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Figure G.1.1 Factors contributing to
Although the tree happens to have emerged from using decision
modeling methods to think about crises, conflicts, and deterrence,
none of the factors in the tree is truly remarkable. The tree could
have been assembled by merely combining ideas from a dozen texts
and articles in international relations. However, viewing
deterrence as influencing human beings operating in politically
rich contexts has the effect of increasing the weight one puts on
several of the factors, which are often mentioned in lip service
and then discarded. Moving from left to right, we see that
deterrence is served if the would-be aggressor has no compelling
incentives to invade and if there are moral and cultural
considerations that argue against invasion. These factors may
remind us that Canadians do not lose sleep worrying about invasion
by the United States; nor do the Low countries in Europe currently
worry about historical enemies repeating their deeds. Moving
rightward again in Figure G. 1.1, deterrence is served if there is
fear of military defeat in an invasion attempt and if there is fear
of other consequences even if "success" is likely. At the next
level of detail there are some important distinctions, but what
matters most to this discussion is recognizing that we must be
serious about all of the factors, not merely list them and then
move on to the more straightforward of military issues. Why?
Because both history and analysis indicate that depending on
extended deterrence by denial (being able to defeat invasion) to
protect non-vital interests is probably a losing proposition. In
some cases, deterrence by denial is not even militarily feasible.
In other cases, it is politically very questionable because it
requires prompt and decisive multilateral actions under ambiguous