Military Strategy Magazine  /  Volume 9, Issue 2  /  

Deterring War without Threatening War: Rehabilitating the West’s Risk-averse Approach to Deterrence

Deterring War without Threatening War: Rehabilitating the West’s Risk-averse Approach to Deterrence Deterring War without Threatening War: Rehabilitating the West’s Risk-averse Approach to Deterrence
by ArmyInform -, CC BY 4.0,, via Wikimedia Commons.
To cite this article: Echevarria, Antulio J. II, “Deterring War without Threatening War: Rehabilitating the West’s Risk-averse Approach to Deterrence,” Military Strategy Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 2, winter 2024, pages 4-11.

Shortly after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, defense scholars began asking why the West’s approach to deterrence had failed. Some critics claimed the West never had an official deterrence policy regarding Ukraine, or at least not a consistent one; others maintained the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took military force “off the table” too soon, relying too much on the coercive power of sanctions.[i] In truth, the West had both a deterrence policy and a supporting deterrence strategy vis-à-vis Ukraine. US President Joseph Biden and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reinforced the policy and the strategy by repeatedly warning Russia’s President Vladimir Putin not to attack Ukraine. However, the West’s approach was too risk-averse to succeed against a major power armed with military capabilities comparable to NATO’s own. It attempted to deter war without threatening war, which in turn rendered it vulnerable to Russian deterrence. By attempting to minimize the risk of a major war, the West made the right call, even though it resulted in the failure of its own deterrence measures. The “value of the political object,” to borrow Clausewitz’s expression, did not warrant risking a potentially ruinous war.[ii] The question now is whether it is possible to rehabilitate the West’s approach to deterrence without requiring NATO to act as irresponsibly with military force as did Putin’s Russia.

This article does two things. First, it provides a detailed account of the deterrence policy and supporting strategy the United States and its NATO allies had in place to deter Russian aggression. Second, it offers a brief outline of a more consequentialist approach to deterrence, one Western leaders can adopt to rehabilitate their own risk-averse model, and thereby improve its prospects of success. A consequentialist model entails moving beyond the traditional “costs versus benefits” calculus to one based on “risks and consequences,” where costs are defined as expenditures and consequences are defined as effects or results, such as tipping the balance of power by adding new members to an alliance.

Traditionally, the way to deter an actor was to ensure the costs of an action exceeded the benefits, thereby dissuading the actor from taking the action. But the costs an actor was willing to pay and the benefits it hoped to gain were often unknown. A risk-consequence model, in contrast, seeks to dissuade an actor by increasing the likelihood an action will fail and the certainty that severe consequences will follow.

To be clear, the West represents a community of responsible international actors and, therefore, has an obligation to act responsibly on the world’s stage; hence, it needs a risk-averse approach to deterrence for situations in which it desires to deter an action, but its interests do not justify risking a major war. Unfortunately, the classic model of deterrence, which is based on intimidating without provoking, is not well suited for such situations since the line between intimidating and provoking is not necessarily known. Yet, if as Thomas Schelling noted, “international relations often have the character of a competition in risk taking,” then the West surely needs to discover a remedy for its risk-aversion, otherwise it will find itself deterred by more bellicose major powers.[iii]

Of course, deterrence does not always work: no model can guarantee the dissuasion of major powers willing to take irresponsible or reckless risks to get something they want. In such cases, deterrence must yield to defense.

The US-NATO Deterrence Policy

For the purposes of this article, deterrence is defined as “measures taken to dissuade actors from pursuing certain actions.”[iv] As per Schelling, these measures can be active or passive and typically include both threats and assurances, implicit and explicit.[v] The United States and NATO took at least three measures after 2014, in the wake of Putin’s seizure of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine: (a) the establishment of the European Reassurance Initiative/European Deterrence Initiative, (b) granting Ukraine security force assistance through the Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) and making it an Enhanced Opportunities Partner (EOP), and (c) a series of explicit threats and warnings to the Kremlin by high-level US and NATO officials as the crisis over Ukraine intensified.

