On February 10, Atlantic Council Senior Advisor Harlan Ullman wrote an op-ed in The Hill titled “It’s time to debate the relevance of deterrence.” In the piece, Ullman argues that past paradigms of deterrence are inapplicable and unsustainable in coming decades. Instead of applying deterrence to new, unconventional threats, Ullman posits a strategy based in the following: “contain, prevent, defend, and engage.”

It is time to debate the relevance of the concept of deterrence in the 21st century, when non-military threats such as climate change, pandemics, cyber, terror and “active measures” may prove more formidable dangers than opposing armies, navies and air forces

Harlan Ullman

International Advisory Board member

Harlan Ullman

Senior Advisor

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.

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