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Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma Author(s): Robert Jervis Source: World Politics, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Jan., 1978), pp. 167-214 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/03/2011 17:22
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withthe for that but occur, also makesit difficult states are satisfied as at status quo to arrive goals thattheyrecognize beingin theircomthat or mon interest. Becausethereare no institutions authorities can that international laws, the policiesof cooperation make and enforce if may bringdisaster will bringmutualrewardsif otherscooperate encourages beare theydo not. Becausestates aware of this,anarchy worseoffthantheycould be, evenin haviorthatleavesall concerned the quo. would like to freeze status theextreme in whichall states case to cooperate This is trueof themenin Rousseau's "StagHunt." If they to will all eat well. But if one persondefects chasea trapthestag,they will get anyrabbit-whichhe likeslessthanstag-none of theothers and thereis a order, have the same preference thing.Thus, all actors and choice: (i) cooperate trapthestag solution thatgiveseach his first and (2) analoguebeingcooperation disarmament); (the international a remainat their posts(maintain highlevel whileothers chasea rabbit ofarmswhileothers disarmed); (3) all chaserabbits are (armscompeat while position tition highriskofwar); and (4) stay theoriginal and anotherchases a rabbit (being disarmedwhile othersare armed).1

warsto sovereign onlypermits not HE lackof an international

* I am gratefulto Robert Art, Bernard Brodie, and Glenn Snyder for comments,and to the Committee on Research of the UCLA Academic Senate for financial support. An earlier version of this essay appeared as Working Paper No. 5, UCLA Program in Arms Control and International Security. 1 This kind of rank-ordering not entirelyan analyst's invention, as is shown by is the followingsection of a Britisharmy memo of I903 dealing with Britishand Russian border: railroad constructionnear the Persia-Afghanistan The conditions of the problem may . . . be brieflysummarized as follows: a) If we make a railway to Seistan while Russia remains inactive, we gain a considerable defensive advantage at considerable financial cost; b) If Russia makes a railway to Seistan, while we remain inactive, she gains a considerable offensiveadvantage at considerable financial cost; c) If both we and Russia make railways to Seistan, the defensive and offensive advantages may be held to neutralize each other; in other words, we shall have spent a good deal of money and be no betteroff than we are at present. On the

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Unless eachperson thinks theothers cooperate, himself that will he willnot. Andwhy might fear anyother he that person woulddo somenot thing wouldsacrifice ownfirst that his choice? The other might understand situation, might be ableto control impulses the or not his ifhe sawa rabbit, might that or fear some other member thegroup of is unreliable. theperson If voices are anyof these suspicions, others more likely fear to that willdefect, making he thus them more likely todefect, making more thus it Of in rational himtodefect. course for thissimple case-and in manythatare morerealistic-there a are number arrangements couldpermit of that cooperation. themain But point remains: although actors seeka common mayknowthatthey goal,they maynotbe ableto reach it. the Evenwhenthere a solution is everyone's choice, inis that first ternational is characterized three case by in difficulties present the not must added StagHunt. First, theincentives defect to to given above be the thepotent that fear eveniftheother state nowsupports staus quo, makers itmay become dissatisfied No matter much later. how decision and bindthemselves their arecommittedthestatus they to quo, cannot can successors thesamepath.Mindscan be changed, leaders to new can and new cometo power, valuescan shift, opportunities dangers

from possible a The second arises solution. order proIn problem to tecttheir states often seekto control or possessions, resources land outside ownterritory. Countries arenotself-sufficient that their must will to that in to try assure thenecessary supplies continue flow warof for time. Thiswaspart theexplanation Japan's drive Chinaand into Asia WorldWar II. If there Southeast before werean international this for that authority couldguarantee access, motive control would But is thatwouldprefer the disappear. sincethere not,evena state the status toincreasing areaofcontrol pursue latter its quo may policy. to between Whenthere believed be tight are domestic and linkages of the or the foreign policy between domestic politics twostates, quest in states interfere to forsecurity drive may preemptivelythedomestic an buffer to in order provide ideological zone.Thus, of politics others
other hand, we shall be no worse off,whereas under alternative (b) we shall be much worse off. Consequently, the theoreticalbalance of advantage lies with the proposed railway extension from Quetta to Seistan. W. G. Nicholson, "Memorandum on Seistan and Other Points Raised in the Discussion on the Defence of India," (Committee of Imperial Defence, March 20, I903). It should be noted that the possibilityof neitherside building railways was not mentioned,thus stronglybiasing the analysis.



of the for justification supervising politics theItalianstates Metternich's as has been summarized follows: implies affairs. this But sovereign itsinternal in is Every state absolutely affairs of in to state mustdo nothing interfere theinternal thatevery in by step any or However, false pernicious taken anystate anyother. state, and this of the affairs may disturb repose another its internal an constitutes interstate's repose of disturbance another consequent every state-orrather, Therefore, internal affairs. ference that in state's in of every sovereign a greatpower-hasthe duty, the nameof the the state, supervise governto of right independence every of sacred and pertaking false them from and states to prevent ments smaller of internal affairs.2 steps their in nicious to In attack. order protect is the Morefrequently, concern withdirect areason their or states seekto control, at leastto neutralize, themselves, who buffer zones can alarm others to But attempts establish borders. will precedents be set,or who fearthatundesirable have stakesthere, When buffwill own vulnerability be increased. who believethattheir tendsto expansion of ers are are soughtin areas empty greatpowers, notedby as in to whatis acquired, was often feedon itself order protect was complaint typical: Balfour's those who opposedcolonialexpansion. of, "EverytimeI come to a discussion-atintervals say,fiveyears-I whichwe have got to guard,whichis supis findthere a new sphere the posed to protect gatewaysof India. Those gatewaysare getting India,and I do notknowhow farwest awayfrom and further further by they goingto be brought theGeneralStaff."3 are visible whenitinvolves territorial is Thoughthisprocess mostclearly with the increaseof less tangiblepower it expansion, oftenoperates of withit an expanbrings The and influence. expansion powerusually and to sion of responsibilities commitments; meet them,stillgreater will takemanypositions are subject that to The state poweris required. issues witha wide rangeof controversial It will be involved challenge. that to unrelated itscorevalues.And retreats would be seenas normal inif made by a smallpowerwould be takenas an indexof weakness if viting predation made by a largeone. in The thirdproblempresent international politicsbut not in the dilemma:manyofthemeansbywhicha state StagHunt is thesecurity the of In its decrease security others. domestic to tries increase security
2 Paul Schroeder,Metternich'sDiplomacy at Its Zenith, i82o-i823 (Westport,Conn.: Greenwood Press I969), I26. 3 Quoted in Michael Howard, The Continental Commitment(Harmondsworth, England: Penguin I974), 67.




and society, areseveral there ways increase safety one'sperson to the of neighproperty without endangering others. canmoveto a safer One borhood, barson thewindows, put avoiddarkstreets, keep a and Of from characters. course these measures distance suspicious-looking arenotconvenient, cheap, certain success. no onesavecrimor of But In politics, inalsneedbe alarmed a person if takes them. international however, state's one gain in security often inadvertently threatens in others. explaining In British policy navaldisarmamenttheinteron warperiod theJapanese, to Ramsey MacDonaldsaid that"Nobody But was wanted Japan be insecure."4 theproblem notwithBritish to of In the too, desires, with consequences herpolicy. earlier but periods, Britain needed navylargeenough keeptheshipping to lanes had a a a to state open. such navy But could avoid not being menace anyother witha coast that couldbe interdicted, or thatcouldbe raided, trade a building colonies thatcouldbe isolated. When Germany started powerful before navy World WarI, Britain objected itcouldonly that As aimed her. SirEdward at be an offensive the weapon Grey, Foreign VII: "If theGerman FleeteverbeSecretary, it to KingEdward put can to the this comes superior ours, German Army conquer country. kindto Germany; however risk this of for Thereis no corresponding couldbring anynearer us our to superior Fleetwas,no navalvictory was Berlin." The English navy position halfcorrect: Germany's was often instrument. theBritish But overlooked an anti-British whatthe withEngland, knewfullwell: "in every Germans German quarrel for and tradewere. . . hostages Englandto take."Thus, colonies it an she whether intended or not,theBritish Navyconstituted imof instrumentcoercion.5 portant

the are Given gloomy this picture, obvious question why wenotall is, what of dead?Or,toputitlessstarkly, kinds variables ameliorate the and dilemma? workings several The of of impact anarchy thesecurity
4Quoted in Gerald Wheeler, Prelude to Pearl Harbor (Columbia: University of Missouri Press i963), i67. 5Quoted in Leonard Wainstein, "The Dreadnought Gap," in Robert Art and Kenneth Waltz, eds., The Use of Force (Boston: Little,Brown I971), I55; Raymond Sontag, 1933), (New York: Appleton-Century-Croits European Diplomatic History, I871-1932 147. The French had made a similar argument 50 years earlier; see James Phinney Baxter III, The Introductionof the Ironclad Warship (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1933), I49. For a more detailed discussion of the securitydilemma, see Jervis, Perceptionand Misperceptionin InternationalPolitics (Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press I976), 62-76.



can be seenin terms theStagHuntor repeated of playsofthePrisoner's Dilemma.The Prisoner's Dilemma differs fromtheStag Hunt in that there no solution is thatis in thebestinterests all the participants; of thereare offensive well as defensive as incentives defectfromthe to coalition withthe others;and, if the game is to be playedonlyonce, inthe onlyrational response to defect. is But if the game is repeated definitely, latter the characteristic longerholds and we can analyze no thegame in terms similar thoseappliedto theStag Hunt. It would to be in theinterest each actorto have others of deprived thepowerto of defect;each would be willingto sacrifice this abilityif otherswere similarly restrained. if the others not,thenit is in the actor's But are interest retainthe powerto defect.'The game theory to matrices for thesetwo situations givenbelow,with the numbers the boxes in are beingtheorderof theactors' preferences.







We can see the logical possibilities rephrasing our question: by "Giveneither theabovesituations, of whatmakesit moreor lesslikely thatthe playerswill cooperateand arriveat CC?" The chancesof this willbe increased (i) anything increases achieving outcome that by: incentives cooperate increasing gains of mutualcooperation to the by the (CC) and/ordecreasing coststhe actorwill pay if he cooperates and theother that doesnot (CD); (2) anything decreases incentives the the fordefecting decreasing gainsof takingadvantage the other of by the (DC) and/orincreasing costsof mutualnoncooperation (DD); each side'sexpectation the otherwill thatincreases that (3) anything cooperate!7
6 Experimental for is in evidence thisproposition summarized James Tedeschi, Barry and Schlenker, ThomasBonoma, Conflict,Power, and Games (Chicago: Aldiner973), '35-4'. Dilemmagamesplayedin thelaboratory of 7The results Prisoner's support arguthis and AlbertChammah, Prisoner's Dilemma (Ann Arbor: ment.See AnatolRapoport of Pressi965), 33-50. Also see Robert University Michigan Axelrod, Conflictof Interest

(Chicago:Markham I970),






The fearof beingexploited(thatis, thecostof CD) moststrongly drives security the dilemma;one ofthemainreasons whyinternational lifeis notmorenasty, brutish, short thatstates notas vulnerand is are able as menare in a state nature. of Peopleareeasyto kill,butas Adam Smithrepliedto a friend who feared thattheNapoleonicWars would ruinEngland,"Sir,there a great is deal ofruinin a nation."8 easier The it is to destroy state, greater reason it either join a larger a the the for to and more secureunit,or else to be especially suspicious others, of to requirea largearmy, and, if conditions favorable, attackat the are to slightest provocation rather thanwait to be attacked. the failure If to eatthat day-be itvenison rabbit-means or a that will starve, person he is likelyto defect theStag Hunt evenif he reallylikesvenison in and has a highleveloftrust his colleagues. in (Defection especially is likely if theothers also starving if theyknow thathe is.) By contrast, are or ifthecosts CD are lower, peoplearewell-fed states resilient, of if or are they can afford takea morerelaxedview of threats. to A relatively costof CD has theeffect transforming game low of the fromone in whichbothplayers make theirchoicessimultaneously to one in whichan actorcan make his choiceafter otherhas moved. the He will nothave to defect of fearthattheother out will,but can wait to see whattheother thatcan afford be cheatedin a to will do. States or can bargain thatcannot destroyed a surprise be attack moreeasily by and ambiguous,sign of trustothersand need not act at the first, menace.Becausetheyhave a marginof timeand error, theyneed not armsin peacetime. or match, morethanmatch, any others' They can or evenat thestart thewar itself, of and mobilizein theprewar period For thosewho opposeda crashprogram destillsurvive. example, to of was veloptheH-bombfeltthattheU.S. margin safety largeenough so thateven if Russia managedto gain a lead in the race,America The program's advocates would not be endangered. "If disagreed: we becomes butcertain."' all lettheRussians thesuperfirst, get catastrophe not easierto When the costsof CD are tolerable, only is security low attain but,whatis evenmoreimporant here,therelatively levelof armsand relatively passiveforeign policythata status-quo powerwill Thus it is easierfor others. be able to adoptare less likelyto threaten
8 Quoted in Bernard Brodie, Strategyin the Missile Age (Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress 1959), 6. 9 Herbert York, The Advisors. Oppenh/7ei Teller, and the Superboinb (San Franner, cisco: Freeman I976), 56-60.