“European Reassurance Initiative/European Deterrence Initiative.” Regarding the first measure, a formal US deterrence policy known initially as the “European Reassurance Initiative” (ERI) did exist for Kyiv, even though Ukraine was not a member of NATO and, hence, did not enjoy the protection of Article 5 of the NATO Charter.[vi] US President Barack Obama established the ERI in 2014, allocating $1 billion USD to ERI as start-up funding in fiscal year 2015. In 2018, the ERI was renamed the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), which made its purpose more explicit. US funding for the EDI reached a total of $29.7 billion USD by fiscal year 2022, or about $4.2 billion USD per year over seven years.[vii] Importantly, NATO trained more than 10,000 military personnel under the auspices of EDI.[viii] EDI also brought Ukraine’s average annual military spending to just over $10 billion USD, an amount comparable to Ukraine’s neighbor, Poland, which averaged $12 billion USD in defense spending per year from 2017 to 2021, and yet more than those of Norway and Finland, both of whom have traditionally taken the Russian threat seriously.[ix]

The funding levels for that period may seem low, but they were commensurate with the threat priorities the West had established at the time, namely, “gray-zone” or “hybrid” wars. NATO’s 2017 Strategic Foresight Analysis went so far as to describe Putin’s seizure of Crimea as evidence of an “evolution of hybrid warfare” and of a “paradigm shift in the use of power.”[x] The “risk of major conflicts” had declined, while that of “hybrid warfare” and actions “short of major war” had increased.[xi] Academics, too, pondered the seeming demise of major war.[xii] No fewer than 900 books; 3,700 articles; and 780 reports were published on hybrid warfare between 2016 and 2022.[xiii] Against this backdrop, preparing for a conventional war seemed unjustified. In hindsight, the West chose to invest in defending against threats from only one portion of the spectrum of conflict and was caught ill-prepared.

“Comprehensive Assistance Package” and “Enhanced Opportunities Partner.” The second measure, enhancing Ukraine’s defensive capabilities occurred via two NATO partnership-building programs. The first opened in the summer of 2016, when NATO created a “Comprehensive Assistance Package” (CAP) for Ukraine.[xiv] This package aimed at enabling Ukraine to “become more resilient, to better provide for its own security and to carry out essential reforms.” National resilience, as events were to prove, became vitally important to Ukraine in 2022. To be sure, the CAP was also designed to encourage Ukraine to develop better “democratic oversight and civilian control of the security and defense sector.” But such reforms were also prerequisites to NATO membership for Kyiv.[xv]

The second partnership-building program occurred in 2020, when Ukraine received the status of an “Enhanced Opportunities Partner” as part of NATO’s Partnership Interoperability Initiative (PII). This program aimed “to maintain and deepen cooperation between Allies and partners who have made significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions.”[xvi] The UAF, readers will recall, participated alongside NATO forces in Kosovo and elsewhere. The EOP is a special status granted only to five other non-NATO states at the time: Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan, and Sweden. It, too, recognized Kyiv’s intended political and military reforms and set the UAF on a course to achieve greater interoperability with NATO forces, which meant quality upgrades in equipment as well as closer military-to-military relations.[xvii] Both partnership programs, therefore, brought Kyiv closer to NATO, and enhanced its defensive capabilities and, by extension, its deterrence capabilities.

Threats and Warnings. The third deterrence measure consisted of a series of warnings by NATO’s senior leaders and the Biden administration in the months before the Russian assault. On November 26, 2021, for instance, ahead of a meeting of NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers, Stoltenberg warned Russia of “costs” and “consequences” if it invaded Ukraine.[xviii] On December 7, 2021, December 30, 2021, and February 12, 2022, Biden spoke directly with Putin telephonically, warning the Russian leader of severe sanctions if he took military action against Kyiv.[xix] Similarly, US Vice President Kamala Harris issued a threat to Moscow on February 19, 2022, stating Washington intended to impose sanctions on those complicit in any military assault on Ukraine.[xx] Also, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken repeatedly announced the purpose of Washington’s planned sanctions was to “deter Russia from going to war.”[xxi] Likewise, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, added his voice to the administration’s chorus of threats, while also dispatching more US troops to Europe to strengthen America’s deterrence posture.[xxii] Shortly thereafter, NATO’s intelligence communities began disclosing information about Russian military intentions, thereby sending another kind of warning. In fact, CIA Director William J. Burns flew to Moscow to deliver a personal warning from Biden, saying in effect: “We know what you’re up to, and if you invade, there will be severe consequences.”[xxiii] When high-level officials put their credibility on the line in this way, an informal policy is in place.

In sum, the West had established a formal policy of deterrence via ERI/EDI, which it augmented with at least two NATO partnership programs. As the crisis intensified, the West sent explicit threats and warnings to Moscow not to attack. These three measures add up to more than general deterrence.

