New Ways of Warfare Redefine Deterrence

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Preventive measures against an enemy can take many forms as potential adversaries experiment with flexible warfare.

The United States must examine new means of deterrence that address the multitude of ways an adversary would seek a military advantage, said the vice commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces. Lt. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge, USAF, told the opening luncheon audience in TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that the old idea of deterrence—threatening an enemy with total destruction—does not apply to current challenges, especially with cyber issues.

He noted the definition of deterrence is to never allow a potential adversary to believe that they have a military option that will succeed. For example, the United States must not allow a single point failure—such as an airport runway—to threaten the viability of a military response. A solution is to find enough locations to give the enemy a problem, he added.

This is especially vital as enemies know that they cannot afford to let the United States operate out of sanctuary. So, they are working hard on sanctuary denial through a variety of kinetic and digital approaches.

Adversaries know, “If you allow the United States to operate out of sanctuary, we will beat the crap out of you,” the general stated.


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