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Does Deterrence Work?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by BigRob, Feb 28, 2009.

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Does deterrence work?

  1. Yes, it always works

    0 vote(s)
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  2. No, it never works, there are other factors are play

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Yes, but only in certain instances. Deterrence should not be relied on for security.

    5 vote(s)
    83.3%
  1. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Does deterrence work?

    Did the concept of MAD actually make any rational sense? We often hear talk about deterring Iran and North Korea (and other rouge states).

    If you believe deterrence did work, does it translate to rouge nations and non-state actors? If not, why not?
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    Only when the opposing side really believes you are willing to use lethal force. Otherwise, it does not work.

    When Saddam realized Clinton was a pathetic sex crazed idiot, he knew he could do whatever he wanted, including kicking out the UN inspectors, a condition of the cease-fire between Iraq and the US.
     
  3. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    So is it rational to assume we can deter Iran or North Korea? Further, as an extension of this, can you deter religious fundamentalism?

    Perhaps in the United States we can rationalize the idea that a nuclear Iran can be deterred. From the point of view of Israel however, can you risk the survival of your entire country based on a guess that religion can be deterred?
     
  4. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    First way to bring clinton's sex life up as if that matters here...
    2nd...Saddam did not kick them out in 1998...we removed them. WE removed them because of the fact that Clinton was about to bomb Iraqi sights...
    3rd. what did Saddam do , that was not done under Bush I and II.

    now go ahead and try again.
     
  5. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    You are a bit off on this one. While inspectors were not "expelled" from Iraq by Saddam Hussein, he did block access to several "palace" sites. This resulted in the bombing missions by US and UK forces. (which were largely unsuccessful in my view, but that is a different issue)

    So yes, Butler ordered the inspectors out in anticipation of the strikes, however this came after Saddam refused to allow inspectors access to sites they should have been granted access to. Butler even wrote a report about this before it all occurred.
     
  6. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    again as stated before ....if the nation is ruled by a sane leader...then yes.

    Basic logic says, a sane leader will not attack someone if they feel the likey outcome is a loss for them.

    ask yourself this....If the US said we would not attack Iran if they attacked Israel would that make them more likely to attack? The logical response is yes, because Iran knows that if could win that war...( not saying it would, but it could at least) given help it would get from others...But knowing that the US response would be powerful, and that we would be able to for the most part destroy Iran ( most likely attacks on Iraq would be air only as land attack to take over would fail...but we could cripple it to the point its leadership was forced out or removed by its own people. ) with this knowledge they of course talk bit, but don't act much.

    S. Korea without US help...would most likely fall to north Korea's army. The artillery alone from N. Korea would decimate cities before south Korea even fully prepared. And North Korea would have very little to loss...its leaders don't care much if its civilians are killed...and the Economic gains would be huge if it won. thus it would have a reason to at least think about making a move....Add the US to the mix....N. Korea knows it would lose ( unless of course he is insane) and thus the incentive to take action is nothing.

    Does this mean a nation may not take small pokes and prods at others, no..because it knows that the US is not going to destroy the nation for those actions...so the gains or , power or prestige or what ever are weighted against the expected reprisal attack or sanctions...not against a full war.

    its more or less the same theory that is used for arms races...if you have enough guns...X will not attack...the outcome ends up. X or y spends to much and fails its leaders removed...or one side thinks if has the upper hand and can win...then moves on the other....it would be rare to see one side think it would lose...but choose to attack anyway.

    A debate is also made about if Arms races cause wars, or prevent them...I know based on data I looked at , with many variables and factors in the computer system based on thosands of wars...no clear case could be found one way or the other...
     
  7. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    yes I know why they left, and that he failed to let them into places...but Andy claimed they where kicked out...this is false...had he said they where not allowed to do there job I would have agreed....and as stated....he failed under Bush I to let them in...And Clinton bombed sites for that reason, also the assassination attempt plan of Bush I
     
  8. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I can agree with this assessment, which is exactly why I make such a huge deal about the credibility of United States security assurances. If the US loses its credibility abroad, the entire international system breaks down in my opinion. This is not good for anyone, and it is a big reason why I am so supportive of being involved everywhere and living up to our promises.

    I will ask an academic question here however. Would it be rational for Israel to retaliate against an Iranian nuclear strike? One would seem to say no. What benefit really comes from it?

    I agree, it will never be proven if arms races cause or prevent wars. Looking at deterrence however, I think the real question we should be addressing is not how can we maintain deterrence, but rather, what are our options if deterrence fails.
     
  9. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    while not asked of me I would like to offer on teh Fundamentalism issue.

    It would depends....If we are talking about fundamentalist with a apocaplicic ideal...then no. even Bin Laden does not seem to hold this view...Is he willing to die? yes...kill yes? have other Muslims die yes....have the middle east nuked....I would say no...If we are to listen to Yossef Bodansky...(Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004) then we have to believe that Bin Laden in fact have acquired at least 1 if not more Suitcase nukes. ( personally I find this Intel sketchy, and others within the CIA and Intel community of course don't agree with this claim) but if he did...the only reason he would not have used it yet, was the knowledge of the payback for such a attack. In fact , the stated reason for having the bomb in the first place was to prevent or retaliate against a US nuclear attack . I would have to go back to pull exact wording of couse, but I dont have the book with me right now. "Chechen Jihad: Al Qaeda's Training Ground and the Next Wave of Terror" in case you wanted to know.

