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Extended Deterrence and the Outbreak of War

Paul K. Huth
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 82, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 423-443
DOI: 10.2307/1957394
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1957394
Page Count: 21
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Extended Deterrence and the Outbreak of War
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Abstract

Successful deterrence, it is argued, requires a combination of military capabilities and bargaining behavior that enhances a defender's credibility without provoking a potential attacker. Hypotheses on the political and military conditions under which extended-immediate deterence is likely to succeed or fail are formulated and tested by probit analysis on fifty-eight historical cases. The empirical results indicate that (1) the military capability of the defender to deny the potential attacker a quick and decisive victory on the battlefield enhances deterrence; (2) a policy of reciprocity in diplomacy and military actions by the defender contributes strongly to deterrence success; and (3) a past record of backing down under pressure or intransigence in confrontations with the potential attacker increases the likelihood of deterrence failure.

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