Effects of Technologies on Strategic Deterrence

RAND Corporation recently released a report titled “Disrupting Deterrence: Examining the Effects of Technologies on Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century.” In this report, the authors examine the potential effects of emerging technologies on deterrence outcomes. Some key findings of the research include the following statements:

  • Individual technologies are typically enablers, not prime causes, of deterrence failure.

  • The risks of deterrence failure are greatest in scenarios where multiple technologies work together to exacerbate classic sources of deterrence failure.

  • Technology combinations complicate deterrence by offering the potential to hit multiple targets across many attack surfaces simultaneously.

  • Technologies have the greatest potential to degrade the effectiveness of deterrence in scenarios involving China.

  • Multiple, interacting forms of automation carry very significant risks, especially for the stability of deterrent relationships.

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