status-quo to acton their states common interests they hardto if are conquer. other All things being equal,a world small of states feel will theeffects anarchy of much more thana world large Defensiof ones. ble borders, largesize,and protection against sudden attack only not aid thestate, facilitate but cooperation canbenefit states. that all Of course, onestate if gains invulnerability bybeing more powerful than most others, problem remain the will because security its provides a basefrom which canexploit it others. Whentheprice state pay a will DD for is low,itleaves others fewhostages itsgoodbehavior. with for Others who aremorevulnerable growapprehensive, will which will leadthem acquire to more arms willreduce chances cooperand the of ation. The best situation onein which state notsuffer is a will greatly ifothers exploit for it, example, cheating an arms by on control agreement (that thecosts CD arelow); butitwillpaya high is, of long-run priceif cooperation the others with breaks down-forexample, if agreements functioningifthere a longwar(that thecosts cease or is is, ofDD arehigh).The state's invulnerability mostly is then passive; it provides someprotection, it cannot usedto menace but be others. As we willdiscuss below, situation approximated it is easier this is when forstates defend to themselves to attack than others, whenmutual or deterrence obtains neither canprotect side because itself. The differences between highly vulnerable lessvulnerable and states areillustrated thecontrasting by of policies Britain Austria and after theNapoleonic Wars. Britain's isolation political and stabilgeographic ityallowed to takea fairly her relaxed viewof disturbances the on Continent. Minor wars small and in changes territory thedistribuorin tionofpower notaffect vital did her An interests. adversary was who outto overthrow system the couldbe stopped after had madehis he intentions Andrevolutions clear. within other states wereno menace, since would set unrest within not off they England. surrounded Austria, was her had to be more by strong powers, notso fortunate; policy an attuned all conflicts. thetime aggressor-stateclearly to closely had By shownitscolors, Austria wouldbe gravely threatened. foreign And or be revolutions, theydemocratic nationalistic, would encourage to the order. itis notsurprising So in groups Austria upset existing that the summarized Metternich earlier, propounded doctrine whichdeAustria's to fended in affairs others, of right interferetheinternal and thisview.Similarly, leaders Austria thatBritish wanted the rejected to most Congress system be a relatively one,regulating disputes. tight a In favored lesscentralized in The British system. other words, order



to protect herself, Austria either threaten to harmothers, had to or whereas Britain not.For Austria herneighbors security did and the dilemma acute;forBritain wasnot. was it Theultimate ofCD is ofcourse ofsovereignty. cost cost loss This can vary from situation situation. lower is (forinstance, to The it because thetwostates havecompatible ideologies, similar are ethnically, have a common culture, because citizens thelosingstate or the of expect economic benefits), lesstheimpact thesecurity the of dilemma; the greater costs, greater impact thedilemma. is another the the the of Here reason whyextreme differences valuesand ideologies in exacerbate international conflict. It is throughthelowering thecosts CD thattheproposed of of Rhodesian "safety net"-guaranteeing whites leavethecounthat who try receive payment their will fair for property-would theparahave Thisis will doxical effect making more of that it likely thewhites stay. Prisonlesspuzzling when seethat whites in a multi-person we the are all er'sDilemma witheachother. that whites willing are to Assume of if if stay mostof theothers stay;but,in theabsence guarantees, all the to is to there going be a massexodus, wantto be among first and leave(because late-leavers getlessfor will their property willhave a to is more trouble finding country takethem Thentheproblem in). in eachperson rushes defect to toavoid self-fulfilling a prophecy which are to. the the others going In narrowing gapbetween because fears he last first the payoff leaving for (DC) and leaving (CD) byreducing to makeit easier thewhites coopfor the of cost thelatter, guarantees and themselves stay. erate among Decision of makers in terms the act Demands. Subjective Security can from actual which differ the we vulnerability feel, they situation; makers' the reexamine decision musttherefore subjective security are evenif they Two quirements.10 dimensions involved. First, agree can about howmuchsecurabout objective the situation, people differ aboutthepricethey to are itythey desire-or, putit moreprecisely, of The value to willing payto gainincrements security. morestates above their security allelse(that seea prohibitively cost CD), is, high in to to are and themorethey likely be sensitive evenminimal threats, of Andif arms positively are valued beto demand highlevels arms.
10 For thedevelopment theconcept subjective of see of Dissecurity, ArnoldWolfers, cordand Collaboration Johns HopkinsPressi962), In thepresent (Baltimore: can that security be bestserved increasing its believes thatthestate by we section assume underwhichthisassumption someof theconditions does itsarms;laterwe will discuss nothold.



it complex, willbe espefrom causeofpressures a military-industrial the By to powers cooperate. contrast, security status-quo cially hardfor concerns domestic when as dilemma notoperate strongly pressing will In costs the increase opportunity of armaments. thiscase,thenetadof and (DC) willbe less, thecosts arms the of vantage exploiting other the therefore state of races(thatis, one aspect DD) will be greater; invulnerable. relatively willbehave though were as it of is security theperception threat of aspect subjective The second A will cooperate)." state the of (thatis, theestimate whether other or state other as an adversary, a toseeeither specific that predisposed is and will reactmorestrongly more in as others general a menace, when Indeed, as benign. that a than state seesitsenvironment quickly to not that a state believes another onlyis notlikely be an adversary, it then will with in interests common ittobe an ally, buthassufficient power. in an welcome increase theother's actually illustrate years in policies theinterwar foreign and British French infelt Britain France that and After riseof Hitler, the these points. their thandecreased own rather increased in arms creases eachother's Gertoward followed states that policies these The security. differing of on dimensions the differencesboth by many be explained their can the Franceperof Throughout period, security.12 variable subjective did. The British thanEngland as ceived Germany moreof a threat could Germany that and more were optimistic argued conciliation turn immediin the of intoa supporter thestatus quo. Furthermore, years to had willing forego WarI, France beenmore World following ately followed and her to in other values order increase security hadtherefore a larger and than army maintaining England, a more policy belligerent As assertiveness. thisexample German to quickly counter moving should a state security one subjective say easily howmuch shows, cannot on to difficultcapitalize makeitvery seek. requirements Highsecurity of of off and interest runthedanger setting spirals arms a common in The price theI920'S. mayhavepaidthis races hostility. French and but avoid trap, runtheriskofhaving requirements this Low security an aggressor. to and toofewarms oftrying conciliate to related thepredisposition to perof security One aspect subjective
11The question whenan actor is and as will see another a threat important underof (althoughone marredby seriousmethodological studied.For a valuable treatment Ph.D. in Relations," flaws),see RaymondCohen, "ThreatPerception International on touched below,are factors, Amongthe important 1974). diss. (Hebrew University war. the lessonsfromthe previous Britain and France Between Two Wars is Wolfers, 12 Stillthebesttreatment Arnold Brace I940). (New York: Harcourt,



ceive threat thestate's ofhowmany is view enemies must prepared it be arms to fight. state be relaxed A can about increases another's ifit in The believes thatthere a functioning is collective security system. interchances peaceareincreased a world which prevailing of in in the national system valued itsownright, only is in not because most states restrain ambitions those their and whodo notaredeterred (these are of the usualclaims a Concert for system), alsobecause thedecreased but chances thestatus-quo that states engage unnecessary will in conflict in outof thequestforsecurity. Indeed, there if werecomplete faith the collective security, statewouldwantan army.By contrast, no security dilemma insoluble is wheneachstate fears many that others, farfrom coming itsaid,are likely join in anyattack. to to Winston a as Churchill, First LordoftheAdmiralty, setting highsecurity was requirement he noted: when there Besides Great the Powers, aremany small states arebuying who orbuilding ships warandwhose great of vessels bypurchase, may by be into some or by diplomatic combination, duress, brought theline to us. like their against Noneofthese powers need, us,navies defend actual of in safety independence. build They them as toplay part so a to world sport them. is death us.13 It to It It takes great effort anyone state be ableto protect for to itself alone against attack several an by neighbors. importantly, next More it is to in to for impossible all states thesystem havethiscapability. Thus,a will a that and others state's expectation allies be available that only few a it for condition security willbe abletojoinagainst is almost necessary requirementsbe compatible. to

of of and The maincosts a policy reacting to quickly severely inarmsare notthepriceof one'sown arms, in creases theother's but of rather sacrifice thepotential the gainsfrom cooperation (CC) and of arms races wars(DD). The and in theincrease thedangers needless to cooperation wait the the and greater costs, greater incentivestry these before evidence that forfairly must unambiguous assuming theother more Warswouldbe much if be checked force. by frequent-eventhe was werelessrisky of first choice all states thestatus quo-if they and did provide benefits. rich intercourse not and costly, ifpeaceful Ethiopia that of askedforguarantees theTerritory Afarsand Issas recently alliance it whenit gainedindependwouldnotjoin a hostile against

Quoted in Peter Gretton,Former Naval Person (London: Cassell i968), I5I.



for replied that thiswas notnecessary: ence.A spokesman theTerritory guarantee therailroad"that in had thebestpossible Ethiopia"already revenuefor the and providesindispensable links the two countries Territory."4 The basicpointsare well knownand so we can moveto elaboration. know thatto entera war is to setoffa chain of First, moststatesmen theysee Even if everything events. unpredictable uncontrollable and all to before theuncerthey points a quick victory, are likely hesitate to oftenproducesstartling results, do so tainties. And if the battlefield by chambers. The statemay be deserted allies or attacked the council of may rob it of the fruits by neutrals. the postwaralignment Or costsof victory, happenedto Japanin i895. Second,the domestic as by states can be undermined diswarsmustbe weighed.Even strong mobilizasatisfaction theway thewar is runand bythenecessary with of were one of the tionof men and ideas. Memories such disruptions the mainreasons theera ofrelative peace thatfollowed Napoleonic for feared thatlargearmies would lead to despotWars.Liberalstatesmen leadersfearedthatwars would lead to revolution. ism; conservative conse(The otherside of this coin is thatwhen thereare domestic conflict thatare positively valued,the net cost of quencesof foreign becomesmore difficult.) Thirdis conflict loweredand cooperation of stateswith large and to turning the advantages cooperation-for if economic are economies gainsfrom the diverse exchange rarely ever war. Norman Angell was wrong about World to sufficient prevent becauseof economicties among the powers; War I beingimpossible mostimportant WorldWar II, theU.S. was Japan's trading and before can not the partner. Fourth, gainsfromcooperation be increased, only valuessuchas wealth, also but if each sidegetsmoreof thetraditional Mutualcooperif each comesto value theother's well-being positively. in ationwill thenhave a double payoff: additionto the directgains, of will be thesatisfaction seeingtheother there prosper.15 will While highcostsof war and gainsfromcooperation ameliorate the impactof the security probtheycan createa different dilemma, are highenoughso thatDD is thelastchoiceforboth lem.If thecosts fromthe sides,the game will shiftto "Chicken."This game differs the from Stag Hunt in thateach actorseeksto exploit other;it differs in Dilemma in thatboth actorssharean interest avoiding Prisoner's
14 Michael Kaufman, "Tension Increases in French Colony," New York Times, July II, I976. 15 Experimental support for this argument is summarized in Morton Deutsch, The 8-95. (New Haven: Yale UniversityPress I973), Resolution Conflict of



mutual non-cooperation.Chicken, youthink other In if the side is going defect, havetocooperate to you because, although being exploited (CD) is bad,it is notas bad as a totalbreakdown (DD). As the familiar ofdeterrence logic shows, actor the must then toconvince try hisadversary he is going stand that to firm (defect) that only and the waytheother avoid can disaster tobackdown(cooperate). is Commitment, rationalityirrationality, the of manipulating communications the system, pretending tounderstand situation, among and not the are the tactics toreach goal.The samelogicapplies used this whenboth sides can areenjoying benefits cooperation. sidethat credibly The great from threaten disrupt relationship to the unless demands metcan its are use exploit other. situation not stable, the the This may be since frequent ofthreats be incompatible themaintenance a cooperative of may with relationship. de Gaulle's Still, successful threats break theComto up us monMarket unless partners his acceded hiswishes to remind that costs the shared as shared ofdefection benefits cooperationwellas the of for can provide basisforexploitation. the Similarly, reason the one a of Franco-British more entente than hundred earlier collapse the years on that own was that decision makers bothsidesfeltconfident their a intercountry couldsafely pursue policy was against other's that the the couldnotafford destroy highly to estbecause other the valued realizethatthegrowth positive Becausestatesmen of relationship." can others with newlevers influence of over interdependence provide wouldbe expected resist developments than more such them, may they of the that from theories stress advantages cooperation. the

the that state will be exploited a Defecting onlyavoids danger not the (CD), butbrings positive advantages exploiting other by (DC) of the the these The lower possible gains, greater chances cooperation. state to satisfied can be tempted expand thehope Evena relatively by The values. temptation belesswhen state will the ofgaining sees major its other waysof reaching goals,and/or placesa low valueon what The gainsmaybe low either couldbring. because the exploitation more arms immediate advantage provided DC (for by example, having be into than other the side)cannot translated a political advantage (for or the itself example, gainsin territory), because political advantage
16 Roger Bullen, Palmerston, Guizot, and the Collapse of the Entente Cordiale view of this case, see (London: Athlone Press I974), 8i, 88, 93, 2I2. For a different Stanley Mellon, "Entente, Diplomacy, and Fantasy," Reviews in European History, ii (September 1976), 376-80.



is nothighly valued.For instance, state a maynot seekto annexadditionalterritory becausethe latter lacks raw materials, inhabited is by peopleofa different ethnic group, wouldbe costly garrison, would to or be hard to assimilate without disturbing domestic politicsand values. A state can reducetheincentives another that state to attack by has it, notbeinga threat thelatter byproviding to and goodsand services that would be lostwerethe otherto attempt exploitation. Even wherethe direct advantages DC are great, of otherconsiderationscan reducethenetgain. Victory well as defeat as can setoffundesireddomestic changeswithinthe state.Exploitation at times has beenfrowned upon by theinternational community, reducing thus the prestige a state of thatengagesin it. Or others mightin the future be quickerto see thestate a menaceto them, as makingthemmorelikely to arm,and to opposeit later.Thus, Bismarck's to attempts get other withhim in maintaining status powersto cooperate the quo after i87I weremade moredifficult thewidely-held mistrust himthatgrew of by outofhisearlier aggressions.17

