By Robert Powell
Utilising fresh advances in video game thought to the learn of nuclear deterrence, the writer examines probably the most advanced and difficult concerns in deterrence thought. Game-theoretic research permits the writer to version the results on deterrence ideas of first-strike benefits, of constrained retaliation, and of the variety of nuclear superpowers interested by the overseas process. With the formalizations he develops, the writer is ready to show the elemental similarity of the 2 possible disparate deterrence thoughts that experience advanced according to the superpower hands buildup; the tactic that leaves whatever to probability and the tactic of restricted retaliation.
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Additional info for Nuclear Deterrence Theory: The Search for Credibility
Indeed, what distinguishes any option from any other is that they generate different levels of risk. In this way the set of limited options constitutes the array of risk that underlies the strategy that leaves something to chance. Damage is the second way of measuring the distance between the extremes of launching a massive nuclear attack and submitting. The former inflicts complete destruction, and the latter inflicts none. Again, these options are very far apart, and, as before, limited options are used to bridge this gap.
The probability of submission is given by 1 — aD(m) — eD(m). The notion of a crisis equilibrium will play an important role in the analysis of both brinkmanship and, later, the strategy of limited retaliation. For Snyder and Diesing, "there is no crisis unless one state challenges another and this challenge is resisted" (1977, p. 13). Formalizing this, a crisis equilibrium in the game will be taken to be an equilibrium in which there is some positive probability that the challenger will exploit the situation and the defender will escalate or attack.
But, as will be seen, who actually has the last physical move in the game tree generally has no effect on the solution to this game. Accordingly, AT will merely be assumed to be even, and therefore C has the last move. It will prove convenient to adopt the following notation for the states' information sets and behavioral strategies. Let QD(m) be the information set at which D must decide whether or not to escalate for the rath time, where 1 < ra < K/2. Thus, QD(ra) presents D with the choice of submitting, attacking, or escalating by creating an autonomous risk of (2ra — 1)3.