The US-NATO Deterrence Strategy

As the threat of invasion grew, Washington converted its deterrence policy into a deterrence strategy. This strategy relied predominantly on deterrence by punishment, though it also included an important element of deterrence by denial. Punishment, defined as imposing unacceptable costs on an opponent, was to be meted out through an intense sanctions’ regime, the West’s most comprehensive such package to date.[xxiv] Denial, defined as increasing the likelihood an opponent’s mission will fail, was to be achieved through the controlled release of critical intelligence concerning Putin’s plan, thereby denying it a chance to succeed.[xxv]

Punishment. Sanctions aimed to weaken Russia’s economic base by depriving it of critical technologies and markets, thus crippling its ability to wage war.[xxvi] The United States sanctioned some 1,705 Russian individuals; 2,014 entities; 177 vessels; and 100 aircraft.[xxvii] The European Council, for its part, adopted 11 packages of sanctions beginning in 2014 with Putin’s hybrid war against Ukraine.[xxviii] In total, Moscow has suffered more than 13,000 sanctions—more than Iran, Cuba, and North Korea combined—for its military aggression against Kyiv.[xxix]

In theory, the effectiveness of sanctions depends on the ratio of economic power between those states executing the sanctions and those being sanctioned.[xxx] Ergo, the West ought to have enjoyed a significant advantage because Russia’s economy was only the 11th largest in the world, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.78 trillion USD, or 1.8% of the world’s total output in 2022.[xxxi] Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, second-largest natural gas producer, and third-largest oil producer, but its GDP is less than 7% of the US GDP and less than 15% of the EU’s GDP.[xxxii] Experts boldly predicted the Russian economy would collapse within a matter of weeks or at most months, and recovery would take decades.[xxxiii] But the predictions proved grossly optimistic as Russia’s “fortress economy” weathered the storm of sanctions and shifted to a war footing with financial support from India and China.[xxxiv]

The West’s overoptimism regarding the coercive power of sanctions—which has declined in recent decades due to overuse, mis-targeting, and countermeasures—indicates just how much it desired a low-risk solution to Russian belligerence.[xxxv] Also, historical evidence suggests sanctions tend to reshape security environments in unintended ways, perhaps provoking aggression rather than deterring it, since adversaries sometimes feel compelled to choose between living with a cap on economic growth or attempting to use force to remediate the situation.[xxxvi]

Denial. As mentioned, NATO repeatedly released credible intelligence to cause the Russians to abort their invasion. The Russians, unfortunately, proved either too stubborn, too inept, or too overconfident to comply. NATO also released other information ranging from the positioning of blood and other medical supplies closer to the front, signaling an attack was imminent, to the Kremlin’s false-flag operations, designed to blame Ukraine for the war. NATO also disclosed information concerning Russia’s planned “decapitation” strikes and its use of “kill lists” of key Ukrainian officials.[xxxvii]

Importantly, Biden and Stoltenberg held back a key denial measure, military force.[xxxviii] As Stoltenberg stated when asked about the possibility of establishing no-fly zones over Ukraine, “we are not part of this conflict, and we have a responsibility to ensure that it does not escalate and spread beyond Ukraine, because that would be even more devastating and more dangerous.”[xxxix] Both leaders were roundly criticized for their reticence.[xl] But their call was the right one. Admittedly, NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), the spearhead of the NATO Response Force (NRF) could have deployed quickly to Ukraine with follow-on forces close behind. However, little evidence exists to suggest how such a move would have been received politically, given Ukraine’s non-Alliance and non-democratic status; it was merely a “regime in transition.”[xli]

To be sure, the United States could have acted unilaterally and deployed a “tripwire” force, consisting perhaps of elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and/or units from the 82nd Airborne Division. Yet research into the use of tripwire-forces suggests they seldom prevent an aggressor from seizing its objective and subsequently establishing a strong defensive position; nor do such forces necessarily incur enough casualties to induce the rest of an alliance to intervene. Rather, the forces sent to deter “must be sufficiently substantial to shift the local balance of power” to succeed.[xlii] Even with the authority the US executive possesses to deploy US military force, such a move would have run up against stiff criticism and probably failed to gain political support, since neither the US Congress nor the American public wanted to put US troops in harm’s way during the crisis.[xliii] In any case, deploying military forces into Ukraine may have accelerated rather than deterred Putin’s assault. As some experts believe, he was undeterrable on this issue and planned to overrun Ukraine quickly, presenting the West with a fait accompli it could only reverse with great difficulty, if it had committed forces.[xliv]

To summarize, the West’s deterrence strategy was self-evidently risk averse. But it enabled the West to retain the “moral high ground” and to punish Moscow through sanctions and security force assistance to Ukraine without becoming involved in the conflict directly. Those types of measures can be replicated and serve as a model for a risk-averse, consequentialist deterrence strategy.