The variables discussed far influence payoffs each of the so the for four possible outcomes. decidewhatto do, thestate to go further To has and calculatethe expected value of cooperating defecting. or Because suchcalculations involveestimating probability the otherwill the that cooperate, statewill have to judge how the variables the so discussed faract on theother. encourage otherto cooperate, statemay a To the to thesevariables. can lowertheother's It try manipulate incentives to defect decreasing the whatit could gain by exploiting state(DC)by the detailswould be similarto thosediscussed the previous in paragraph-and it can raise the costsof deadlock (DD). But if the state for cannotmakeDD theworst outcome theother, coercion likelyto is run in theshort becausetheother respond refusing can be ineffective by in to cooperate, dangerous thelong runbecausetheother likely and is thatthestateis aggressive. thestatewill have So to becomeconvinced moreattractive. way to do to concentrate makingcooperation on One thisis to decreasethe coststhe otherwill pay if it cooperates the and statedefects (CD). Thus, the statecould tryto make the otherless in It vulnerable. was forthisreasonthat thelate 1950's and earlyi960's
17Similarly, a French diplomat has argued that "the worst result of Louis XIV's abandonment of our traditionalpolicy was the distrustit aroused towards us abroad." Jules Cambon, "The Permanent Bases of French Foreign Policy," Foreign Aflairs, viii (January I930), I79.



someAmerican defense analysts arguedthatit would be good forboth sidesiftheRussians developed hardened missiles. course, Of decreasing theother's vulnerability decreases state's also the ability coerce and to it, opensthepossibility the otherwill use thisprotection a shield that as behindwhichto engagein actions inimical thestate. to But bysacrificing someability harmtheother, state increase chances to the can the of mutually beneficial cooperation. The statecan also tryto increasethe gains thatwill accrueto the other from mutualcooperation (CC). Although state the will of course gain if it receives shareof any new benefits, a even an increment that accruesentirely theotherwill aid the stateby increasing likelito the hood thattheother will cooperate.18 This line of argument be continued can through infinite the regressions that game theory has made familiar. the otheris readyto If cooperate whenitthinks state the will,thestate increase chances can the ofCC byshowing Thus thestate should thatitis planning cooperate. to understate gainsit would make if it exploited other(DC) and the the or the costsit would pay if the otherexploitedit (CD), and stress exaggerate gains it would make undermutualcooperation the (CC) and the costsit would pay if thereis deadlock (DD). The statewill thatthe otheris likely also want to convince otherthatit thinks the If believes thesethings, will see thatthe state it to cooperate. theother in to and One has strong incentives cooperate, so it will cooperate turn. like the state, Becausethe other, pointshouldbe emphasized. may be if drivento defect thefearthatit will be exploited it does not,the by it stateshouldtryto reassure thatthiswill not happen.Thus, when his to Khrushchev indicatedhis willingness withdraw missilesfrom to stressed Kennedythat "we are of sound Cuba, he simultaneously well" thatRussia could not launch a mind and understand perfectly that theU.S., and therefore there was no reaattackagainst successful strike its a of son forthe U.S. to contemplate defensive, pre-emptive

a There is, however, danger.If the otherthinksthatthe statehas it threaten defect to unless littlechoicebut to cooperate, can credibly Great advantagesof the stateprovidesit with additionalbenefits. like mutualcooperation, high costsof war, providea leverfor com18 This assumes, however, that these benefitsto the other will not so improve the other's power position that it will be more able to menace the state in the future. 19Walter LaFeber, ed., The Dynamics of World Power; A Documentary History of II: Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (New United States Foreign Policy I945-I973, York: Chelsea House in association with McGraw-Hill I973), 700.



petitive bargaining. Furthermore, a state stress for to how muchitgains fromcooperation maybe to implythatit is gainingmuch morethan the otherand to suggest thatthe benefits shouldbe distributed more equitably. When each sideis ready cooperate it expects other inspecto if the to, tion devicescan ameliorate security the dilemma.Of course,even a perfect inspection system cannotguarantee thattheother will notlater developaggressive intentions the military and meansto act on them. But by relieving immediate worriesand providing warningof coming dangers, inspection meeta significant of the feltneed to can part protect oneself againstfuture threats, so make current and cooperation morefeasible. Similarfunctions servedby breaking one large are up transaction a series smaller into of ones.20 each transaction can At each seewhether other cooperated; itslosses, theother the has and if defects, will be small.And sincewhateither side would gain by one defection is slightcomparedto the benefits continued of the cooperation, prospects of cooperation high. Conflicts are and wars among status-quo powerswould be much more commonwere it not for the factthat international is politics usuallya seriesof small transactions. How a statesman interprets other'spast behaviorand how he the it projects into the future influenced his understanding the is of by security dilemmaand his ability place himself the other's to in shoes. The dilemmawill operatemuch more strongly statesmen not if do understand and do notsee thattheir the it, arms-sought onlyto secure othersand thatothers status quo-may alarm may arm,not because but fear attack from are the they contemplating aggression, becausethey of are first state.These two failures empathy linked.A statewhich knowsthatitwantsonlytopreserve status that the thinks theother quo and thatits arms are meantonly for self-preservation conclude will sidewill reactto itsarmsbyincreasing own capability thattheother its Since theotherside is notmenaced, itself. onlyif it is aggressive there is no legitimate reasonforit to objectto thefirst state's arms;therefore, objection provesthatthe otheris aggressive. exThus, the following Tom Connally Senator and Secretary StateAcheson of changebetween of the concerning ratification the NATO treaty: is at Acheson: Secretary [The treaty] aimedsolely armed aggression. In unless nation . . contemplates, a . Senator Connally: other words, toward or or meditates, makesplanslooking aggression armedattack it this on another nation, hasno causetofear treaty.

i963), I34-35-

The Strategy Conflict ThomasSchelling, Press of (New York: Oxford University



Secretary Acheson: Thatis correct, Senator Connally, it seems and to me thatanynation which claims thatthistreaty directed is against it shouldbe reminded the Biblicaladmonition 'The guilty of that flee no when manpursueth.' Senator Connally: Thatis a very illustration. apt WhatI had in mindwas,whena Stateor Nationpassesa criminal act,forinstance, against burglary, nobody those but who are burglars orgetting ready be burglars haveanyfear theBurglary to need of Act. Is that true? not Secretary Acheson: The onlyeffect law] wouldhave [on an [the innocent person]wouldbe forhis protection, perhaps, deterring by someone He wouldn't else. worry abouttheimposition thepenalties of on himself.21 The other sideof thiscoin is thatpartof theexplanation detente for is thatmostAmerican decision makers now realizethatit is at leastpossiblethatRussiamayfearAmericanaggression; manythinkthatthis fearaccounts a rangeof Sovietactions for previously as indicating seen Russian aggressiveness. officers Indeed, even 36 percentof military consider SovietUnion'smotivations be primarily the to defensive. Less thantwenty years earlier, officers beendividedoverwhether had Russia or sought worldconquest onlyexpansion.22 the who do not understand security dilemmawill think Statesmen thatthe moneyspentis the onlycostof buildingup theirarms.This restraint armsspending. on removes important one belief Furthermore, it is also likely lead states settheir to to too security requirements high. to that one's security can Sincetheydo notunderstand trying increase will overestimate amountof security the decrease they that actually it, thatwhenin doubtthey will think can "playit safe" is attainable; they theirarms.Thus it is verylikelythattwo states which by increasing the the dilemmawill support status butdo notunderstand security quo of end up, ifnotin a war,thenat leastin a relationship higher conflict situation. thanis required the objective by The beliefthatan increasein military strength alwaysleads to an is linkedto the beliefthatthe onlyrouteto in increase security often As a is security through military strength. a consequence, whole range Decision makerswho do of meliorative policieswill be downgraded. not believe that adoptinga more conciliatory posture, meetingthe
Bruce Russett and Elizabeth Hanson, Interestand Ideology (San Francisco: FreeI975), 260; Morris Janowitz, The Prolessional Soldier (New York: Free Press i960), chap. I322

Treaty, 8ist Cong.,ist sess. (1949),

21 U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings, North Atlantic I7.




coopermutual gains from grievances, developing or other's legitimate will muchattention their security, notdevote ation increase state's can oreffortthese to possibilities. dilemma to the On theother a sensitivity security hand, heightened it an as that will makes more it likely thestate treat aggressor though of quo. Partly because their defender thestatus of werean insecure to were of WarI, theBritish predisposed views about causes World the and oflegitimate limsought only rectification the believe Hitler that an by security best gained constructing could be ited grievances that and which, they a system. a result pursued policy As equitable international of unnecessary to although designed avoidthedanger creating well destroy Europe. Germany, helped conflict a status-quo with

fit A final we consideration noteasily in thematrix havebeen does of and it using, although can be seenas an aspect vulnerability ofthe with costs CD. Situations in theease or difficulty whichall of vary of a The achieve highdegree security. influstates simultaneously can is on variable thesubject thenext of enceofmilitary technology this of the and geography, section. Herewe wantto treat impact beliefs, to can commitments (manyofwhich be considered be modifications to areas outside hometheir bindstates defend ofgeography, they since were of continent Europe, security requirements lands).In thecrowded hardto mesh. Germany's probstates, Beingsurrounded powerful by and created Germany-was lem-or theproblem always great was by werebad, France Russia and with her when relations both even worse evena status-quo World War I. In that Germany, case, suchas before wouldalmost havebeen the notchange political ifshecould situation, Plan. like she forced adoptsomething theSchlieffen Because could to she to one both herenemies, hadtobe prepared defeat of notholdoff in fashion. If and quickly thendeal withtheother a moreleisurely the state Gerand out or France Russia stayed ofa warbetween other to the (evenif many, wouldallowGermany dominate Continent they had was notGermany's that aim). Theytherefore to denyGermany less thus Germany's Although thisability, making Germany secure. for with desire an unreasonthe and behavior, coupled arrogant erratic to desire escape amounted the level security of to from (which ably high the even hergeographic compounded problem, wiseGerman plight), of wouldhavebeenhardputtogaina highdegree security statesmen their without neighbors. alarming



A similarsituation arose for France afterWorld War I. She was committed protecting allies in EasternEurope,a commitment to her shecouldmeetonlybytaking offensive the against Germany. since But there was no wayto guarantee Francemight laterseekexpanthat not sion,a Francethatcould successfully launchan attack response a in to GermanmoveintoEastern Europewould constitutepotential a danger to German core values. Similarly, United Statescredibly a able to threaten retaliation withstrategic nuclearweaponsif the SovietUnion attacks Western Europealso constitutesmenace, a albeita reducedone, to theSovietability maintain status to the quo. The incompatibility of thesesecurity requirements not complete. is Herman Kahn is correct in arguingthatthe UnitedStatescould have Type II deterrence (the a to ability deter majorSovietprovocation) without first-strike gaining because expected the capability Soviet retaliation an following American strike could be greatenoughto deterthe U.S. fromattacking unless the U.S. believedit would suffer enormous deprivation (for instance, thelossof Europe) ifit did notstrike.23 the Similarly, Franco-German military balance could have been such thatFrance could successfully attack in Germany thelatter's if armies wereembroiled Eastern Europe, butcouldnotdefeat Germany was free devote herresources a that to all to defending herself. thisdelicate But balanceis veryhard to achieve, especiallybecause statesusually calculate conservatively. Therefore, sucha solution notlikely be available. is to For the United States,the problemposed by the need to protect mostof its history, country this Europe is an exception. Throughout has been in a much more favorable position:relatively self-sufficient it from and secure relainvasion, has notonlybeen able to get security but But tively cheaply, by doingso, did notmenaceothers.24 ambitions have changed this situation. and commitments Afterthe American "neither UnitedStates Japancould the of nor conquest thePhilippines, for territories military navalmeanswithand assure protection their by the out compromising defensesof the other.This problemwould statesmen down to I94I."25 Furtherplague Americanand Japanese thatJapancould protect she more,to the extent herself, could resist to threats go to war if Japandid not respect China's indeAmerican
had no intentionof fulfillingher obligations once Germany became strong. 24Wolfers (fn. 9), chap. I5; C. Vann Woodward, "The Age of Reinterpretation," American Historical Review, Vol. 67 (October i960), i-i9. (Austin: Uni25 William Braisted, The United States Navy in the Pacific, 1897-1909 of versity Texas Press1958), 240.
23 Kahn, On Thermonuclear War (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress i960), 138because France 6o0 It should be noted that the French example is largely hypothetical



were to pendence. These complications minor compared thosethat cannot buthavetheabilfollowed World WarII. A world power help to ity harm to many others is outofproportion theothers' that ability toharm it. to others a Britain beenabletogainsecurity without had menacing one greater degree than Continental the powers, though a lesser than to on and theUnited States. theacquisition colonies a dependence But of foreign trade sacrificed relative her invulnerability ofbeingan island.

