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The Art of Creating PowerFreedman on Strategy$
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Benedict Wilkinson and James Gow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190851163

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190851163.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Deterrence and Democracy

Deterrence and Democracy

Reflections on American Post-9/11 Homeland Security

(p.73) 4 Deterrence and Democracy
The Art of Creating Power

Richard A. Falkenrath

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines strategy and deterrence and traces the shift from deterrence by ‘punishment’ to deterrence by ‘denial’ in Washington’s conduct of the Global War on Terror. The former rested on an assumption that the consequences of an action would serve as deterrents. The latter may carry messages of possible consequences, but these are delivered by taking action that removes the capabilities available to opponents – in the given context, the Islamist terrorists challenging the US. Both approaches rest on credibility, but are more complex in the realm of counter-terrorism, where the US authorities have no obvious ‘return to sender’ address and threats to punish have questionable credibility. In this context, denial offers a more realistic way of preventing terrorist attacks. Yet, the advanced means available to the US are deeply ethically problematic in liberal democratic societies. However, there would likely be even bigger questions if governments failed to act.

Keywords:   Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Deterrence, Punishment, Denial, Ethics, Washington, Surveillance, War on Terror

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