Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Deterrence fragility

"Deterrence Fragility" - the opposite of "Deterrence Stability",

When you purposely create a situation where miscommunications persists and you deliberately blur the line between truth and falsehood - you create a framework of instability that becomes pervasive.

This instability seems relatively localized in the beginning but as time passes - it gradually expands and corrodes the bedrock of assumptions that underlie "Deterrence Stability".

This bedrock of assumptions (such as the "rational actor" hypothesis) is the reason why any deterrence regime can tolerate small amounts of deviation from acceptable behavior.  With that bedrock corroded, the deterrence regime becomes extremely fragile.

I grew up in the belly of the beast in India. The ladder of escalation is very short there. With the Brodie/KSub guidance of "even one city" hanging over all, the room for fuck ups is astonishingly small. So I do not possess the Zen master like calm of the usual American nuclear policy wonk.

One could even say that given all the constraints, any of these India-Pakistan things is choreographed down to the last detail. And having seen that I am extremely uncomfortable with free wheeling escalations - even if the apparent adversary is a recessed nuclear power.

I am talking about bullshit like this.

I understand he is under a lot of stress with both Manafort and Micheal Cohen offering to testify against him and I get it - it is very hard to deal with your own fixers turning on you so I will let it slide *ONLY* this once. 

But this can't be allowed to happen again. The consequences of letting it happen again are unpredictable. 

There is no military framework in place for conventional options to be initiated with acceptable results. 

The decade old ideas out of Tel Aviv of refueling IDF-AF jets over neutral airspace are NOT viable for obvious reasons. 

Whether with own resources or local resources - this is NOT an actionable affair. Can something be kludged together - obviously - but is it going to return anything with conventional weapons - NO - it will not.

If this kind of strike is attempted, it will fail to achieve objectives and it will escalate into a nuclear conflict.

If anyone is counting on the Russians to hold the Iranians back - they are being stupid. The Russians would be more than happy to lend the Iranians a nuke to shove up Trump's back side. A US conflict with Iran would be the prefect backdrop for a covert RU nuclear strike against the US.


At 7:36 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Apparently Bibi is choking on the whole "Keep Assad in Place and the Iranians will stay away from Golan" deal he signed with Putin and Trump.

Bibi keeps telling Putin "I don't trust you".

To which Putin appears to reply "Why would you? I don't care whether you live or die".

And then Bibi gets a hissy fit and whines to Trump - which makes Trump do stupid stuff as he has no clue how to process Bibi's complaints.

It could be that I read this tweet wrong, and it is in service of some Bibi complaint but since Trump was already worried about being jailed by Mueller so the tweet came out in ALL CAPS.

Jeez what a fucking shit show this is.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I don't think Bibi has gamed out what will happen if the US pushes Iran into a corner on the nuclear issue.

It is in Russia's interest to see US-Iran ties deteriorate and to strengthen the IRGC stranglehold on Tehran.

A RU backed nuclear test would be just thing needed to make that happen.

If the US starts acting too provocatively towards Iran (as the totally incompetent Trump might lead it to) - the result will be unfavorable for Bibi at least until he finds a place to test Israeli nuclear weapons.

A bad situation from an Israeli POV would be one where Iran tests a RU weapon and Israel can find no place to do so. This will castrate the top tier of Israeli national security positioning on the nuclear issue.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Never in my lifetime have I seen anyone charge into a confrontation with a recessed nuclear state with so little preparation as I have seen Trump do in the last week.

Either the national security war-with-Iran brigade is running on its own steam or Trump is trying to pull a Douglas Feith level stunt and gaslight the US into another costly regime change.

It is baffling - I have not seen such stupidity scale in the DC before.

This is going to turn into a fucking Cuban missile crisis if this shit keeps up.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger quantum chaos said...

Cant israel test with India? Current regime will be too happy only.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I don't know what can be done at Pokhran any more. My gut feeling is that the risk is too high.

Apparently the Australians are going around telling everyone that Trump told them to help with picking out targets to bomb in Iran.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Putin seems unhappy with Trump.

Can't tell if it is an act or it is real world. Knowing those two - it is probably an act.

At 4:55 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

australians fantasizing nothing more than that. if the us was going to militarily strike iran you would know it. generaly we don't do sneak attacks.......there will be plenty of warnings, red lines being drawn, etc. military consultations with russia....ad nauseum. back to conspiracy theories of your choice.

At 4:59 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

another major indicator would be the children of the sea congregating, lots and lots of them....

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

another indicator would be key us air force base lock downs in the us. when that happens, i will fill up my gas tank and go to the grocery store.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

there has been a small bomb exploded near the american embassy in bejing. the cops also had to stop a woman from dowsing herself with gasoline and and setting herself on fire near there.

the trade war is being taken very seriously in china it would appear. the chinese are whipping themselves up in patriotic fervor for the struggle. americans and their look alikes may no longer be safe there.

the chinese take trade war very seriously.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger maverick said...

The moment has passed apparently. That is what the sudden meeting offer with Rouhani was about.

Unfortunately as the situation progresses in DC towards a total meltdown of the Trump machine we will see more such "moments".

Apparently they are still raping kids in the immigrant detention centers. A worker at one of these places was arrested. I guess the generals and admirals who wrote to Secy Mattis are right to worry about having the US Military host these detention facilities. There are apparently a magnet for pedophiles.

Trade wars are "easy to win" per Trump so I am sure his supporters will be celebrating victory any time now.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

oh anything can still happen with iran they are starting war games practicing to shut the strait of hormuz down. up to 100 iranian boats will participate.

ddg-68, "the sullivans" is the only us navy ship in the persian gulf at the moment. so something crazy could still happen. not very likely though.

yes nazi interment camps for children, oh the horror.......

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

one final comment.....

1. the worker at the shelter started the abuse in 2016.....that's during the obama administration. the shelters are not a trumpian notion.

2. the shelters try to hire spanish speaking recent immigrants from cultures same as the children. they are hired by third party contractors. they also are hard to do background checks.

3. some of the children are sent to the us via coyotes not with their parents.

4. in my opinion most of the children are pawns in their parents plans to come to the us by creating sympathy for their plight......in short it is out right manipulation by the parents.

i'm done with this topic.....no more from me.


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