Week 6: Tuesday 20 February
21st century deterrence – an ethical strategy?
Dr Andy Corbett (King's College, London)
Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome.
The nature of deterrence policy in the 21st century is the subject of considerable analysis but its relevance in today's defence and security environment is neither well understood nor well-articulated. The nuclear deterrent is increasingly perceived in government within a broader context of ‘Modern Deterrence’ but the salience, relevance and challenges of nuclear deterrence in the current security environment remain arcane issues for many. This paper seeks to address the ethical and strategic issues associated with modern deterrence for the UK in the 21st century. It will consider the demanding cognitive nature of modern conflicts and assess competing paradigms of ‘western’ deterrence strategy, and will consider ethical and strategic aspects of nuclear deterrence in that context. It will conclude that as the contemporary security environment evolves, deterrence, including nuclear deterrence, is an increasingly viable and sustainable strategy for UK national foreign and defence policy.
Andrew Corbett is a teaching fellow in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London. His first career in the Royal Navy submarine service spanned the end of the Cold War and included Command of 2 Trident submarines and development of 21st century NATO deterrence and defence strategy. He holds a PhD in Defence Studies from King’s College London and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. His main research interests concern the use of nuclear deterrence as a strategic tool in the 21st century, and his current research projects concern