Rehabilitating a Risk-averse Deterrence Strategy

It is fair to say a combination of Russian deterrence and the West’s risk-aversion contributed to the failure of NATO’s deterrence strategy regarding Ukraine. Russia’s “formidable” military likely dissuaded the West from deploying its own military power, a form of general deterrence. While Russia’s military proved more inept than Western analysts anticipated, it could still inflict egregious casualties on NATO forces.[xlv] Determining precisely where the line is between Russian deterrence and the West’s risk-aversion would be an interesting but ultimately academic exercise. For our purposes, it is only necessary to appreciate what these influences are and how they work.

Deterrence, like any military strategy, is reciprocal in nature. So, we should expect opposing sides to react to each other’s actions. Admittedly, Russia was not deterred from invading Ukraine. But it may have been dissuaded from escalating vertically—to employing nuclear weapons—and from escalating laterally—to attacking one or more of Ukraine’s neighbors. By the same token, NATO held back on establishing “no-fly” zones and delayed delivering some of its advanced warfighting capabilities, including the high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) and dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICMs) to Ukraine. So, while deterrence failed in one respect, it continues in others.

Russian Deterrence. Russian strategic deterrence (sderzhiygnie) aims to “restrain,” “keep out,” or “hold back” an adversary.[xlvi] Moscow’s deterrence measures, including its military capabilities helped induce the West into a risk-averse deterrence strategy.[xlvii] Like Western militaries, the Russians also regard deterrence as a form of “coercion,” forcibly making an actor do something it does not want to do.[xlviii] Also, the Russians view deterrence by “denial” and by “punishment” much the same as the West does. However, they place rather more emphasis on another category, deterrence by “intimidation,” or by inducing fear.[xlix] The West’s fear of the Russian military may have declined due to its heavy losses, but hopefully it remains at a healthy level, as some reports expect Moscow to recover and try again.[l]

Consequential Deterrence. The West is already in “consequence mode,” so to speak, as it considers what observations major powers, such as China, are drawing from NATO’s failure to deter Russian aggression.[li] But the West currently lacks a clear definition and a practical theory around which to organize its efforts. By way of definition, if deterrence is “measures taken to dissuade actors from taking certain actions,” then consequentialist deterrence is “measures taken to increase the rival’s risks of suffering failure and negative outcomes, so it chooses not to take certain actions.” By way of theory, consequentialist deterrence is based on the premise that aggressors ask themselves not what it will cost them to take a certain action, but rather what their chances of succeeding are if they take the action. Risk is simply a function of probability, specifically, the probability any number of negative outcomes will occur. Severe consequences, to reiterate, must also follow if the aggressor’s intended action succeeds.

Obviously, we want to lower the risk to ourselves, while raising it for our rivals. One way to accomplish that is by transferring as much risk as possible to our rivals. Risk transfer can occur by arming our friends and partners through security force assistance and partnership programs, as NATO has done with Ukraine. We thus increase the adversary’s probability of failure by strengthening our partners and do so without directly committing ourselves to go to war on their behalf. Our rivals would thus have to face the West’s combined economic (and to some extent military) might, not just that of the party they wish to attack. We can also increase the negative consequences to our foe by, for instance, working to reduce its political power or influence, or by increasing its economic isolation. We can put such consequences into effect even if our rival’s planned action succeeds.

Other consequentialist actions might include adding new allies, as NATO did with Finland and (soon) Sweden. Once NATO’s production capacity for war material is revamped, it will be able to “make war without going to war” by extending the conflict as long as its proxies are willing and able to fight. In this way, it would have a viable response to aggression in situations where the “value of the political object” is decidedly not worth the risk of a major war. But NATO must go one step further and develop formal procedures for leveraging its proxy wars more consequentially, not only to tie down adversaries but also to showcase how such conflicts are shifting the global balance of power in a sense that puts the aggressor in a worse situation than the status quo ante.

Curiously, much of the literature on deterrence mentions the importance of risks and consequences in an actor’s decision calculus. Yet, when explaining different types of deterrence theories, such as punishment or denial, the bulk of the literature inexplicably claims manipulating an adversary’s perception of the “costs and benefits” of an action, making the former exceed the latter, is the core dynamic influencing an actor’s decision calculus.

