Deterrence in the 21st Century

Inquiry concluded.

This inquiry is the fourth of a series which have evolved from our inquiry Towards the next Defence and Security Review. These cover a number of significant strands which the Committee believe would benefit from further Defence Committee consideration.

The context in which deterrence must operate has changed in recent years with the diminution in some former threats and the emergence of new ones, but in its widest sense the concept of deterrence remains as important as ever. The Committee will examine:
The concept of deterrence

  • Definitions
  • Where deterrence sits in the continuum stretching from influence to intervention

The climate in which deterrence must operate and how it has changed

The targets of deterrence

  • Is every threat potentially deterrable?

The different levels of deterrence, when each might be appropriate, and the likely efficacy of each

  • nuclear deterrence
  • deterrence though conventional forces
  • the link between the two
  • The significance of Ballistic Missile Deterrence
  • deterrence by protection of potential targets

The cyber dimension

The importance of credibility

  • The sufficiency of the means
  • The sufficiency of the will and of the ways in which it is expressed
  • Communication of the message, including to the target

How the UK Armed Forces currently contribute to deterrence and how this contribution can be improved

How deterrence can be expected to change in future



  • Close


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