    So yes, even against Fundamentalist...so long as they dont have a death with for there nation...it works ( this sorta fits the sane part of my argument as well) I irrational or Fundamentalist with a death with ( or terrorist group of them ) would have really nothing that could stop it...outside of kill them first such a defense they can try but will fail.
     
  10. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    well 1 I will assume that Israel was struck...and survived to attack .or launched before nuked , but after nuke was fired by Iran....Retaliation is a very different motive then deciding to attack or not. Take normal fight for example....I will not walk up to a guy bigger then me who I know would win in a fight and attack him....however if he hit me, I would throw what ever I had at him, even knowing I would lose. my motivation has changed...If Iran sent a nuke at Israel...most likely yes, it would launch back, if only for revenge...because really it has nothing to lose anymore. Iran at its first launch would have to know that as soon as that missile fired....Iran as a nation....was over . Its leaders, will be killed. Its Army will be gone...and at worst mankind is dead.

    as for if deterrence fails...then preemptive strike. is only other option. I have no problem with a preemptive strike...my issue with Iraq as one, was the flawed and poor Intel , and lack of a real threat to the US to force the action.
     
  11. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I find the claim of Bin Laden possessing a "suitcase" bomb to be highly dubious. The use of such a weapon would cause major problems when trying to decide exactly who to retaliate against. If a weapon goes off in an American city, the DOE will tell you in 6 months they can have a preliminary report about where it came from.

    Aside from that, if Bin Laden is operating in a nation such as Pakistan, who do you retaliate against? A nuclear armed Pakistani government? That is a tough sell to make.

    As for Bin Laden not wanting to have nuclear explosions in the Middle East. I would say it depends on who is taking the hit to determine if he would mind. If it was used on Israel, I think he would have no problem. If it was used on Saudi Arabia, I doubt he would have a problem.

    If you read his 1996 (the first one) declaration of war, he calls the US presence in Saudi Arabia the worst thing since the death of the prophet. Worse than the crusades, everything. He also holds the Saudi monarchy accountable for this. Listed among his goals are to obviously eliminate the United States, but also the Saudi monarchy as well.

    But it could be sane for an extremist group to acquire Pakistani plutonium and then produce a bomb to detonate in the United States. Especially if the group is not Pakistani to begin with. How do you respond to that? Nuke Pakistan? That is not really viable, and an invasion could immediately backfire into nuclear war. There are no good options.

    But I can agree. We need forward action to identity and kill these groups to prevent this unthinkable scenario from occurring.
     
  12. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    This bombing Clinton did, by chance was it when he bombed the asprin factory killing one custodian the night before Monica was about to testify about the "odd" stain on her blue dress? You know, the bombing that happened without even consulting congress....

    Or was it another bombing you are thinking of?
     
  13. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    It would not take many warheads to effectively destroy Israel, that is a major problem for them when thinking about a possible Iranian program. I agree that they would respond, but the question of "is it rational" is at least fun to debate at times.

    I further think that Israel would really have no time to react should Iran simply launch a first strike. Given this, you have to rely solely on intelligence to try to find out about a launch before it happens. This, especially in Iran, is next to impossible.

    Let us all remember how we even found out about the overt (not even the secret part) Iranian nuclear program. An Iranian revolutionary group blew the lid off it. Our intelligence missed it, as did Israeli intelligence. Given this, if I am a leader in Israel, I am not about to give my intel people the task of spotting a nuclear attack before it happens, especially since this mission must be zero-fail.

    Well, I think it depends on who you are deterring. Our triad can sustain a hit and be effective against a nation such as Russia, however it is the rouge states that are the problem. Therefore I support missile defense for this, and also we need to undertake other actions to prevent "suitcase" weapons from arriving here as well.

    As for Iraq, the Iraq war was not legally preemptive, it was preventative. There is a big legal distinction.

    I also think there are other actions we can take outside of total war. We could assassinate a nations nuclear scientists for example, or sabotage the program in numerous ways. The problem is identifying locations and the scope the program, which we have proven pretty bad at doing.
     
  14. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I believe that was in Sudan. The same mission was added to hitting terror training camps in Afghanistan. If I recall correctly that was retaliation for the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

    The problem was we took on the approach of "how can we minimize deaths" which only furthered the notion that Americans had no "stomach" for fighting. If you read Bin Laden's declaration of war (the 1996 one) he spells this out. These bombing missions of empty buildings and empty terror camps (even though we did correctly identify the threat) only enhanced the notion that Bin Laden was pushing that Americans are weak and not capable of fighting a prolonged war.

    While it is all in hindsight now, I wish Clinton had gone after these targets much more aggressively, but what is done is done.
     
  15. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    well yes, hence why MAD was dealing with Nation states, not terror groups. And I would disagree that he would accept a nuke hitting the holyland ...after all he did not even want US troops there. to know what he was in part responible for millions killed and the homeland nukes....would be a hard sell. also not go well for his promoting his view of Islam.
     
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