Even a brief examination, however, reveals that deterrence is not remotely as compelling a principle as its reputation suggests. In his novel The Ambassadors (1903), Henry James described a certain beauty as ‘a jewel brilliant and hard’, at once twinkling and trembling, adding that ‘what seemed all surface one moment seemed all depth the next’. The public has been bamboozled by the shiny surface appearance of deterrence, with its promise of strength, security and safety. But what has been touted as profound strategic depth crumbles with surprising ease when subjected to critical scrutiny.
Guardian 14th Jan 2018 read more »