Impact of RMA on conventional deterrence : a theoretical analysis.
Manjeet S Pardesi.
Date of Issue2005
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This research aims to theoretically study if deterrence will prevail and when states with RMA-ed militaries are faced with the prospect of convetional war. To answer this question, this study analyses the impact of transformation on conventional deterrence in the event of a military standoff for three theoretical scenarios - (1) RMA capable conventional military vs. RMA-incapable conventional military (with the former state being nuclear or non-nuclear and iwth the later bing non-nuclear), (2) two RMA-capable conventional militaries (both states non-nuclear) and (3) two RMA-capable conventional militaries (both states nuclear). The study concludes that the current defense transformation is revolutionary simply because it permits the possibility of a limited conventional armed conflict between two nuclear weapons states (including great powers) and as such attempts to resuscitate the role of conventional military power in international politics. On the other hand, analogous to the nuclear revolution, the possession of RMA capabilities by two non-nuclear belligerents is likely to render large-scale conventional armed conflicts with unlimited military objectives between them unthinkable. However, this study warns that deterrence is weakened when only one state in an adversarial dyad is RMA-capable. Moreover, in any dyad involving RMA-capable states, deterrence is weakened when the RMA-capable state contemplates a strategy of limited aims (political and/or military) vis-a-vis its adversary. This tendency is all the more pronounced when it is contemplating a limited war waged with air power and missile strikes (low-cost, low-risk) than a limited war for territorial gains.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science
RSIS Working Papers ; 92/05
Nanyang Technological University