigh any potential gains Involves threat(s) Addresses more immediate challenge Responsive to a development Enemy understanding of US intent is important for an effective strategy Dissuasion Discourage adversaries, real and potential, from developing hostile capabilities and strategies Measures taken to convince adversaries that the development of hostile military capabilities and strategies will be ineffective, too costly, and/or unattainable Involves positive and negative measures Addresses potential long-term challenge Anticipatory of possible developments Enemy understanding of US intent may be detrimental to an effective strategy

16 POLICY 16 Key Tools  Posture  Security Cooperation  Intelligence  Capabilities  Strategic Communications

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