Dissuasion By Denial

In a new article for theĀ Australia Journal of International Affairs, Macquarie University’s Adam Lockyer and Michael D. Cohen go beyond anti-access denial and area denial to introduce ‘dissuasion by denial’:


Dissuasion by denial seeks to deter an opponent by promising to inflict greater costs on the attacking forces than what the political benefits would be to the attacker if they succeeded. In other words, dissuasion by denial reasons that an attacker will not attempt a conventional military attack on Australia if they expect it to be a pyrrhic victory. (Lockyer and Cohen 2017).


The article has a lot of insights about Glenn Snyder, Paul Dibb, J.O. Langtry, and Desmond Ball’s work in United States and Australian strategic thinking. It has a good discussion about threat analysis and how it is relevant to which type of strategic denial that policymakers could select.


Lockyer and Cohen’s work is also relevant to the current debate about North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile program and whether or not Australia should invest in missile defence capabilities.