Once shetookIndia,shehad to consider Russiaas a neighbor; latter the was expanding Central in for Asia,thusmakingitmuchmoredifficult bothcountries feelsecure. to The need to maintain reliable lanesto sea India meantthat state no couldbe allowedto menaceSouthAfrica and, later, Egypt. Buttheneed to protect thesetwoareasbrought new fears, new obligations, and new security requirements conflicted that with thoseof otherEuropeannations. Furthermore, Britain once needed a flowof imports duringbothpeace and wartime, requireda navy she thatcouldprevent blockade. navysufficient thattaskcould not a A for help butbe a threat any otherstatethathad valuabletrade. to A related problem raisedbythefactthatdefending status is the quo oftenmeans protecting more than territory. Nonterritorial interests, norms,and the structure the international of system mustbe maintained. all status-quo If powersagreeon these valuesand interpret them in compatible ways,problems will be minimized. thepotential But for conflict great, is and thepoliciesfollowedare likelyto exacerbate the security dilemma.The greater range of interests have to be the that protected, more likelyit is thatnationalefforts maintainthe the to status quo will clash.As a Frenchspokesman it in I930: "Security! put The termsignifies more indeed than the maintenance a people's of or territories the homeland, evenoftheir beyond seas.It also meansthe for of the of maintenance theworld'srespect them, maintenance their in economicinterests, everything a word,whichgoes to make up the of is of the grandeur, lifeitself, the nation.""When security thought has it in thissense, almostautomatically a competitive connotation. It state's will overothers, a high degree one involves asserting showing a and if demeanor. ofleadership notdominance, displaying prickly The behaviorwill almostsurelyclash with that of otherswho resulting in definetheirsecurity the same way. if will be almostinsoluble statesmen believethattheir The problem or of the "That which security requires threatening attacking others.

Cambon (fn. I7), I85.



stopsgrowingbegins to rot," declareda minister Catherinethe to Great.27 Morecommonis thebelief thatiftheother secure, will be is it emboldened actagainst to one'sown state's interests, thebelief and that in a war it will notbe enoughforthestate protect to itself: mustbe it able to takethewar to theother's homeland. These convictions makeit verydifficult status-quo for states developcompatible to security policies,fortheylead the stateto concludethatits security requiresthat others rendered be insecure. In othercases,"A country engagedin a war of defense mightbe obligedforstrategic reasons assumetheoffensive," a Frenchdeleto as gate to an interwar disarmament conference it.28 put That was the caseforFrancein I799: The Directory's political objectives wereessentially defensive, the for French wanted only protect Republic to the from invasion preserve and thesecurity territory thesatellite and of regimes Holland,Switzerin land,and Italy. French leaders sought new conquests; no they wanted onlyto preserve earlier the gainsof theRevolution. Directory The beto a offensive enable nation could the lieved, however, only military that achieve defensive its political objective. inflicting and decisive By rapid members thecoalition, directors of the defeats upononeormore hoped to to rupture alliedunity force individual and powers seeka separate

thatFrancewas not attackIt did notmatter thesurrounding to states but in ing becauseshewas greedy, becauseshe wantedto be left peace. could provideFrancewith was someway her neighbors Unlessthere an alternate routeto hergoal,Francehad to go to war.

Anotherapproachstarts with the centralpoint of the security didecreases security lemma-that an increasein one state'ssecurity the of others-and examines conditions the underwhich thisproposition are defensive holds.Two crucialvariables involved:whether weapons from offensive the and policiescan be distinguished ones,and whether
27 Quoted in Adam Ulam, Expansion and Co-Existence (New York: Praeger i968), 5. In I920 the U.S. Navy's General Board similarlydeclared "A nation must advance or retrocedein world position." Quoted in William Braisted, The United States Navy in the Pacific, 1909-1922 (Austin: Universityof Texas Press I971), 488. 28 Quoted in Marion Boggs, Attemptsto Define and Limit "Aggressive" Armament in Diplomacy and Strategy (Columbia: University of Missouri Studies, xvi, No. i, I94'), 4I. 29 Steven Ross, European Diplomatic History,1789-i815 (Garden City,N.Y.: Doubleday i969), I94.



defense theoffense theadvantage. definitions notalways or has The are clear, many and cases difficult are tojudge, these variables but two shed a great oflight thequestion whether deal on of status-quo powers will adoptcompatible security policies. thevariables All discussed far so leave heart the the of problem untouched. when But defensive weapons differ offensive it is possible a state makeitself from ones, for to more secure without making others secure. less And whenthedefense has theadvantage theoffense,largeincrease one state's over a in security only slightly decreases security theothers, status-quo the of and powers canall enjoy highlevelofsecurity largely a and escape from state the ofnature.

When say the we that offense theadvantage, simply has that we mean it is easier destroy other's to the army takeitsterritory it is and than to defend one'sown.Whenthedefense theadvantage, is easier has it toprotect toholdthan is tomove and it and If forward, destroy, take. effective defenses be erected can quickly, attacker be able to an may keepterritory has taken an initial he in victory. Thus,thedominance ofthedefense hardforBritain France pushGerand madeit very to in many ofFrance WorldWar I. Butwhensuperior out are defenses on difficult an aggressor improvise thebattlefield must for to and be no constructed during assistance him. to peacetime, provide direct they The security is whencommitments, dilemma at its mostvicious or dictate thatthe onlyrouteto security lies strategy, technology must thenactlikeaggressors; through expansion. Status-quo powers for thefactthatthey wouldgladlyagreeto forego opportunity the in has for for expansion return guarantees their security no implicais as for Evenif expansion notsought a goal in tions their behavior. in of there will be quickand drastic itself, changes thedistribution when has and territory influence. Conversely, thedefense theadvanmore without themselves secure states tage, status-quo canmake gravely if has of others.30 endangering Indeed, thedefense enough an advannot will are and tage ifthestates ofroughly equalsize, only thesecurity from states but toinhibit dilemma cease status-quo cooperating, aggresthus international sionwill be nextto impossible, rendering anarchy cannot If eachother, thenthe relatively unimportant.states conquer
30 Thus, when Wolfers statethatsettles for (fn. IO), I26, arguesthata status-quo may thanseeking preponderance, be rather of roughequality powerwithitsadversary, itself, thatit wantsonlyto protect by to the able to convince other reciprocate showing thatthe defense an advantage. he has notmenacethe other, assumes



lackof sovereignty, it of although presents problems collective goods in a number areas, longer of no forces states devote to their primary attention self-preservation. to Although, force if werenotusable, there would be fewer restraints the use of nonmilitary on instruments, these rarely are powerful enough threaten vitalinterests a to the of major state. Two questions theoffense-defense canbe separated. of balance First, doesthestate haveto spend more lessthan dollar defensive or one on forces offset dollar to each spent theother on forces could by side that be usedtoattack? thestate onedollar spend increasing If has to on its security, should putitinto it offensivedefensive or forces? Second, with a given inventoryforces, itbetter attack to defend Is there of is to or ? an incentive strike or to absorb other's to first the blow?Thesetwo aspects often are linked: eachdollar if spent offense overcome on can eachdollar on and spent defense, ifbothsides havethesamedefense budgets, both likely build then are to offensive andfind attracforces it attack tive to rather towaitfortheadversary strike. than to Theseaspects affect security in the dilemma different The first ways. hasitsgreatest on races. thedefense theadvantage, If has impact arms andifthestatus-quo have powers reasonable subjective security requirements, canprobably they avoidan arms race.Although increase an in oneside's and will arms security still the decrease other's the security, former's than latter's the increase belarger will decrease. ifoneside So can its increases arms, other bring security up toitsprevious its the back amount itsforces. to And if thefirst levelby addinga smaller side to its will reacts this than stimulus change, increase alsobe smaller the it. will that produced Thus a stable equilibrium be reached. Shifting each sidecan be quitesecure from to dynamics statics, withforces if of is roughly equaltothose theother. more Indeed, thedefense much each thantheoffense, sidecan be willing haveforces to potent much and to thantheother's, can be indifferenta widerangeof smaller defense theother's policies. it to or The second aspect-whether is better attack to defendWhentheoffense theadvantage, has short-run influences a stability. tension will increase chances to the reaction international state's of for and fear war.The incentives pre-emption the"reciprocal of sursituation beenmadeclearbyanalyses the have in attack" this prise of whentwocountries have first-strike thatexist dangers capabilities.31 to its the is without There no wayfor state increase security menacing,
31Schelling 20), chap.9. (fn.



preventive who EvenBismarck, oncecalled attacking, other. the oreven said that"no governfrom fearof death," suicide war committing even war if ment, itregards as inevitable ifit doesnotwantit,would and occasion of the as be so foolish toleaveto theenemy choice time for is convenient theenemy."32 which most for andtowait themoment in to applies thepoliceman a dark dilemma the In another arena, same a to who appears be holding criminal a suspected alleyconfronting dilemma the be mayindeed present, security racism Though weapon. in people the of shootings innocent of canaccount many thetragic for ghettos. the has about course a warin which offense theadvanof Beliefs the are Whenthere incentives dilemma. the deepen security tagefurther side the so attack usually weaken other will first, tostrike a successful It and decisive. is in quick,bloodless, will thatvictory be relatively conthat and is periods whenconquest possible attractive states these barons the by instance, destroying feudal internally-for power solidate that consequences decrease Thereareseveral externally. -and expand First, will be war states. status-quo among of thechance cooperation high. will The for profitable thewinner. costs be low andthebenefits to states couldinduce the losers will suffer; fearof losing Of course, ofvicbut arrangements, thetemptation cooperative stable try form to because wars are difficult. Second, will makethisparticularly tory for and there frequent short, willbeincentives high to expected beboth reaction theother's to increases and quickand strong of levels arms, is to afford waituntilthere unambiguous cannot in arms. The state states that new Evenlarge is that evidence theother building weapons. the cannot because warwill in economic wait, strength havefaith their whenwars can Third, their products reachthearmy. be overbefore Without the alliesin advance.33 will are quick,states haveto recruit and duringthe opening for opportunity bargaining re-alignments of loses of diplomacy a degree thefluidity peacetime stages hostilities, mustbe Becausealliances policies. thatfacilitates balance-of-power to is the system morelikely secured peacetime, international during more becomes war It is hardto saywhether therefore become bipolar. the tension between two increases but or less likely, thisbipolarity of states it for and camps makes harder status-quo to gainthebenefits threshif are statesmen's Fourth, wars frequent, perceptual cooperation. will be quickto perceive and accordingly they oldswill be adjusted
Quoted in Fritz Fischer,War of Illusions (New York: NortonI975), 377, 46i. 33 George Quester, Oflense and Defense in the International System (New York: WileyI977), I05-06; Sontag(fn.5), 4-5. John



Thus, are that as evidence indicating others aggressive. there ambiguous in eachother against arming powers casesofstatus-quo willbe more is belief the theincorrect that other hostile. is all has Whenthedefense theadvantage, theforegoing reversed. that doesnotpre-empt-since wouldbe a attack that fears The state an to prepares receive rather resources-but wasteful ofitsmilitary use and of the doesnotdecrease security others, several Doingso attack. be will can the states do it simultaneously; situation therefore stable, Kahn WhenHerman will powers be abletocooperate. andstatus-quo . to "are too that argues ultimatums vastly dangerous givebecause . . he strike,"34incorrectly off to are they quitelikely touch a pre-emptive first. to advantageous strike that assumes it is always is Whenthedefense domdynamics. is than More involved short-run and to stalemates can be won onlyat warsare likely become inant, and larger can small enormous Relatively andweakstates holdoff cost. of to attack raising costs conquest an the by ones, stronger orcandeter in they do to can equality what then unacceptable States approach level. fortificaWest, Likethe.45-caliber in theAmerican pistol eachother. in Changes thestatus in periods. equalizer" some were "great the tions the wherever is common and quo arelessfrequent cooperation more reduced. is dilemma thereby security can by arguments be illustrated themajorpowers' Manyof these the wars. Bismarck's wars preceding twoworld in policies theperiods and had that offense theadvantage, the statesmen showing by surprised into and decisive. Falling a comcheap, quite relatively quick, bybeing The this into observers projected pattern thefuture.35 resultmonerror, effects. states had First, semi-permanent sought ingexpectations several III of In War, stages theFranco-Prussian Napoleon had allies. theearly to of Austria his wouldbe plenty timeto recruit that thought there defense this to were Second, Now,others notgoing repeat mistake. side. to on werehighandreacted quitesharply increases theother budgets fits of races this that theory arms side.It is notsurprising Richardson's Eurothat decision makers most well.Third, thought thenext period
(fn. see the from past, Jervis 5), learning of discussion suchmistaken For a general understood questionof why this and still not completely chap. 6. The important in Brodie, the throughout war is examined Bernard and formed was maintained belief "Technological Change, 262-70; Brodie, I973), War and Politics (New York:Macmillan ed., in Outcomes," Klaus Knorr, Historical Dimensions and Doctrine, Political Strategic





(also see


of National Security Problems (Lawrence: UniversityPress of Kansas i976), II7-43.

