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The First Thing They Would Do: Policy Choices of the USSR, Israel, and the UK after Direct Nuclear Deterrence Failure 상세보기 화면
제목 The First Thing They Would Do: Policy Choices of the USSR, Israel, and the UK after Direct Nuclear Deterrence Failure
저자 Yang Gyu Kim
Year 2023
Date December
문서보기
영문 키워드 crisis management, nuclear weapons, deterrence, feasibility, Soviet Union, Israel, United Kingdom
DOI https://doi.org/10.22883/kjda.2023.35.4.004
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Nuclear weapons have not been used since their first deployment in 1945. If the use of these weapons as a punitive tool is highly improbable, can a nuclear deterrent threat ever be credible? What strategies would nuclear powers be inclined to adopt to bolster the credibility of nuclear punishment if deterrence fails? While Nuclear Pessimists argue that there is no way to solve the inherent incredibility problem of nuclear punishment, the Nuclear Revolutionists and Rational Punishment approach suggest avenues of incurring “autonomous risk” and employing “limited retaliation” to address the issue. This article, however, argues that it is essential to secure the feasibility of punishment to make a deterrent threat credible. The credibility of nuclear deterrence can be restored when the defender makes continuous efforts to turn these weapons into a militarily and politically feasible tool of punishment. It traces and compares Moscow, Tel Aviv, and London’s policy choices after their direct deterrence failures in 1969, 1973, and 1982. The article finds that the most efficient way to de-escalate a crisis is to address the feasibility problem. While all three countries succeeded in inducing their adversaries to abandon attempts at altering the status quo, Israel and the UK had to engage in costly wars as they excluded the nuclear option. In contrast, the Soviet Union accomplished the goal by combining measures to enhance the feasibility of nuclear punishment and deploying controlled retaliation tactics below the threshold of full-scale war.

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