Managing Non-State Threats with Cumulative Deterrence-by-Denial

Charles P. Kirchofer


Israel has long used cumulative deterrence-by-denial to deter aggression from state and non-state actors alike.To achieve this, it has combined other measures, including deterrence-by-punishment and compellence, both at the tactical level. It has also compelled actors it can attack directly to clamp down on non-state actors more difficult to target in what is commonly known as “indirect deterrence.” Israel’s relative success in this suggests that cumulative deterrence may be used as a conflict management tool that can encourage conditions for finding more permanent political solutions to long-term confrontations. Israel’s case also demonstrates the usefulness of aconsistent, long-term strategy for managing non-state threats. Finally, it suggests that conflicts may be managed for extended periods with mostly military means, though such means can only assist in laying the groundwork for conflict resolution. The US and its allies could benefit from the judicious application of Israel’s deterrence lessons as they seek ways to manage conflicts that appear intractable or too costly to attempt to resolve today.

Full Text: PDF HTML

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions