U.S. Strategic Command

 

Points of Reference for the Conduct of
21st Century Deterrence and Assurance Research

Deterrence and Assurance are abstract political-military concepts attained in the minds of deterrees and assurees, achieved only at their respective discretion, and only in nuanced context of their unique decision spaces.  Activities undertaken to achieve deterrence and assurance goals comprise planning and execution of a strategy, an equally abstract concept requiring similar research consideration.  Simply stated, research involves understanding both the nature of a given deterrence and assurance problem, and how to address it.

With these themes in mind, new thinking in deterrence and assurance is not exclusively adversary and/or military in scope.  It calls for research into topics that go beyond consideration of adversary military capabilities and attendant U.S./Allied means to countervail them.  They involve local, regional, and international political and economic factors; socio-cultural and decision-making dynamics; as well as psychological lines of inquiry, all of which are geared toward informing policies pursuant to tailored deterrence and allied assurance objectives.

While better understanding into how objectives might be achieved vis-à-vis a given deterrence and assurance problem set remains a central focus, equally as pertinent is appreciating the mechanics of how objectives are to be achieved.  Such research involves understanding the political, fiscal, and bureaucratic aspects of marshalling limited national resources into coherent deterrence and assurance strategies.  Underlying all of this is the need to understand the nature of the term strategy itself.

While not exhaustive, researchers are encouraged to consider the following alphabetized list of references selected with each of these themes in mind as they pursue efforts to add to the literature.


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SOURCE REFERENCES:

THINKING ABOUT STRATEGY:

THINKING ABOUT DETERRENCE AT THE "STRATEGIC" LEVEL:

THINKING ABOUT DETERRENCE AT THE "OPERATIONAL" LEVEL:

TAILORED DETERRENCE:

ASSOCIATED RESEARCH CATEGORIES:

      Strategic Culture

      Decision-Making Dynamics

      Legacy Deterrence Theory

       Deterrence in the “Second Nuclear Age”

       Deterring Terrorism


Points of Reference for the Conduct of 21st Century Deterrence and Assurance Research in .pdf

     

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