Admittedly, the relationship between costs and benefits is easy to explain, particularly to a readership conditioned by a free-enterprise culture. But using this frame of reference is unwise for at least three reasons. First, it does not amplify the pain a would-be aggressor would feel because costs—as expenditures of blood and treasure—are merely a subset of consequences—the effects of an action. Changing the core dynamic to “risks and consequences” prompts us to search for second and third order effects and appropriate ways to integrate them into our strategy; it gives us a broader and richer array of methods and means from which to choose to accomplish our purposes.

Second, it puts us at a disadvantage because autocratic regimes do not balk at costs the way, or to the degree, leaders of liberal democracies do. Democracies typically cannot outspend autocracies in blood, which we value more than treasure. Leaders of democracies must account for the lives of their citizens in a way that autocratic leaders do not.

Third, a cost-benefit framework often results in conflating costs and losses, particularly in political discourse. Costs reflect expenses in manufacturing, transportation, employment, maintenance, and so on. Losses occur because of accidents or military action. The USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier cost the United States just under $14 billion USD to build; plus, $1 billion USD per year to maintain.[lii] Compare the cost of that vessel to the costs of the numerous anti-ship missile systems, which range from $40,000 to $3.5 million USD, capable of damaging or destroying it.[liii] Losing this vessel along with its crew in an accident or a combat mission would have severe psychological as well as physical ramifications for the United States and its allies. In a situation where an opponent owns a similarly costly vessel, a consequentialist deterrence strategy would leverage the psychological and material losses associated with that ship to exacerbate the “pain yet to come,” as Schelling would say.[liv] In other words, a consequentialist deterrence strategy does not eschew costs or losses, but rather seeks to find ways to compound them to the detriment of an adversary.

The intention of this section has been simply to offer a brief outline of a definition and a theory of consequentialist deterrence. More work needs to be done to address the full extent of the theory’s advantages and disadvantages.


The West’s efforts to deter Russia from invading Ukraine clearly failed. But that failure provides an opportunity to consider deterrence differently. After the Cold War, the West’s “overmatch” in national power—diplomatic, informational, military, and economic—gave it a distinct advantage when deterring smaller states and violent non-state actors since it could accept the risk of war if deterrence failed, which sometimes did, and even if that failure resulted in an insurgency, as it often did. But the re-emergence of strategic competition among major powers has rebalanced the equation, making the West reluctant to risk going to war to deter aggression, except where it has firm alliance treaties in place, such as with Korea and NATO. The West can no longer count on achieving overmatch or brandishing it with confidence as it did against lesser threats. It needs another method to offset its risk-averse approach to deterrence without abandoning it altogether.

As it did during the Cold War, the West must learn to regard how it handles a crisis as either sending a signal to, or setting a precedent for, other potential foes. It must appreciate what consequences its rivals wish to avoid and ensure those outcomes are incorporated into its future deterrence strategies. The West must also realize the efficacy of the classic model of deterrence is eroding. Deterring war by threatening war is growing too risky. Developing a deterrence model based on manipulating risks and consequences, rather than simply costs and benefits, will help because it encourages applying pain across a broader spectrum. Regardless, deterrence, particularly against irresponsible major powers, can never be guaranteed.