in 1900-14," and Douglas Porch,"The FrenchArmyand the Spiritof the Offensive, BrianBond and Ian Roy,eds., War and Society (New York: Holmes & Meier i975),




pean war would notcostmuchbloodand treasure.36 is one reason That whywar was generally seen as inevitable and why mass opinionwas so bellicose. Fourth, oncewar seemed likely, there werestrong pressures to pre-empt. Bothsidesbelievedthatwhoever movedfirst could penetrate otherdeep enoughto disrupt the mobilization and thusgain an insurmountable advantage. (There was no suchbeliefabouttheuse of navalforces. Although Churchill madean ill-advised speech saying that ifGermanships"do notcomeoutand fight timeofwar they in will be dug out like ratsin a hole,"37 everyone knew thatsubmarines, mines, and coastalfortifications made thisimpossible. at the start the So of war each navypreparedto defenditself ratherthan attack, and the short-run destabilizing forcesthatlaunchedthe armiestowardeach otherdid not operate.)38 Furthermore, side knew thatthe other each saw the situation same way,thusincreasing perceived the the danger thattheother would attack, to and givingeach added reasons precipitatea warifconditions seemed favorable. thelongand theshort In run, and to This there werethusbothoffensive defensive incentives strike. in situation castslighton thecommonquestion aboutGermanmotives unleashthe war deliberately becomea world to I9I4: "Did Germany Austria to a poweror did she support merely defend weakening ally," ?3 her thereby protecting own position To some extent, question this is misleading. of war Becauseof the perceived advantage the offense, and to avoiding was seen as the bestroutebothto gainingexpansion drasticloss of influence. There seemed to be no way for Germany her and safeguard existing to merely retain position. to Of coursethe war showedthesebeliefs have been wrongon all an and machine Trenches points. gunsgave thedefense overwhelming and produced becamedeadlocked horrendous The fighting advantage. to It to casualties. made no senseforthe combatants bleed themselves had knownthe powerof the defense death.If they beforehand, they own trenches rather thanfortheenemy's for would have rushed their the Each territory. sidecouldhave done thiswithout increasing other's
36 Some were not so optimistic.Gray's remark is well-known: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time."The German Prime Minister,Bethmann Hollweg, also feared the consequences of the war. But the controllingview was that it would certainlypay for the winner. 37 Quoted in Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill,III, The Challenge of War, I9I4I9I6 (Boston: Houghton MifflinI971), 84. 38 Quester (fn. 33), 98-99. Robert Art, The Influence of Foreign Policy on Seapower, II (Beverly Hills: Sage Professional Papers in International Studies Series, I973),

14-i8, 26-28. 39 Konrad Jarausch,"The Illusion of Limited War: Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg's Calculated Risk, JulyI914," Central European History,ii (March i969), 50.



incentives strike. might to War havebroken anyway, as DD out just is a possible outcome Chicken, atleast pressures time of but the of and thefear allowing other getthefirst of the to blowwouldnothavecontributed this to end.And,had both sides known costs thewar, the of they would havenegotiated more much seriously. obvious The question is whythestates notseeka negotiated did settlement soonas the as shapeof thewar became clear.Schlieffen said thatif his plan had failed, peaceshould sought.40 answer complex, be The is uncertain, and of largely outside thescope ourconcerns. part thereason of was But of thehopeand sometimes expectation breakthroughs be the that could madeandthedominance theoffensive of restored. Without hope, that thepolitical psychological and pressures fight a decisive to to victory might havebeenovercome. The politics theinterwar of of wereshaped thememories period by theprevious conflict thebelief anyfuture wouldresemble and that war it.Political military in and lessons each reinforced other ameliorating thesecurity dilemma. it thattheFirstWorld Because was believed Warhadbeena mistake couldhavebeenavoided skillful that conby ciliation, Britain toa lesser both France and, extent, were sensihighly tive thepossibility interwar to that was to Germany nota realthreat and to that and to peace, alert thedanger reacting quickly strongly her conflict. because And Britain France and arms couldcreate unnecessary to expected defense continue dominate, concluded it the to that they wassafe adopt more a to and relaxed nonthreatening military posture.41 Britain felt needto maintain also less alliance bonds. The Allies' tight to had military posture constituted a slight then only danger Germany; thelatter withthestatus beencontent quo, it wouldhavebeeneasy for behind their both sides havefelt to secure lines fortifications. of Of course Germans the werenotcontent, it is notsurprising they so that to and devoted their money attention finding waysoutof a defensetactics werenecessary they dominated if stalemate. wereto Blitzkrieg useforce change status to the quo. Front of also contrasted The initial stages thewaron theWestern the War.Onlywith newairarmwerethere World with First the any
Brodie (fn. 8), 58. and the American Roosevelt President delegatesto the League of NationsDishad rearmament Conference maintained that the tank and mobile heavyartillery thus makingdisarmament the of more urgent established dominance the offensive, (Boggs,fn.28, pp. 31, io8), but thiswas a minority position and maynot even have The reducedprestige and influence the military, been believedby the Americans. of to and the highpressures cut government this spending throughout periodalso conof to tributed the lowering defense budgets.



incentivesstrike andthese to first, forces tooweaktocarry the were out grandiose plansthat had beenbothdreamed feared. armies, and The to Perhaps stillthemaininstrument, rushed defensive the positions. alliescouldhavesuccessfully attacked whiletheGermans wereoccupiedin Poland.42 belief thedefense so great But in was that was this never seriously contemplated. months thestart thewar, Three after of theFrench Prime Minister summed theviewheldbyalmost up everyonebutHitler: theWestern on Front there "deadlock. Forces is Two of equalstrength theonethat and attacks seeing such enormous casualties that cannot it movewithout endangering continuationthewar the of oroftheaftermath."43 Allies The were caught a dilemma never in they fully recognized, alonesolved. theonehand, let On they very had high waraims;although unconditional surrender notyet had beenadopted, theBritish decided from start theremoval Hitler had the that of was a necessary condition peace.44 theother for On wereno hand,there realistic plansor instruments allowing Alliesto impose for the their willon theother side.The British Chief theImperial of General Staff noted, "The French haveno intention carrying an offensive of out for years, at all"; theBritish if wereonlyslightly bolder.45 theAllies So to looked a longwarthat would wear Germans the cause civilian down, suffering through shortages, eventually and undermine Hitler. There waslittle to this it analysis support view-andindeed probably not was was supportable-butlongas thedefense dominant thenumbers as and on eachsiderelatively equal,whatelsecouldtheAlliesdo? To summarize, security the dilemma muchlesspowerful was after In the WarI than hadbeenbefore. thelater it World period, expected states pursue to allowedstatus-quo powerof thedefense compatible races. and security policies avoidarms and Furthermore, tension high fearof war did notsetoffshort-run dynamics whicheach state, by to its acted trying increase security, inadvertently to makewar more of led Allies believe to The likely. expected costs war, high however, the
42 Jon Kimche, The Unjought Battle (New York: Stein i968); Nicholas William Bethell, The War Hitler Won: The Fall of Poland, September 1939 (New York: Holt I972); Alan Alexandroff and Richard Rosecrance, "Deterrence in I939," World Politics, XXIX (April I977), 404-2443 Roderick Macleod and I937-I940

Denis Kelly, eds., Time Unguarded: The Ironside Diaries, (New York: McKay i962), I73. 4 For a short time, as France was falling,the BritishCabinet did discuss reaching a negotiated peace with Hitler. The officialhistory ignores this, but it is covered in P.M.H. Bell, A Certain Eventuality (Farnborough, England: Saxon House I974), 40-48. 45 Macleod and Kelly (fn. 43), I74. In flatcontradiction to common sense and almost everythingthey believed about modern warfare, the Allies planned an expedition to Scandinavia to cut the supply of iron ore to Germany and to aid Finland against the Russians. But the dominant mood was the one described above.



run entailed an attempt in that saneGerman no leader would therisks war themfrom risking to dominate Continent, discouraged the and themselves. Technology geography thetwo and are Technology Geography. and has whether offense thedefense the the or mainfactors determine that "On tactical level, a rule, physical as few advantage. Brodie As notes, the favor defender. defender the The factors favor attacker many the but beHe fires usually theadvantage cover. characteristically from has of form shelter crosses openground."46 hindsome of whilehisopponent of the has Anything increases amount ground attacker tocross, that the while orimpedes progress it, himmore vulnerable his across ormakes accruing thedefense. to Whenstates crossing, increases advantage the dilemma these effects, security the areseparated barriers produce by that being adequate defense for without is eased, since both haveforces can to attack. war; in barriers wouldactually prevent able Impenetrable zones for reality, decision makers tosettle a gooddealless.Buffer have time they give slowtheattacker's progress; thereby thedefender to of the and increase problems logistics, reduce number solof prepare, At diersavailable thefinalassault. theend of the i9thcentury, for "So Arthur Balfour "non-conducting" qualities. notedAfghanistan's it for few and longas itpossesses roads, no railroads,willbe impossible at numerical to use Russia makeeffective ofhergreat superiorityany The buffers valued for point immediately totheEmpire." Russians vital Persia being was that divided it the same reasons; isnotsurprising when of someyears the later, intoRussian and British spheres influence that would refrain building from assurances theBritish Russians sought in railroads their sincerailroad sphere. Indeed, potentially menacing the of to themaltered abilities countries defend construction radically notes and muchintelliselves to attack and many diplomatic others, on in centered thissubject.47 gence activity thelatei9thcentury the and serve same function as ranges Oceans, large rivers, mountain allowdefense zones.Beinghardto cross, buffer superior they against to on has The numbers. defender merely stay his sideof thebarrier all andso canutilize themenhecanbring toit.The attacker's men, up a fewat a time, they very and are vulnerable can however, cross only
Brodie(fn. 8), I79. on Committee Imperial Defence, April30, I903, "Memorandum," Arthur Balfour, in by Nicolson, G. P. Gooch and Harold Tempp. 2-3; see the telegrams Sir Arthur perley, eds.,British Documents on the Origins of the War, Vol. 4 (London: H.M.S.O. the do not prevent passageof long-range but 1929), 429, 524. These barriers aircraft; usuallyaids the defender. evenin the air,distance
46 47



islands, would whendoingso. If all states wereself-sufficient anarchy investmentshore in defenses a and bemuch ofa problem. small less A invasion. Onlyvery weakstates small army would sufficient be torepel largeonescouldmenace others. wouldbe vulnerable, onlyvery and and extent Great Britain, As noted above, United the States, to a lesser from state nature the of because their havepartly beenableto escape this geographical positions approximated ideal. borbe to to Although geography cannot changed conform borders, ders anddo change conform geography. can to Borders across which to an attack easy States living within them likely are is tend beunstable. to to expand be absorbed. warsare almost inevitable since or Frequent wayto protect whatone has.This attacking often will seemthebest when state's the borders reachprocess stop, atleast will or slowdown, line obstacles. Security withbyexpansion contraction-a ofnatural or Furthermore, linesconstitute these out attack will thenbe possible. problems to theextent they and, that salient solutions bargaining to to divide ethnic groups, thereby are barriers migration, likely to are for the raising costs lowering incentives conquest. the and to one and Attachmentone'sstate itslandreinforce quasi-geographbecomes moredifficult the usually ical aid to thedefense. Conquest into Nationalism the spurs territory. deeper attacker pushes theother's not the advancing only lengthens attackthedefendersfight to harder; him unfamiliar often and but devastated er'ssupply lines, takes through for lands that duty. dynamics require troops garrison Thesestabilizing war if is will notoperate, however, thedefender's materiel situated do but their or state, only nearitsborders, ifthepeople notcareabout will side. feedback on thewinning In suchcases, about positive being will defeats be insurmountable.48 be at workand initial men to barriers. Treaties may Imitating geography, havetried create zones sides theborder, of for although provide demilitarized on both to more than be warning. suchzoneswillrarely deepenough provide in but a Even thiswas not possible Europe, the Russians adopted than of that railroads wasbroader that theneighboring for gauge their the of problems anyattackerstates, thereby complicating logistics Russia. including and atsuccessful the Perhaps mostambitious at leasttemporarily that of a system wouldaid thedefenses both sides to tempts construct as affected navaltreaties, they weretheinterwar Japanese-American
48 See, for example, the discussion of warfare among Chinese warlords in Hsi-Sheng Chi, "The Chinese Warlord System as an International System," in Morton Kaplan, ed., New Approaches to InternationalRelations (New York: St. Martin's i968), 405-25.



was thattheUnitedStates earlier, problem the relations. mentioned As to denying Japanthe ability without could notdefend Philippines the (In protect her home islands.49 I94I thisdilemmabecame insoluble to her to whenJapan sought extend control Malayaand theDutchEast they had been invulnerable, could have proIndies.If thePhilippines shipJapanese whichtheU.S. could interdict videda secure base from to ping between homelandand theareasshe was trying conquer.) the In theI920's and earlyi930's eachsidewouldhavebeenwilling grant to in for and grant, theother for security itspossessions return a reciprocal were designedto apthe Washington Naval Conference agreements diplomatlaterput it, theircountry's proachthisgoal. As a Japanese insufficient attack for was to have "a strength "fundamental principle" Thus, Japanagreedin I922 to accepta and adequatefordefense."50 and as largeas thatof theUnitedStates, theU.S. navyonlythree-fifths its beenforced islands."'(Japanhad earlier agreednotto fortify Pacific to agree not to fortify islandsshe had takenfromGermanyin the World War I.) Japan'snavy would not be large enough to defeat the other thancloseto thehomeislands. Although America's anywhere not be Japanese could stilltakethePhilippines, onlywould they unable but to movefarther, theymightbe weakenedenoughby theirefforts An to be vulnerable counterattack. to however, gained security. Japan, more difficult because the American Americanattackwas rendered and bases were unprotected because,until i930, Japanwas allowed numbers cruisers, of and thatcould destroyers, submarines unlimited as the fleet it madeitswayacross ocean.52 weakentheAmerican of balanceis techThe othermajordeterminant theoffense-defense vulnerable, theymustbe employed nology. When weaponsare highly can Others remainquiteinvulnerable their in before theyare attacked. characteristics embodiedin unprotected are missiles bases.The former and manykindsof bombers. shouldbe notedthatit is not vulner(It but of Bombability se thatis crucial, thelocation thevulnerability. per that ersand missiles are easyto destroy onlyafter havingbeenlaunched do towardtheirtargets not createdestabilizing dynamics.)Incentives for thatare threatened are first usuallyabsent naval forces to strike by
thought that the best Some American decision makers, including militaryofficers, way out of the dilemma was to abandon the Philippines. 50 Quoted in Elting Morrison,Turmoil and Tradition: A Study of the Life and Times of Henry L. Stinson (Boston: Houghton Mifflini960), 326. 51 The U.S. "refusedto consider limitationson Hawaiian defenses,since these works posed no threatto Japan." Braisted (fn. 27), 6I2. 52 That is part of the reason why the Japanese admirals stronglyobjected when the ratio in lighter craft in I930. Stephen civilian leaders decided to accept a seven-to-ten Pelz, Race to Pearl Harbor (Cambridge: Harvard UniversityPress I974), 3.



