"Security assurances involve promises, commitments, pledges, and similar illocutionary acts. Government officials can make them publicly or secretly (or through some combination of the two). Security assurances can be formal or informal, reduced to writing or given verbally (or even inferred from gestures), made among a few parties or many. They can be given sincerely or deceptively. They can be clear or equivocal. They may prove to be durable or withdrawn on short notice. Their credibility depends, partly, on the perceived capability to carry through, but also on elements of a relationship involving overlapping interests, shared memories and experiences, compatible values, appreciation of institutional processes, and the ever-changing vagaries of personality and circumstance -- things that help determine confidence and trust in the will of governments to deliver on their promises. History is filled with instances of broken promises. But there also are success stories (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) comes to mind). Whatever one's perspective, security assurances are an important tool of statecraft. They are especially important in the nuclear age when a uniquely demanding form of security assurance -- extended 'nuclear' deterrence -- addresses the highest end of the threat spectrum." Note: This document has been added to the Homeland Security Digital Library in agreement with the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) as part of the PASCC collection. Permission to download and/or retrieve this resource has been obtained through PASCC.
Strategic Research and Dialogues 2010 025; SRD 2010 025; Institute for Defense Analyses Paper P-4562; IDA Paper P-4562
Public Domain. Downloaded or retrieved via external web link as part of the PASCC collection.
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