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Deterring Non-State Actors (Davis)

Deterring Non-State Actors (Davis)

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Published by Ian Davis
Essay on deterring non-state actors.
Essay on deterring non-state actors.

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Published by: Ian Davis on Dec 19, 2010
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05/06/2015

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 NAVALPOSTGRADUATESCHOOL
MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
Deterring Non-state Actors:A Multi-dimensional StrategySO3882- Deterrence, Coercion, and Crisis ManagementProfessor Leo BlankenSeptember 21,2009 byMAJ Ian S. Davis
 
Deterring Non-state Actors 2Davis-2Deterring Non-state Actors: A Multi-dimensional StrategyThe 2009 National Intelligence Strategy
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noted that the international security landscape israpidly changing, complex environment comprised of nation-states (states), non-state actors(NSAs), and transnational forces (TNFs). The first mission objective in the strategy is to combatviolent extremism. To do that, U.S. national security policy must be a comprehensive plan toaddress any security threat, regardless of its sponsor. In order to be effective, the policy must be part of a multi-dimensional strategy. Before the rise of terrorism by violent extremist, statesused a variety of strategies that drove negotiation aimed at promoting parsimony and deterringwar. Although deterring violent extremists appears to be a complex problem, traditional state tostate deterrence theories are still applicable and can be adapted deter NSAs and TNFs. For the purpose of this essay TNFs will be included a NSA. NSAs that espouse violent extremism can be deterred by denying their capacity to conduct operations. To deny their capacity to conductoperations, states must influence a NSA¶s freedom of movement, support and legitimacy. Thefactors are part of a cyclical in interdependent relationship. Although they are presented in asequential manner, the effects of one hinges on the effects of the others. To support theargument, this essay will use the following structure. First, we will explore deterrence theoryand how it applies to deterring NSAs. Next, we will show how to influence freedom of movement, support, and legitimacy to deny NSA operational capability. Finally, we will reviewconcepts for denying operational capacity that were presented in the essay and recommended policy to deter NSAs that espouse violent extremism.
 Deterrence Theory
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2009 Intelligence Strategy available at www.dni.gov
 
Deterring Non-state Actors 3Davis-3Cold War deterrence theories, such as Brody¶s (1959)
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writing¶s on the fear of nuclear annihilation and Kahn¶s (1965)
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escalation ladder of scaled response, were pivotal for shapingconcepts for deterrence and coercion. The same concepts of rationality and expected utility thatare used for state-state relations can be used for state-NSA relations. Jervis (1989),
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found thatalthough Rational Deterrence Theory (RDT) shows actors will attempt to maximize their expected utility, but RDT did not show how actors will behave. He further found that rationalactors will seek conflict if it would yield benefits or prevent a loss in the actor¶s current statusquo. Fearon¶s
 Ra
tion
al 
ist Exp
la
n
a
tions for W 
a
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used RDT to show how leaders decide to go towar by weighing the
ex
a
nte
(pre-war) and
ex post 
(after war) costs and how they apply in a bargaining model. If a threat is not credible, then it will not affect the target¶s decision cycle.For a threat to be credible, it must be back by capacity and will to execute the threat should thetarget decide to not comply with the threat. Based on the credibility of the threat, actorscalculate their expected utility of compliance or dissention and act accordingly. Rationality andexpected utility are relative to the actor¶s point of view, culture, and norms. The loss of lives,territories, and relative power in the international community generally drives the rationally of states. Although terrorist acts, especially suicidal terrorist acts perpetrated by NSAs, may appear to be irrational, they are actually the outcome of a rational thought process of the NSA based onideology, values, norms, and to achieve particular goals. Pape
6
showed that terrorist actsfollowed a strategy based on their timing, goals, and target selection. Although states and NSAs
2
Bernard Brodie, "The Anatomy of Deterrence,"
Wor 
ld 
Po
itics
11, no. 2 (Jan., 1959), 173-191,http://www.jstor.org/stable/2009527.
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Herman Kahn,
On Esc
ala
tion: Met 
a
 phors
a
n
Scen
a
rios
(New York: Praeger, 1965), 308.
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Robert Jervis, "Rational Deterrence: Theory and Evidence,"
Wor 
ld 
Po
itics
41, no. 2 (Jan., 1989), 183-207,http://www.jstor.org/stable/2010407(accessed AUgust 4, 2009).
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James D. Fearon, "Rationalist Explanations for War,"
 Intern
a
tion
al 
Org 
a
niz
a
tion
49, no. 3 (Summer, 1995), 379-414,http://www.jstor.org/stable/2706903(accessed August 4, 2009).
6
Robert J. Art and Kenneth Neal Waltz,
The use of Force : Mi
it 
a
ry Power 
a
n
Intern
a
tion
al 
Po
itics
, 7th ed.(Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009).

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