But if all states act simi larly the balance can be preserved A major

But if all states act simi larly the balance can be

This preview shows page 91 - 93 out of 168 pages.

the balance-of-power system. But if all states act simi- larly, the balance can be preserved. A major limitation of the balance-of-power approach, however, is its inability to manage security during periods of fundamental change. A balance-of-power approach supports the status quo. When change oc- curs, how should other states respond? Fundamental change occurred at the end of the Cold War, for example, with the dismemberment of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact alliance. A
Image of page 91
\~ "" ''Irj; .#" l ~ .' \q" AI'I'HOACIIES TO i\lANAGfl'G f:"SECUIlI1Y sionmakers will not resort to armed aggression. Third, the theory assumes the existence of alternatives to. war that are available to decisionmakers irrespective of the situation. Thus, under deterrence, war will not occur and insecurity is reduced, as long as rational decisionmakers arc in charge, the threat is sufficiently large, and other nonmilitary options arc available. For deterrence to work, then, states must build up their arsenals in order to present a credible threat. Information regarding the threat must be conveye~ to the opponent. Thus, knowing· that an aggressive action will be cOUllteredby a damaging reaction, the opponent will decide, ac- cordi,ng to not to resort to force and destroy its own society. The basic ideas of deterrence were developed with respect to conven- tional arms. The development and subsequent buildup of nuclear weapons in the second half of the. twentieth century, however, has made deterrence an even more potent approach for managing power. With each super- power having second-strike capability-the ability to respond and hit the adversary even after the adversary has launched a first strike-then de- struction of both sides is assured. According to deterrence, nb rational de- cisionmaker will make the decision to start a nuclear war since his or her ownsociety w~uld be destroyed in the process. Decisionmakers thus turn to other alternatives to achieve their goals. As logical as deterrence sounds and as effective as it has proved to be-after all, there was no nuclear war during the Cold War-the as- sumptions of the theory are troublesome. Are all top decisionmakers ra- tional? Might not one individual or a group risk destrudion? Might some states sacrifice a large number of people, as Adolf Hitler, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, arid Iraq's Saddam Hussein were willing to do? How do states convey to a potential adversary information about their own capability? Why not choose to bluff or lie to feel more secure? For states without nu- clear weapons, or nuclear-weapons states who are launching an attack against a nonnuclear state, the costs of war may not be that unacceptable: their own society may not be threatened with destruction. In such cases, deterrence 'w:ilI fail. Both the balance of power and deterrence rely on the unilateral use of force or the threat of using force to manage power, whereas liberal approaches depend on collective efforts. Periodically, these approaches fail. In these situntions, when conflict has already brokt'll
Image of page 92
Image of page 93

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 168 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes