By Stanley E Spangler, Airpower Research Institute
With fiscal pressures, demographic alterations and the stated futility of nuclear struggle progressively eroding the perceived application of conventional army strength, international locations are taking a look with new desire at the conciliatory instruments that have been used a few successfully in the course of the classical international relations of the nineteenth century (negotiation, bargaining, using inducements). briefly – a international relations emphasizing cooperation and lodging. strength will nonetheless be a massive participant in foreign politics, particularly at reduce degrees of clash. whereas the area strikes slowly towards a few new safety association, it behooves the superpowers to stress a cooperative form of international relations.
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Combined with more positive approaches to the problems posed by Soviet insecurities and potential expansionist tendencies, a more conciliatory approach might also have kept the peace while producing a more congenial political atmosphere. There is simply no way to prove what would have happened . Likewise, a strong argument can be made that the breakup was due as much to inherent defects within the Communist system as it was to the effects of our containment policy . The fact is, of course, that containment was the policy adopted and deterrence became the instrument of that policy .
The awesome destructive capability of nuclear weapons and the ability to separate the threat of using these weapons from their actual use greatly enhanced the value of bargaining with threats of force . As a result, the 1950s and 1960s saw the emergence of a vast body of so-called strategic theory and strategic studies literature that featured theories of deterrence and coercive diplomacyblueprints for using force to persuade an opponent to alter his *It should be noted that coercive diplomacy can be defensive in nature under certain circumstances and deterrence can have offensive aspects (as in active or dynamic deterrence) .
As the cold war grew in intensity, the architect of containment saw the intent of his plan increasingly distorted by the harsh realities of the growing superpower struggle. From Kennan's perspective, it was essential to resist Soviet aggressive moves with firmness, but it was also equally essential to reward them for accommodative behavior . This idea that a carefully developed combination of sticks and carrots (deterrents and inducements) could modify Soviet behavior in desired directions was expressed again in National Security Council (NSC) document 20/1, a 1948 Kennandirected study ofpolicy toward the Soviet Union.