The Science of Strategy: Deterrence and Coercion Theory
One of the novel features of the post-World War II strategic environment that created uncertainty for policy-makers was the invention of atomic weapons. Social scientists sought to understand the implications of the new weapon, specifically how it might be used to support national security policy. RAND Corporation outlined deterrence and coercion theory for this purpose. The chapter describes two signature methodologies developed at RAND, systems analysis and game theory that provided a basis for much of RAND’s theorizing. The chapter compares the ideas of the leading theorists of deterrence and coercion, which include Bernard Brodie, Herman Kahn, Albert Wohlstetter, Daniel Ellsberg and Thomas Schelling.