Keywords: diplomacy, deterrence, clausewitz, strategic

Previously, the paper has examined what diplomacy is and its types. Through the previous discussion, human and politic capability seen as the main player in carries-out diplomacy. Through this chapter, the paper will discuss on deterrence as diplomacy means. With quoted the words from Carl Von Clausewitz, a military strategist and theorist:

“War is the simple continuation of diplomacy by other means”.

On the words, Carl Von Clausewitz emphasized that war is not only as an actor in politic, thus as the instrument in politic. War could influence politic decision making.[1] Nowadays, WMD might be used as another diplomatic means to achieve one country’s goals.

Deterrence is significant theory in Strategic Studies and in International Relations as well. Since the age of Cold War, chiefly on Cuban Missile Crisis event, deterrence has been viewed and used as the greatest mediator to attempt influence the decision making of the states. Deterrence can be ciphered as social and politic relations primarily enable one party in influencing the other party action. Deterrence is implemented and executed to ensure its opponents abide by its will.[2] On the other words, deterrence is a belief on strategic capability to avoid or prevent itself from being attacked by its opponents – the opponents believe that it is not worth to take a military action on the state (Charles W. Kegley Jr. and Eugene R. Wittkopf, 1998).


On this chapter, the paper will examine the types of deterrence as well on the previous chapter which is study on the types of diplomacy. There are three types of deterrence that has been identified by military analysts – namely deterrence by denial, deterrence by punishment and deterrence by defeat. Deterrence by denial can be described as the country would not to initiate war when the country assured it could not win the battle.[3] On the other words, State A will attempt to convince State B will not achieve its military-political goals if State B undertakes a military action. As a consequence, the war could be evaded.[4]

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Meanwhile the country that might to initiate or engage a war would not to do so because the country convinced that it would impose unacceptable damage (as the aftermath or punishment if involve in war) if the country attack the other country – this statement portrays what is deterrence by punishment. State A will endeavor to indicate State B that it (State A) will retaliate by obliterating assets that State B highly values if State B commits a particular action such as an invasion. In this context, State A should have great political power (as threat) to deter State B from committing the act. In the other hands, the deterrence will fail if State B acts despite the threat.[5]

“Deterrence by punishment may be posed an action on other state’s industry, population, or even the lives of its leader”. (Keith B. Payne and C. Dale Walton, 2002).

Through-out the words, we can conclude that the purpose of deterrence by punishment is to shape opponents’ decision making by signal them the aftermath or cost that the opponents will to bear of. While deterrence by defeat shows the state will not to engage or initiate a war because the state certainty that it will be defeated.[6] Via this discussion, in a nutshell, deterrence is the other means to prevent war. Deterrence can be viewed as the other means of diplomacy.

Deterrence can be defined as the barrier to prevent war from being occurred. During First World War and the Second World War, war has brought greatest devastating towards mankind, nature, development and war leave bad effect on future generation mainly aftermath of using nuclear weapon. Is it as a signal that the deterrence is another means of diplomacy? It will discuss further on the next discussion.

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The question left here how deterrence can be a player or an actor in international relations and diplomacy. It is fascinating subject to examine the role of deterrence as diplomacy means. In answering the questions, we need to refer on the paper’s previous discussion which is what deterrence is and how it’s carry-out. The adaption of deterrence in international relations is to ensure State B will not take an action that could threat State A. If the State B wishes to do so, State B will bear devastating consequences. This circumstances show that State A attempts to warning and avert any pre-emptive action towards State A. By way of this statement, it represent that deterrence can be adapted as diplomacy instrument which is known as diplomatic bargaining in relationship of the state and the state action in international relations.[7]

Psychology tactic and strategy are the finest way to describe the threat that created from deterrence. Deterrence crafted a threat without any physical demolition when deterrence proposed by the state is succeeded. The ambiguity of deterrence as another means of diplomacy still exists. Negotiation and discussion are among the significant elements in diplomacy. But how negotiation is present in deterrence? It is questionable question on this argument. The threat through deterrence is the negotiation. The deterrence represents and delegate the state to let the other state consider or think wisely is it worth to attack the state. In this situation, the other state have a chance to take further action on the state or else.[8]

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Generally, state will not take an action that it detrimental its people, politic position and economy. The succeed deterrence capable to protect its national interest for the reason that its politic goal’s achieved.

“Deterrence is the means to convince the other party (opponents) not to initiate a war toward the state”. (Charles W. Kegley and Eugene R. Wittkopf, 1989).

The capacity and the capability of nuclear weapon such as the development of ICBM which is leaving the impact of total destruction has been assessed or as a value toward head of the state in making decision concerning on action towards another state. As it concerned, deterrence is effective in preventing a nuclear war from occur in international system until today. The capability of nuclear can activate or enhance the deterrence (Marc A. Genest, 1996). After the discussion, the paper will confer on the using of deterrence in Cuban Missile Crisis.

    [1] The Pure Concept of Diplomacy

    [2] Mohamad faisol Keling.2006.Konsep asas hubungan antarabangsa dan pengajian

    [3] Daniel S. Papp. 1997. Nuclear Weapons and World Politics: Nuclear Strategy and Policy. In Allyn and Bacon (Eds.), Contemporary International Relations (413-414). United States of America: Mcmillan Publishing Company.

    [4] Keith B. Payne. 2001. The Fallacies of Cold War Deterrence and a New Direction. Lexingto, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky.

    [5] Ibid.

    [6] Ibid.

    [7] Charles W. Kegley and Eugene R. Wittkopf, World Politics: Trends and Transformation, 3rd Ed, St. Martin, New York, 1989.pg377.

    [8] Faisol Keling

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