Rushton, James A.
Lavoy, Peter R.
Wirtz, James J.
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Dissuasion is a strategy for persuading adversaries to seek acceptable alternatives to building threatening capabilities or adopting hostile intentions towards the United States. Dissuasion is a framework for organizing strategy directed at dealing with future threats. As such, it compliments other traditional national strategies (such as deterrence or coercion), and uses deterrence, coercion, and even appeasement, to meet overall policy goals. Dissuasion as a strategy was not formally articulated until it appeared in the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. Despite dissuasionâ s comparatively recent recognition, its historical use by states attempting to influence geopolitical rivals has been frequent. Dissuasion is stated as a primary strategy in the capstone national security documents of the United States, but clear guidelines on how dissuasion can be implemented are lacking. This study expands the understanding of dissuasion as a strategy, examining three historical instances where it was used by states seeking to influence the behavior or military force structure building of other states, bringing dissuasion out of the realm of theory and into the real-world. Tools and procedures are described in order to â operationalizeâ dissuasion, the role of naval forces in dissuasion is scrutinized, and the vital intersection of strategic culture and dissuasion is examined.
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