a naval attack.Like missiles hardenedsilos,theyare usuallywell in protected when in theirbases.Both sidescan thensimultaneously be prepared defendthemselves to successfully. In groundwarfare undersomeconditions, forts, trenches, small and groupsof men in preparedpositions can hold offlarge numbers of attackers. Less frequently, few attackers storm defenses. a can the By and large,it is a contest betweenfortifications supporting and light and weaponson theone hand,and mobility heavier weaponsthatclear thewayfortheattack theother. theerroneous on As viewsheld before thetwo worldwars show,thereis no simpleway to determine which is dominant. "[T]hese oscillations not smooth and predictable are like thoseof a swinging pendulum.They are unevenin bothextent and of or time.Some occurin thecourse a singlebattle campaign, in others a series wars."Longer-term of thecourseof a war,stillothers during can oscillations also be detected: to the Gothic The early age,from twelfth thelatethirteenth century, cathedrals fortified and was withitswonderful places, a period during in met and increasing whichthe attackers Europegenerally serious in of the because improvement thestrength fortresses outdifficulties, ran the advancein the powerof destruction. Later,withthe spread old at lost of firearms theend of thefifteenth century, fortresses their An powerto resist. age ensuedduringwhichthe offense possessed, new advantages. apartfromshort-term setbacks, Then, duringthe after abouti66o,and untilat leastthe seventeenth century, especially Succession 1740, the defense in of outbreak the War of theAustrian muchof the groundit had lost sincethe greatmedieval regained unableto meetthe bombardment the new of had fortresses proved numerous and more artillery.53 the "The offensive Anotherscholarhas continued argument: gained of heavymobileartillery the ninein an advantagewithnew forms but of the teenth century, the stalemate World War I created impression thatthe defenseagain had an advantage;the Germaninvasion in World War II, however,indicatedthe offensive of superiority armies thefield."'54 in mechanized highly The situation today with respectto conventional weapons is un53John Nef, War and Human Progress (New York: Norton i963), I85. Also see ibid., 237, 242-43, and 323; C. W. Oman, The Art of War in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell UniversityPress I953), 70-72; John Beeler, Warfare in Feudal Europe, Michael Howard, War 730-1200 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell UniversityPress I971), 2I2-I4; in European History (London: Oxford UniversityPress I976), 33-37. 54Quincy Wright, A Study of War (abridged ed.; Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press i964), I42. Also see 63-70, 74-75. There are importantexceptions to these generalizations-the American Civil War, for instance, falls in the middle of the period Wright says is dominated by the offense.



clear.Until recently was believedthattanksand tacticalair power it gave the attacker advantage. an The initialanalyses the 1973 Arabof Israeli war indicatedthat new anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons have restored primacy the defense. the of These weapons are cheap, easyto use,and can destroy highproportion theattacking a of vehicles and planesthatare sighted. thenwould make sensefora status-quo It powerto buylotsof$20,000 missiles rather thanbuya fewhalf-million dollartanksand multi-million dollar fighter-bombers. Defensewould be possibleeven againsta large and well-equipped force;statesthat careprimarily aboutself-protection would not need to engagein arms races.But further examinations the new technologies the hisof and toryof the OctoberWar cast doubt on theseoptimistic conclusions and leave us unable to renderany firm judgment.55 Concerning nuclearweapons,it is generally agreedthatdefense is impossible-a triumph not of the offense, of deterrence. but Attack makesno sense,not becauseit can be beatenoff, but becausethe attacker will be destroyed turn.In terms the questions in of underconsideration here,the resultis the equivalent the primacy the deof of fense.First,security relatively is cheap. Less than one percent the of G.N.P. is devotedto deterring directattackon the United States; a mostof it is spenton acquiringredundant to systems providea lot of insurance againsttheworstconceivable contingencies. Second,both sides can simultaneously in gain security the formof second-strike capability. to Third,and related theforegoing, second-strike capability can be maintained the face of wide variations the otherside's in in military posture. There is no purelymilitary reason why each side has to react quickly and strongly the other'sincreasesin arms. to Any spendingthatthe otherdevotesto trying achievefirst-strike to can be neutralized the state'sspendingmuch smaller capability by sums on protecting second-strike its capability. Fourth,thereare no incentives strike to first a crisis. in Important problemsremain,of course. Both sides have interests thatgo well beyonddefense the homeland. of The protection these of interests createsconflicts even if neitherside desiresexpansion. Furthermore, shift the fromdefenseto deterrence greatly has increased and of theimportance perceptions resolve. now rests each on Security side's beliefthat the otherwould prefer run high risksof total to destruction ratherthan sacrifice vital interests. its Aspectsof the se55 Geoffrey and Kemp,Robert Pfaltzgraff, Uri Ra'anan,eds., The OtherArmsRace (Lexington, Mass.: D. C. Heath I975); JamesFoster,"The Futureof Conventional ArmsControl," Policy Sciences, No. 8 (Spring I977), I-I9.



curity dilemmathus appear in a new form.Are weapons procurements used as an indexof resolve?Must theybe so used? If one side will it appearweak and thereby buildup, to failsto respond theother's Can bothsides simultaneously have imagesof high invite predation? resolveor is there a zero-sumelementinvolved? Although these are real, theyare not as severeas thosein the prenuclear problems do and era: there manyindicesof resolve, states notso muchjudge are as imagesof resolvein the abstract ask how likelyit is thatthe other will stand firmin a particular dispute.Since statesare most likely it themmost, is quitepossible whichconcern to standfirm matters on theirown security theirresolveto protect for both to demonstrate simultaneously.

the security how strongly The other major variable that affects the dilemmaoperatesis whetherweapons and policies that protect for statealso providethe capability attack.If theydo not,the basic of dilemmano longerapplies.A statecan inpostulate the security withoutdecreasingthat of others.The adcrease its own security dilemma.A the vantageof the defensecan only ameliorate security comesclose to differentiation and stances betweenoffensive defensive that all does abolishingit. Such differentiation not mean, however, has be abolished.If the offense the advantage, problems will security will still be possible.And if the offense's conquestand aggression powersmay findit too expenadvantageis greatenough,status-quo forcesand decide to procure themselves defensive sive to protect by weaponseven thoughthiswill menaceothers. offensive Furthermore, military posture will stillhave to worry thateven if the other's states intentions shows that it is peacefulnow, it may develop aggressive in the future. the Assumingthatthe defenseis at least as potentas the offense, statesto behave in betweenthem allows status-quo differentiation fromthoseof aggressors. Three beneways thatare clearlydifferent follow.First,status-quo each ficialconsequences powerscan identify for Conflicts growing thuslayingthe foundations cooperation. other, beliefthatthe otherside is expansionist will be out of the mistaken stateswill obtain advance warning less frequent. Second, status-quo Beforea statecan attack, has to deit when others plan aggression. of weapons.If procurement theseweapons velop and deployoffensive and takesa fairamountof time,as it almostalcannotbe disguised statewill have the timeto take countermeasways does,a status-quo



ures.It need not maintain highlevelof defensive a armsas long as itspotential adversaries adopting peaceful are a posture. (Although being armed so should with oneimportant not, the exception noted below,alarm other status-quo powers.) States infact, special do, pay attentionto actions they that believe wouldnotbe taken a status-quo by statebecause theyfeelthatstates exhibiting behavior agsuch are gressive. Thus theseizure development transportation or of facilities will alarmothers moreif these facilities no commercial have value, and therefore onlybe wanted military can for reasons. i906, the In British rejected Russian a protest abouttheir activities a district in of Persiaby claiming thisarea was "onlyof [strategic] that importance theRussians] they [to if wished attack Indian to the or frontier, toputpressure us bymaking think they upon us that intend attack to The sameinferences drawn are whena state acquires more weapons than observers areneeded defense. feel for Thus,theJapanese spokesmanat the 1930 Londonnavalconference thathis country said was alarmed theAmerican by refusal giveJapan 70 percent to a ratio(in placeofa 6opercent ratio)inheavy cruisers: longas America "As held ten that percent it advantage, was possible herto attack. when for So America insisted sixty on percent instead seventy of percent, idea the wouldexistthatthey weretrying keep thatpossibility, the to and Japanese peoplecouldnot accept that."57 Similarly, whenMussolini told Chamberlain January thatHitler's in 1939 armsprogram was motivated defensive by the considerations, Prime Minister that replied "German military forces werenowso strong to makeit impossible as foranyPoweror combination Powers attack successfully. of to her She couldnotwantanyfurther armaments defensive for purposes; whatthendid shewantthem for?""5 Ofcourse these inferences bewrong-asthey especially can are likely to be because states underestimate degree whichthey the to menace others.59 when And are the dilemma deepened. they wrong, security is Because state the it thinks hasreceived notice theother aggresthat is its will sive, ownarms building be lessrestrained thechances and of
Richard Challener, Admirals, Generals, and American Foreign Policy, i898-i9I4 (Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress 1973), 273; Grey to Nicolson, in Gooch and Temperley (fn. 47), 41457Quoted in James Crowley, Japan's Quest for Autonomy (Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress I966), 49. American naval officers agreed with the Japanese that a ten-to-six ratio would endanger Japan's supremacyin her home waters. 5 E. L. Woodward and R. Butler, eds., Documents on British Foreign Policy, i9i9I939, Third series, III (London: H.M.S.O. 59 Jervis(fn. 5), 69-72, 352-55. 1950), 526.
* "156



cooperation be decreased. will But the dangersof incorrect inferences shouldnot obscure main point:when offensive defensive the and postures different, are muchof theuncertainty abouttheother's intentions thatcontributes thesecurity to dilemmais removed. The thirdbeneficial consequence a difference of betweenoffensive and defensive weaponsis thatif all states support status the quo, an obvious armscontrol agreement a ban on weaponsthatare useful is for attacking. President As Roosevelt it in his messageto the Geneva put Conference 1933: "If all nationswill agree wholly in Disarmament to eliminate frompossession and use the weapons which make possiblea successful attack, defenses automatically becomeimpregnawill ble, and the frontiers independence everynationwill become and of secure."60 The factthatsuch treaties have been rare-the Washington naval agreements discussed aboveand theanti-ABM treaty be cited can as examples-shows either thatstates notalwayswillingto guaranare tee the security others, thatit is hard to distinguish or of offensive fromdefensive weapons. Is such a distinction possible?Salvadorde Madariaga,the Spanish in of statesman active thedisarmament negotiations theinterwar years, or offensive defensive not: "A weapon is either to thought according which end of it you are lookingat." The FrenchForeignMinister agreed (althoughFrench policy did not always follow this view): or in "Everyarm can be employed offensively defensively turn.... arms are intended purelydefor whether The only way to discover of is or fensive purposes are held in a spirit aggression in all casesto of concerned." Some evidence enquireintotheintentions the country is of forthevalidity thisargument provided thefactthatmuchtime by was in theseunsuccessful offensive negotiations devotedto separating no simpleand unambiguous definifromdefensive weapons.Indeed, can tionis possible and in manycasesno judgment be reached.Before intoWorld War I, WoodrowWilson wantedto the Americanentry arm merchantmen only with guns in the back of the ship so they but cannotbe appliedto more a couldnotinitiate fight, thisexpedient of commonforms armaments." Even when a differentiation is possible, There are several problems. armsunderanyof three will wantoffensive condia status-quo power has tions.(i) If the offense a greatadvantageover the defense, prowill be too expensive. Status-quo forces defensive tection through (2)
60 Quoted in Merze Tate, The UnitedStatesand Armaments (Cambridge: Harvard UniversityPress I948), io8. 61 Boggs (fn. 28), I5, 40.



