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Is Deterrence Morally and Legally Permissible and Is It a Form of State Terrorism?

  • Jason Poettcker
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the recent nuclear threats made between US President Donald Trump and leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un in 2017 and compares them with traditional strategies of deterrence that emerged in World War II and the Cold War and argues that these threats are a form of nuclear deterrence which involve threats to kill innocent civilians with nuclear weapons. First, I define deterrence and argue that the threats of Trump and Kim fit this definition. Next, I present moral arguments for deterrence and my objections to those arguments. Then, I present arguments against deterrence and answer potential objections to those arguments. Next, I examine the legality of the Trump/Kim form of deterrence. Finally, I define terrorism and point out the similarities between the Trump/Kim form of deterrence and terrorist tactics. I conclude that this kind of deterrence is not morally permissible, potentially illegal, and can be seen as a form of state terrorism.

Keywords

Nuclear Deterrence Nuclear Threats State Terrorism 

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser press and the authors 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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