Trade and Globalisation

Reports and papers

Deterrence as a security concept against non-traditional threats

25 Aug 2015 - 12:23
Source: Foto: Anton Holoborodko/Wikimedia Commons.

The Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’ has published a new in-depth study of the Clingendael Monitor 2015. In this study, “Deterrence as a security concept against non-traditional threats”, the main question concerns the extent to which deterrence, as a security concept and instrument, can be a relevant and effective instrument for protecting Dutch security interests. As has been argued in the summary report of the Clingendael Monitor 2015, these interests are increasingly threatened by a diffuse range of traditional and non-traditional threats.

Deterrence has a long history in the context of maintaining law and order and as a military strategy. It became a tenet in the international security environment of the Cold War as a response to the existence of nuclear weapons. The concept has since been further developed in both academic and policy terms. But how relevant is deterrence in relation to, for example, ambiguous warfare as used during the invasion of Crimea by ‘little green men’ last year? The recent major cyber attack on the American government, through which data on millions of (ex-)employees was acquired, also adds relevance to the question how effective and relevant deterrence is in relation to these non-traditional threats.

This in-depth study of the Clingendael Monitor 2015 focuses on five non-traditional threats: terrorism, organised crime, threats in the economic and cyber domains and ambiguous warfare.

This study is part of the Clingendael Monitor 2015, which is published yearly as part of the Strategic Monitor of the Dutch government.