When three of its citizens and their driver were kidnapped and killed, two days later the Soviets had delivered to the leader of the revolutionary activity a package containing a single testicle- that of his eldest son-with a message that said in no uncertain terms, never bother our people again.”
It was successful throughout the period of the conflicts there.
Such an insightful tailoring of what is valued within a culture, along with a projection of the capability that can be mustered, is the type of creative thinking that must go into deciding what to hold at risk in framing deterrent targeting for multilateral situations in the future.
At the same time this story illustrates just how much more difficult it is for a society such as ours to frame its deterrent messages-
that our society would never condone the taking of such actions makes it more difficult for us to deter acts of terrorism.
It recently admitted to killing dissident Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko to send a pointed message, proving that the days of testicles in boxes is not over.
Russian conventional forces vastly inferior to those of the US, the Kremlin’s nuclear leftovers formed the only means of sending Eastern Europe the proverbial severed finger.
That power will become radically devalued with the emergence of a missile shield or at least useful only in the case of Armaggedon.
Thus the Kremlin has threatened a military response — likely some new missile or penetrator system essentially invulnerable to the new defenses — in order to regain its strategic flexibility.
The effect of a missile shield on Iran and its proxies would be even more pronounced.
What a missile defense system in Europe would do is restore the ambiguity inherent in the American deterrent posture even in the event Iran has nuclear weapons. If the Ayatollahs cannot rely on their missiles penetrating the defense, they are faced with possibility that America could actually destroy it utterly, leaving no time for Teheran to even deploy shipping container bombs, in response to any attack Washington considered sufficiently offensive.
The Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence reminds us that the vast expenditures of the Cold War — and today — go towards the purchase of uncertainty in the enemy’s mind.
‘This essential sense of fear is the working force of deterrence. That the US may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be part of the national persona we project to all adversaries.
PARIS: One day after threatening to strike Tel Aviv and United States interests if attacked, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were reported on Wednesday to have test-fired nine missiles, including one which Tehran claims has the range to reach Israel. State-run media, quoted by Western news agencies, said the missiles were long- and medium-range projectiles, among them a new version of the Shahab-3 which Tehran maintains can hit targets 1,250 miles away from its firing position.