Aggressive defence | Defence and Freedom


Imagine an unfolding crisis, and your government has confidence in its expectations for what’s going to happen next. Couldn’t a couple aggressive*, unexpected actions ruin the opposing sides’ plans, crush their timetable, make their political calculations obsolete, destroy their confidence in their ability to predict your government’s reactions and to predict the costs of the crisis?

Couldn’t such a disruption make a quite acceptable diplomatic settlement more likely? — I’m all for peace and free love and stuff**, but I distrust the notion that escalation is always a bad thing. An escalation to ruin some aggressor’s day may be the right thing to do. To have and obey a defensive and reactionary game plan makes one predictable. The very existence of a crisis should be understood as a hint that someone used this predictability to predict the outcome of a produced crisis – and arrived at the conclusion that it’s a good idea.
A.k.a. failure of deterrence.

* “aggressive”, NOT “aggression against a peaceful country
** Similarly, I don’t think “war as last resort” makes much sense.

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