As notedabove,status-quo states withextensive commitments often are forcedto behavelike aggressors. Even when theylack such commitments, status-quo states mustworryabout the possibility thatif they are able to hold offan attack, theywill stillnot be able to end the war unlesstheymove intothe other's to territory damage its military forcesand inflict pain. Many Americannaval officers afterthe Civil the War, forexample, believedthat"onlyby destroying commerce of theopponent could theUnitedStates bringhim to terms."62 is as A further complication introduced the factthataggressors by as forces a preludeto acwell as status-quo powersrequiredefensive one while attacking quiringoffensive ones,to protect frontier another, as in or forinsurance case thewar goesbadly.Criminals well as policevests.Hitleras well as Maginotbuilt a line men can use bulletproof thatin 1936 the GermanForeign of forts. Indeed,Churchillreports are Minister said: "As soon as our fortifications constructed our [on in countries Central Europe realize that westernborders]and the all France cannotenterGermanterritory, thesecountries will begin about theirforeign to feel verydifferently policies,and a new conSo will be stellation develop."63 a state maynotnecessarily reassured if defenses. its neighbor constructs strong are difficulties created thefactthat Morecentral whether weapon by a is offensive defensive or oftendependson the particular situationforinstance, geographical the and setting thewayin whichtheweapon
is used. "Tanks . . . spearheaded the fatefulGerman thrustthrough

to lost states needoffensive may weapons regain territory inthe opening for of be to stages a war.It might possible, however, a state waitto until seems procure weapons these war likely, they and might needed be in unless aggressor ableto conwas only relatively numbers, small the struct strong defenses quickly theoccupied in areas. The state may (3) it feelthat must prepared taketheoffensive be to because either the other willmakepeaceonly itloses side if territorybecause state or the has commitmentsattack theother to if makes war on a third party.

the Ardennesin 1940, but if the Frenchhad disposedof a properly it concentrated armored reserve, would have providedthe bestmeans off and intoa disaster the fortheir for cutting thepenetration turning Germanswhat becameinsteadan overwhelming Anti-airvictory."" defensive-tobe used, theymustwait craft weapons seem obviously
62 Kenneth Hagan, American Gunboat Diplomacy and the Old Navy, i877-i889 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press I973), 20. 63 Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm (Boston: Houghton I948), 206. 64 Brodie, War and Politics (fn. 35), 325.



forthe otherside to come to them.But the Egyptian attackon Israel in 1973 would have been impossible air that without effective defenses coveredthe battlefield. Nevertheless, some distinctions possible. are Sir JohnSimon,thenthe British ForeignSecretary, response the in to views cited earlier, statedthatjust because a fineline could not be drawn, "thatwas no reasonforsaying thatthere of werenot stretches on territory eitherside which all practicalmen and women knew to be well on thisor thatside of the line." Although thereare almost no weaponsand strategies are usefulonlyforattacking, that thereare somethatarealmost exclusively defensive. Aggressors couldwantthem forprotection, a state but thatreliedmostly themcould notmenace on others. More frequently, cannot"determine absolutecharacter we the of a weapon,but [we can] make a comparison . . [and] discover . whetheror not the offensive potentialities predominate, whethera weapon is moreusefulin attackor in defense."65 The essence defense keeping other of is the sideoutof yourterritory. A purely defensive weapon is one thatcan do thiswithout beingable to penetrate enemy'sland. Thus a committee military the of experts in an interwar disarmament conference declaredthatarmaments "incapableofmobility meansofself-contained by power," movable or only after long delay,were "onlycapable of beingused forthe defense of a State's territory."" mostobvious The examples fortifications. are They can shelter attacking forces, especially when theyare builtright along the frontier,67 theycannotoccupyenemyterritory. statewith but A onlya strong line of forts, fixedguns,and a smallarmyto man them would notbe muchof a menace.Anything thatcan serveonlyas else a barrier againstattacking troopsis similarly In defensive. thiscategoryare systems provide that warning an attack, Russian's of the adoptionof a different railroad gauge,and nuclearland minesthatcan seal offinvasionroutes. If totalimmobility clearlydefinesa system thatis defensive only, limitedmobility unfortunately is ambiguous.As noted above, shortrangefighter aircraft anti-aircraft and missiles be used to coveran can attack. And, unlikeforts, theycan advancewiththetroops. Still,their to inability reach deep into enemyterritory does make them more
65 Boggs (fn. 28), 42, 83. For a good argument about the possibledifferentiation between offensive defensive and weaponsin the I930's, see BasilLiddellHart,"Aggression and theProblem Weapons," of EnglishReview,Vol. 55 (JulyI932), 7I-78. 68 Quotedin Boggs (fn. 28), 39. 67 On thesegrounds, the Germansclaimedin I932 thatthe Frenchforts were offortified forward navalbasescan be necessary launchfensive (ibid.,49). Similarly, for ing an attack;see Braisted (fn. 27), 643.



and States Thus, United the than the useful thedefense for offense. for in alarmed theearly I970's had theRushavebeenmore Israel would of instead short-range withlong-range siansprovided Egyptians the terms, in difficultclassify these to are aircraft. Navalforces particularly decan short-legged be usedonlyforcoastal thatarevery butthose fense. own when their on reasons wellonly fight forces for that various Any exThe are and soilin effect mobility therefore defensive. most lack can Noncooperation thwart resistance. would passive be treme example of to hardforlargenumbers people cross an aggressor, it is very but recent Morocco's territory. on theborder stagea sit-in another's and but this Saharaapproached tactic, its success on march theSpanish is warfare Similarly, guerrilla on depended specialcircumstances. that support is civilian to to defensive theextent whichit requires Into invasion. to only likely be forthcoming in opposition a foreign and exportable ifit tooktendeif warfare wereeasily deed, guerrilla wouldnotonlybe then weapon to each fenders destroy guerrilla, this as territoryto the to couldbe usedas easily attack other's one which had defend one'sown,butone in whichtheoffense theadvantage: strongly. especially so thesecurity dilemma wouldoperate kinds armies of Ifguerrillas unable fight foreign other to on soil, are withtheideathat only imbued to maybe unwilling do so. An army ifat wars less defensive were wouldfight effectively, all,ifthegoal just and Citizen the militias lackboth ability thewill may wereconquest. the of the term service, employed, short The foraggression. weapons attacks on of and for time required mobilization, thespirit repelling muchmoreto defense thanto atall thehomeland, lendthemselves tacks foreign on territory.68 A result. leading the student motives produce same can Lessidealistic the of warfare described armies thatperiodas folhas of medieval unableto maneuver, with lows:"Assembled difficulty, insubordinate, the that from standard moment itsshort its period tomelt away ready a an of of service over, feudalforce presented assemblage unwas beenknown coexist. to Primasuch soldierlike qualities as haveseldom from Magyar, Northman, the its to intended defend ownborders the rily was to . unadapted takethe or theSaracen . . , theinstitution utterly Incan described. Some offensive."69 political groupings be similarly
68 The Frenchmade this argument the interwar in period;see RichardChallener, Press The FrenchTheoryof the Nation in Arms (New York: ColumbiaUniversity see 1955), i8i-82. The Germans disagreed; Boggs (fn. 28), 44-45. 69Oman(fn. 53), 57-58.



ternational coalitions morereadilyheld together fearthan by are by hope of gain. Thus Castlereagh was not being entirely self-serving whenin i8i6 he arguedthattheQuadrupleAlliance"could onlyhave owed itsorigin a senseofcommon to it danger;in itsvery nature must be conservative; cannotthreaten it either the security the liberties or of otherStates."70 is no accident It thatmostof the major campaigns of expansion have been waged by one dominant nation(forexample, Napoleon'sFranceand Hitler'sGermany), and thatcoalitions among relative equals are usuallyfounddefending status the quo. Mostgains from conquest toouncertain raisetoo manyquestions future are and of squabblesamongthevictors hold an alliancetogether long. Alfor to thoughdefensive coalitions by no means easy to maintain-conare flicting nationalobjectives and the free-rider problempartlyexplain whythree themdissolved of before Napoleon was defeated-the common interest seeingthatno statedominates of inprovidesa strong centive solidarity. for in Weaponsthatare particularly effective reducing fortifications and barriers of greatvalue to the offense. are This is not to deny thata defensive power will want some of thoseweapons if the otherside has them: Brodieis certainly correct argue thatwhile theirtanks to allowed the Germansto conquerFrance,properly used Frenchtanks could have haltedtheattack. But Francewould nothave neededthese had not acquiredthem,whereaseven if France weaponsif Germany had no tanks, could not have foregone Germany themsincetheyprovided the only chanceof breaking the Frenchlines.Mobile through heavyartillery similarly, is, in especially useful destroying fortifications. The defender, while needingartillery fight attacking off to troopsor to counterattack, usuallyuse lighter can guns sincetheydo not need to penetrate such massive obstacles. it is not surprising one of So that the few thingsthat most nationsat the interwar disarmament conferences wereable to agreeon was thatheavytanksand mobileheavy valuableto a stateplanningan attack.7' guns wereparticularly that Weaponsand strategies dependfortheir effectiveness surprise on are almostalwaysoffensive. That factwas recognized some of the by to disarmament and conferences is theprinciple delegates theinterwar behindthe commonnationalban on concealedweapons.An earlier viewwas themid-Igth-century of representative thiswidespread Philathat of delphianewspaper argued:"As a measure defense, knives, dirks,
70Quoted in Charles Webster, The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, II, (London: G. Bell and Sons i963), 5I0. 71 Boggs (fn. 28), I4-I5, 47-48, 6o.



Theyarefit onlyforattack, and and sword canesareentirely useless. character. Whoever carries sucha all suchattacks of murderous are has for weapon prepared himself homicide."72

territory forces and optimally dethatare most effective holding for could signed taking Sucha distinction nothavebeenmadefor for it. bemost theperiod of thestrategies weapons Europeduring and in WarI. Neither naval forces tween Franco-Prussian andWorld the War classified these in terms. the But nortactical forces be readily air can charwhensucha distinctionpossible, central is the point hereis that holds, oneofthemost and acteristic thesecurity of dilemma longer no is troublesome consequences anarchy removed. of NuclearWeapons. In and Difierentiation Strategic Ogense-Defense held position that theinterwar period, most statesmen thereasonable thatthreatened But wereoffensive.73 whenneither weapons civilians is defensive because posture sidecanprotect civilians,counter-city its a to thestate credibly can threaten retaliate in response an atto only allies. of are tackon itself itsclosest or The costs thisstrike so high interest the to that state couldnotthreaten useitfor less-than-vital the ofcompelling other abandon established an position. the to are weapons those provide that In thecontext deterrence, of offensive In of the that defense. thenowfamiliar reversal common sense, state deor out either active passive by couldtakeitspopulation ofhostage, on or the strategic weapons theground, fense by destroying other's such be to would abletoalter status The desire prevent a situathe quo. was for tion oneoftherationales theanti-ABM agreements;explains it ABM's to protect building cities, whysomearmscontrollers opposed ICBM fields. Similarly, manyanalysts butfavored thatcovered sites and vehicles wantto limit warhead multiple re-entry accuracy favor vehiindependently targetable re-entry (MRV's),butoppose multiple are thansingle warheads for cles(MIRV's). The former more useful and that has penetrating defenses, ensure thestate a second-strike city counterforce conMIRV'senhance Somearms capabilities. capability. of do trollers that is alsotrue cruise this and missiles, therefore argue that either. Thereis someevidence the to notwantthem be deployed with and to Russians not satisfied deterrence are seeking regain are Suchan effort, ifnotinspired ageven for thecapability defense. by a wouldcreate severe dilemma. security gressive designs,
72 Quotedin PhilipJordan, of FrontierLaw and Order (Lincoln:University Nebraska Press I970), 7; also see i6-I7. 73Boggs (fn. 28), 20, 28.

betweenforces It is, of course,not always possibleto distinguish



What is mostimportant the argument for here is thatland-based ICBM's are both offensive and defensive, when both sides rely but on Polaris-type systems and defenseuse different (SLBM's), offense weapons.ICBM's can be used eitherto destroy other'scitiesin the retaliation to initiate or hostilities attacking by the other'sstrategic missiles. Some measures-for of instance, hardening missilesitesand sincetheydo not make a first warningsystems-are purely defensive, strike easier.Othersare predominantly offensive-for instance, passive or activecitydefenses, and highlyaccuratewarheads.But ICBM's themselves usefulfor both purposes.And because statesseek a are high level of insurance, desireforprotection well as the conthe as strike can explainthe acquisition extemplation a counterforce of of So tremely large numbers missiles. it is verydifficult inferthe of to fromits military Each side's efforts inother'sintentions to posture. creaseitsown security procuring moremissiles to an exby decreases, of tentdetermined therelative and by efficacy the offense thedefense, That is not the case when both sides use the otherside's security. SLBM's. The point is not that sea-basedsystems less vulnerable are thanland-based ones (thisbearson the offense-defense but that ratio) SLBM's are defensive, not retaliatory weapons.First, theyare probably accurate enoughto destroy manymilitary targets.74 Second,and more of SLBM's are notthemaininstrument attack important, other against a SLBM's. The hardest problemconfronting statethatwantsto take its citiesout of hostageis to locatethe other's SLBM's, a job thatrequires not SLBM's but anti-submarine weapons. A statemightuse SLBM's to attackthe other'ssubmarines (althoughother weapons but warfare wouldprobably moreefficient), without be anti-submarine A (ASW) capability task cannotbe performed. status-quo the state could simply thatwantedto foregooffensive capability foregoASW research procurement. and with however. There are two difficulties thisargument, First,since threatened theother's SLBM's are potentially thestate's ASW capaby in bilities, state the maywantto pursueASW research orderto know what the othermightbe able to do and to designdefenses. Unlessit thatits submarines safe.Second, are does this,it cannotbe confident are to surface because somesubmarines designed attack not ships, launch forceshave missionsotherthan taking citiesout of ASW missiles, SomeU.S. officials fora longwar in Europewhichwould hostage. plan Derequirekeepingthe sea lanes open againstRussian submarines.
74 See, however, Potentialof AmericanSLBM Desmond Ball, "The Counterforce Systems," Journalof Peace Research, xiv (No. I, I977), 23-40.



an that withsigning ASW forceand strategy would meetthisthreat SovietSLBM's would be difficult not impossible, but out endangering different.75 are the sincethetwomissions somewhat Furthermore, Russiansdo notneed ASW forces combatsubmarines to out carrying conventional to the missions;it mightbe in America'sinterest sacrifice in thatis not likelyto materialize orderto reability meeta threat to thatwe are not menacing assuretheRussians their retaliatory capability. can attackthe When bothsidesrelyon ICBM's, one side'smissiles and so the statecannotbe indifferent the other's to other's, building But becauseone side's SLBM's do not menace the other's, program. each sidecan buildas manyas itwantsand theother neednotrespond. Each side'sdecision the size of itsforce on dependson technical quesis tions,its judgmentabout how much destruction enough to deter, and the amountof insurance is willingto pay for-and theseconit of siderations independent the size of the other'sstrategic are force. Thus the crucialnexusin the armsrace is severed. Here two objections onlycan be raisedbut have been,by those not who feelthatevenifAmerican second-strike is capability in no danger, the UnitedStatesmustrespond a Sovietbuildup.First, relative to the numbers missilesand warheadsmay be used as an index of each of side's power and will. Even if thereis no military need to increase American armsas theRussians increase a theirs, failure respond to may to lead third thattheU.S. has abandoned competition the parties think withthe U.S.S.R. and is no longerwillingto pay the priceof world if side that leadership. Furthermore,either believes nuclear "superiority" the matters, then,through bargaining The side logic, it will matter. with"superiority" be morelikelyto standfirm a confrontation will in ifitthinks "stronger" its military position helpsit,or ifitthinks the that is other thinks own "weaker"military its position a handicap. allow To the otherside to have moreSLBM's-even if one's own second-strike is an thatcan be capability unimpaired-willgivethe'other advantage into translated political gains. is The secondobjection thatsuperiority matter, does and not only beliefs. nuclearweaponsare used in an all-orIf becauseof mistaken then all thatis needed is second-strike none fashion, capability. But strikes possible.If the otherside are limited, gradual,and controlled it forces a slow-motion has superiority, can reducethe state's by war
75 Richard Garwin, "Anti-Submarine Warfare and National Security," Scientific American,Vol. 227 (July I972), I4-25.



