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Encyclopedia > Deterrence theory

Deterrence theory is a defensive strategy developed after World War II and used throughout the Cold War. It also figures somewhat in the current War on Terrorism. Under the strategy, a government builds up or maintains military forces and weapons so that other powers will not attack it in fear of a larger retaliation. John Foster Dulles elaborated that “The heart of the problem is how to deter attack. This... requires that a potential aggressor be left in no doubt that he [or she] would... suffer damage outweighing any possible gains from aggression.”[1] Deterrence is viewed by some as the opposite of appeasement, where an expansionist government is allowed to absorb some territory to reach a negotiated settlement. (See Munich Agreement) Deterrence can be based on either WMD's, conventional weapons strength, or both. Combatants Allies: • Poland, • UK & Commonwealth, • France/Free France, • Soviet Union, • USA, • China, ...and others• Axis: • Germany, • Italy, • Japan, • ...and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total: 50 million Full list Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total: 12 million Full list World War II... The Cold War was the protracted geostrategic, economic, and ideological struggle that emerged after World War II between the global superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States, supported by their respective and emerging alliance partners. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Revenge is retaliation against a person or group in response to wrongdoing. ... John Foster Dulles John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American statesman who served as Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from (1953 - 1959). ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... It has been suggested that the section Munich Conference from the article Western betrayal be merged into this article or section. ... Weapons of Mass Destruction is also the name of rapper Xzibits 2004 album. ...

Because the theory suggested that expansion could be prevented by a show of military might, some leaders thought that the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union would prevent both sides from entering into another world war. Deterrence in the Cold War was related to George F. Kennan's ideology of Containment and President Ronald Reagan's arms build-up in the 1980's. They claimed that the Soviet system of political repression and a communist economy would be unable to compete with the American system; the USSR would eventually weaken and collapse. An arms race is a competition between two or more countries for military supremacy. ... The Cold War was the protracted geostrategic, economic, and ideological struggle that emerged after World War II between the global superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States, supported by their respective and emerging alliance partners. ... George Frost Kennan (February 16, 1904 – March 17, 2005) was an American advisor, diplomat, political scientist, and historian, best known as the father of containment and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War. ... Containment refers to the foreign policy strategy of the United States in the early years of the Cold War. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). ... Communism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...

Some argue that the Deterrence Theory is flawed since a government can misunderstand the rationale of their opponent. A peaceful country with unpopular politics can be unfairly seen as a threat. Also, an isolationist nation that imposes draconian rule over its people can be ignored since it does not directly threaten its neighbors. The arms race during deterrence might escalate the risk of accidental deployment possibly leading to war. See WarGames the movie. Finally, a country's military build-up risks massive budget deficits, restrictions on civil liberties, the creation of a military-industrial complex, and other repressive measures that sometimes result from a protracted or endless war. See Garrison State. Isolationism is a diplomatic policy whereby a nation seeks to avoid alliances with other nations. ... Draco is an Athenian law scribe, whose laws were described as Draconian. Draconian (D&D) refers to creatures unique to the Dragonlance fantasy world. ... An arms race is a competition between two or more countries for military supremacy. ... This article is about the 1983 US movie. ... A budget deficit occurs when an entity (often a government) spends more money than it takes in. ... This article is in need of attention. ... The term military-industrial complex usually refers to the combination of the U.S. armed forces, arms industry and associated political and commercial interests, which grew rapidly in scale and influence in the wake of World War II, although it can also be used to describe any such relationship of...

Proponents insist that the theory is flexible to different situations and allows for changes of strategy.

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