For of attrition. the stateto strikeat the other'scitieswould invite retaliation; it to replywith a limitedcounterforce for attackwould further depleteits supplyof missiles. Alternatively, othercould the attacks-suchas takingout an isolatedmilitary employ demonstration a base or exploding warheadhighovera city-in orderto demonstrate its resolve.In eitherof thesescenarios, statewill suffer the unlessit matches other's the armsposture.76 These twoobjections, valid,meanthatevenwithSLBM's one canif not distinguish offensive from defensive strategic nuclear weapons. Compellence may be more difficult than deterrence,77 if decision but makers believethatnumbers missiles of warheadsinfluence of or outcomes,or if theseweaponscan be used in limitedmanner, thenthe posture and policythatwould be neededforself-protectionsimilar is If to thatuseful aggression. thesecondobjection merit, for has security on wouldrequire ability hitselected to the targets theother side,enough ammunition wage a controlled to counterforce and the willingwar, ness to absorblimitedcountervalue strikes. Secretary Schlesinger was in correct arguing thatthiscapability would notconstitute first-strike a capability. becausethe "Schlesinger But Doctrine"could be used not only to cope with a parallel Russianpolicy,but also to supportan American attempt changethestatus to quo, the new American stance Even if the U.S.S.R. were reassured would decreaseRussiansecurity. U.S. Government lacked the desireor courageto do thatthe present thatfuture would not this,therecould be no guarantee governments Once we moveaway fromthe for use thenew instruments expansion. simpleidea thatnuclearweaponscan onlybe used forall-outstrikes, of force halftheadvantage havingbothsidesrelyon a sea-based would differentiation. becauseof the lack of an offensive-defensive disappear it thatmilitary To theextent policyaffects political relations, would be even harderforthe United Statesand the SovietUnion to cooperate ifbothsupported status the quo. is of Althougha full exploration thesequestions beyondthe scope reston decision of thispaper,it shouldbe noted thatthe objections that influenced makers'beliefs-beliefs, furthermore, can be strongly The statements. perceptions third of and American American by policy
76The latter scenario, however, does not require that the state closely match the number of missiles the other deploys. 77 Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven: Yale UniversityPress i966), 69-78. Schelling's argumentsare not entirelyconvincing,however. For furtherdiscussion, see Jervis,"Deterrence Theory Re-Visited,"Working Paper No. I4, UCLA Program in Arms Control and InternationalSecurity.



nationsof whether detailsof the nuclearbalance affect the political to Russianbeliefs aboutwhether conflicts-and, a lesserextent, superiis ority meaningful-are largelyderivedfromthe Americanstrategic debate.If most Americanspokesmen were to take the positionthat a secure second-strike was capability sufficient thatincrements and over that (short of a first-strike capability)would only be a waste of money, is doubtful it whether America'sallies or the neutrals would judge the superpowers' usefulmilitary mightor politicalwill by the size of their stockpiles. Although Russiansstress the abilwar-fighting ity, they have notcontended thatmarginal increases strategic in forces bringpoliticalgains; any attempt do so could be renderedless to effective an American assertion thisis nonsense. by that The bargaining of advantages possessing nuclear"superiority" work best when both sidesacknowledge them.If the"weaker"side convinces other the that does notbelievethere anymeaningful it is in difference strength, then the "stronger" side cannotsafelystand firmbecause thereis no increasedchancethatthe otherwill back down. This kind of argument appliesat leastas strongly the secondobto jection.Neitherside can employlimitednuclearoptionsunlessit is quiteconfident theotheraccepts rulesof thegame. For if the that the otherbelievesthat nuclearwar cannotbe controlled, will either it refrainfrom responding-whichwould be fine-or launch all-out a retaliation. be to nuclear Although state might ready engagein limited war without this acknowledging possibility-and indeed,thatwould be a reasonable policyforthe UnitedStates-it is not likelythatthe faithin thatprospect initiate otherwould have sufficient to limited unlessthe statehad openlyavoweditswillingness fight strikes to this kind of war. So the United States, patiently and consistently by exsuch ideas to be mad and thatany nuclear plainingthatit considers wars will inevitably out of control, could gain a largemeasureof get protection againstthe dangerthat the Soviet Union mightseek to Doctrine"againstan Americathatlacked the employa "Schlesinger or military ability politicalwill to respondin kind. Such a position is made more convincing the inherent of by implausibility the arguof mentsforthe possibility a limitednuclearwar. In summary, long as states as believethatall thatis neededis secondstrike between thenthe differentiation offensive defencapability, and on siveforces thatis provided reliance SLBM's allows each side to by without its increase security menacingthe other, permits some inferto encesaboutintentions be drawnfrom and removes military posture, themain incentive status-quo for powersto engagein armsraces.



IV. FOUR WORLDS The two variableswe have been discussing-whether offense the or the defense the advantage, has and whether offensive can postures be distinguished fromdefensive ones-can be combined yieldfour to possibleworlds.
OFFENSE HAS THE ADVANTAGE DEFENSE HAS THE ADVANTAGE 2 Security dilemma, but security requirements maybe compatible. 4 Doubly stable


Doubly dangerous


aggressors. Warning given.

Nlo security dilemma, but aggressionpossible. Status-quo states con follow differentpolicy than

The first world is the worstforstatus-quo There is no way states. to get security defense without and security menacing others, through is terribly difficult obtain.Becauseoffensive defensive to and postures are the same,status-quo states acquirethe same kind of armsthatare sought aggressors. by And becausethe offense the advantage over has the defense, attacking the bestrouteto protecting is what you have; status-quo stateswill therefore behave like aggressors. The situation will be unstable. Armsraces are likely.Incentives strike will to first turncrises intowars.Decisivevictories conquests and will be common. Stateswill grow and shrink rapidly, and it will be hard forany state to maintainits size and influence withouttrying increasethem. to Cooperationamong status-quo powers will be extremely hard to achieve. There are no casesthattotally thispicture, it bearsmorethan fit but a passing resemblance Europebefore to World War I. Britain and Germany, although manyrespects in natural allies, endedup as enemies. Of course muchoftheexplanation in Germany's lies ill-chosen policy. And from perspective ourtheory, powers'ability avoidwar in a the of the to series earlier of crises cannot easilyexplained. be Nevertheless, muchof the behavior thisperiodwas the product technology beliefs in of and



thatmagnified security the dilemma. Decisionmakers thought the that offense a big advantage had and saw little difference between offensive and defensive military postures. The era was characterized arms by races.And oncewar seemedlikely, mobilization racescreated powerful incentives strike to first. In thenuclearera,the first worldwould be one in whicheach side reliedon vulnerable weapons thatwere aimed at similarforcesand each side understood situation. thiscase,theincentives strike the In to first would be veryhigh-so high thatstatus-quo powersas well as aggressors would be sorely tempted pre-empt. to And sincethe forces could be used to changethe status quo as well as to preserve there it, wouldbe no wayforbothsidestoincrease their security simultaneously. Now the familiar logic of deterrence leads both sides to see the dangersin thisworld.Indeed,thenew understanding thissituation of was one reasonwhyvulnerable bombers and missiles Ironiwerereplaced. the cally, i950's would have been morehazardousif thedecision makers had been aware of the dangersof theirposture and had therefore feltgreater if pressure strike to first. This situation could be recreated bothsideswere to relyon MIRVed ICBM's. In thesecondworld,thesecurity dilemmaoperates becauseoffensive and defensive postures cannotbe distinguished; it does notoperate but as strongly in thefirst as worldbecausethedefense theadvantage, has and so an increment one side'sstrength in increases security its more thanit decreases other's. ifbothsideshave reasonable the So, subjective security requirements, of roughly are equal power,and the variables discussed it earlierare favorable, is quite likelythatstatus-quo states can adopt compatible security policies.Althougha statewill not be able to judge the other's fromthekindsof weaponsit prointentions cures,the level of arms spendingwill give important evidence.Of coursea state thatseeksa highlevelof armsmight notan aggressor be an butmerely insecure whichif conciliated will reduceits arms, state, and if confronted replyin kind. To assumethatthe apparently will excessive level of armsindicates aggressiveness could therefore to lead a response thatwould deepenthedilemmaand create needless conflict. But empathy and skillful can statesmanship reducethisdanger.Furthe of thermore, advantageous meansthata statusposition thedefense maintain high degreeof security a quo statecan often witha levelof armslower than thatof its expectedadversary. Such a statedemonor strates thatit lacks the ability desireto alterthe status quo, at least time.The strength the defense of at the present also allows states to



are fearthatothers menacing whenthey and withrestraint reactslowly be powerswill to some extent threatenstatus-quo them.So, although will be limited. thatextent ing to others, in mostperiods to This worldis theone thatcomesclosest matching because of the than defending is Attacking usuallyharder history. postures But purelydefensive and of strength fortifications obstacles. by are are rarely possiblebecausefortifications usuallysupplemented an armiesand mobileguns whichcan support attack.In the nuclear era,thisworldwould be one in whichbothsidesreliedon relatively ICBM's and believedthatlimitednuclearwar was iminvulnerable no Assuming MIRV's, it would takemorethanone attacking possible. unis Pre-emption therefore one missileto destroy of the adversary's. they If attractive. bothsideshave largeinventories, can ignoreall but ICBM's or SLBM's side.A worldofeither on drastic increases theother Doctrine"would probain whichbothsidesadoptedthe "Schlesinger the too. The means of preserving statusquo bly fitin thiscategory And earlier. would also be the meansof changingit,as we discussed because compellence the defenseusuallywould have the advantage, Althougha statemightsucceedin is more difficult than deterrence. much more to it than quo on issuesthatmatter changingthe status under powers could deter major provocations status-quo to others, mostcircumstances. but dilemma, thereare maybe no security In thethird worldthere that systems do defensive can Becausestates procure problems. security the others, dilemmaneed not operate.But because the not threaten is and perhapseasy.If aggression possible, has offense the advantage, statemay even a status-quo the offense enoughof an advantage, has If and defeated. the thanriskbeing attacked rather takethe initiative are likely. and cooperation stability has offense less of an advantage, They need forces. will procuredefensive states becausethe status-quo but armed, can waitforthewarnwho are similarly notreactto others weapons. to started deployoffensive ing theywould receiveif others and thereis But each statewill have to watch the otherscarefully, of and the allure The costliness the defense roomforfalsesuspicions. and war, hostility, mistrust, can lead to unnecessary of the offense to discussed earlierare operating restrain unlesssome of the variables defection. would nuclearworldthatwould fitthisdescription A hypothetical reliedon SLBM's, butin whichASW techbe one in whichbothsides but Offense defense and would be different, effective. niqueswerevery



to is This situation notlikely wouldhavetheadvantage. theformer to state but occur; ifit did,a status-quo couldshowitslackofdesire The its from by the exploit other refraining threatening submarines. side'sfear the you desire havemoreprotecting thanmerely other to that it knows that and one, ofretaliation a strong however, a state is that to weresafeis likely believe evenif itscities wouldnotexpand It by wouldnotfeelthreatened itsASW program. is easyto theother of and unstable, how spirals tencouldbecome seehowsucha world coulddevelop. sions and conflict offenbetween The differentiation safe. world doubly is The fourth dilemma; a permits wayoutofthesecurity systems siveanddefensive in discussed the of of disposes theproblems theadvantage thedefense to a status-quo power be for Thereis no reason paragraphs. previous of and give to offensive forces, aggressors notice their tempted procure of if intentions theposture adopt.Indeed, theadvantage the they by The there no security are problems. lossof defense great is enough, quo the to of theultimate form thepower alter status wouldallow meansand probably of scopeforthe exercise nonmilitary greater of the wouldtendto freeze distribution values. in of decade the20thcentury would haveexisted thefirst Thisworld In technology. the had understood available if the decision makers different wouldhavefollowed policies that the powers case, European facof in both thelongrunand in thesummer 1914. EvenGermany, secure couldhavemadeherself on enemies bothsides, ing powerful couldalsohavemadeherfrondefenses. France strong bydeveloping no when arose, onewould Furthermore, crises tier almost impregnable. wouldhavebeenno competifirst. to havehad incentives strike There for the racesreducing timeavailable negotiations. tivemobilization the would oneinwhich superpowers be In the nuclear this era, world was and ASW technology notup toitstask, limited relied SLBM's, on this not We were taken seriously. havediscussed situanuclear options is add evenifouranalysis correct here tion earlier; we needonly that, to in and of sides were move this if andeven thepolicies postures both belowthenuclear threshold would of the direction, problem violence there than of On other defense thehomeland, wouldstill remain. issues and But dilemmas security be security problems. the worldwould been. thanit has usually be safer nevertheless