[i] Bettina Renz, “Was the Russian Invasion of Ukraine a Failure of Western Deterrence?” Parameters 53, no. 4, (Winter 2023-24): 7-18, raises the pertinent questions; see also Liam Collins, Why the United States Failed to Deter Russia in Ukraine (
[ii] Carl von Clausewitz, On War, trans. and ed. by Michael and Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), 92.
[iii] Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 92.
[iv] For other definitions compare: “the potential or actual application of force to influence the action of a voluntary agent,” in Lawrence Freedman, Deterrence (Cambridge: Polity, 2008), 26; and “the use of threats to manipulate behavior so that something unwanted does not occur,” in Patrick M. Morgan, Deterrence Now (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 1.
[v] Schelling, Arms and Influence, 74-5.
[vi] FACT SHEET: European Reassurance Initiative and Other U.S. Efforts in Support of NATO Allies and Partners | ( Article 5 considers an attack against one to be an attack against all, but it does not require every NATO member to respond militarily. NATO - Topic: Collective defence and Article 5.
[vii] Congressional Research Service (CRS), “The European Deterrence Initiative: A Budgetary Overview,” July 1, 2021; and
[viii] NATO Has Been Training Ukrainian Forces for Years – Outside the Beltway.
[ix] Ukraine Military Spending/Defense Budget 1993-2023. Retrieved 2023-11-18; Norway Military Spending/Defense Budget 1960-2023. Retrieved 2023-11-18; Finland Military Spending/Defense Budget 1960-2023. Retrieved 2023-11-18; Poland Military Spending/Defense Budget 1960-2023. Retrieved 2023-11-18.
[x] NATO, Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report (Norfolk, VA: Strategic Foresight Analysis Team, 2017), 26.
[xi] NATO, Strategic Foresight Analysis 2017 Report, 59.
[xii] Raimo Väyrynen, ed., The Waning of Major War: Theories and Debates (New York: Routledge, 2006).
[xiii] NATO Library and JSTOR searches.
[xiv] Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine, July 2016, Fact Sheet, p. 1; compreh-ass-package-ukra Highlighted.pdf.
[xv] Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine, July 2016, Fact Sheet, p. 2.
[xvi] NATO - News: NATO recognizes Ukraine as Enhanced Opportunities Partner, 12-Jun.-2020.
[xvii] NATO - Topic: Partnership Interoperability Initiative.
[xviii] NATO chief warns Russia of 'costs' if it moves on Ukraine | AP News.
[xix] White House reiterates that US is ready to act if Russia invades Ukraine | CNN Politics; Biden admin threatens harsh sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine (
[xx] Kamala Harris warns Russia of Ukraine invasion consequences - Los Angeles Times (
[xxi] Antony Blinken warns Russia of 'severe consequences' if it invades Ukraine ahead of Lavrov meeting | CNN Politics; Blinken announces US has delivered written responses to Russia over Ukraine crisis | CNN Politics.
[xxii] WATCH: Defense Secretary Austin asks Moscow to explain troop buildup near Ukraine | PBS NewsHour; Bing Videos.
[xxiii] U.S. Intelligence Sees Russian Plan for Possible Ukraine Invasion - The New York Times (; How the U.S. knew Russia would invade Ukraine - The Washington Post.
[xxiv] Congressional Research Service, Report R45415, US Sanctions on Russia, Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, updated January 18, 2022; Congressional Research Service, In Focus, US Sanctions: Overview for 118th Congress, Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, April 27, 2023.
[xxv] How the U.S. knew Russia would invade Ukraine - The Washington Post.
[xxvi] EU restrictive measures against Russia over Ukraine (since 2014) - Consilium (
[xxvii] Russia Sanctions Database - Atlantic Council.
[xxviii] Timeline - EU restrictive measures against Russia over Ukraine - Consilium (
[xxix] Sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine - statistics & facts | Statista; How Sanctions Have Changed Russian Economic Policy - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
[xxx] Anton Filipenko, Olena Bazhenova, Roman Stakanov, “Economic Sanctions: Theory, Policy, Mechanisms,” Baltic Economic Journal 6, no. 2 (May 2020): 69-80.
[xxxi] Economy of Russia - statistics & facts | Statista.
[xxxii] PolitiFact | Russia’s economy and Western sanctions: What you need to know. Comparing Russia and the European Union: GDP and population | FRED Blog (
[xxxiii] The West's $1 trillion bid to collapse Russia's economy | CNN Business; Putin's Ukraine invasion will spur 30-year economic setback: experts (
[xxxiv] Russia's Economy Hasn't Crashed, Even Though Wall Street Predicted It (; Why sanctions against Russia aren't working — yet: Planet Money: NPR; China’s support for Russia has been hindering Ukraine’s counteroffensive - Atlantic Council.
[xxxv] Nicholas Mulder, The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War (Yale University Press, 2022); Bruce W. Jentelson, Sanctions: What Everyone Needs to Know (New York: Oxford University Press, 2022); Bryan R. Early, Busted Sanctions: Explaining Why Sanctions Fail (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015).
[xxxvi] Agathe Demarais, Backfire: How Sanctions Reshape the World Against U.S. Interests (Columbia: Columbia University Press, 2022); Mulder, The Economic Weapon, 295.
[xxxvii] US reveals claims of Russian 'kill list' if Moscow occupies Ukraine (
[xxxviii] Biden pledges US forces "are not engaged and will not engage in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine" (
[xxxix] NATO rules out policing no-fly zone over war-hit Ukraine | AP News.
[xl] John Bolton, How Russia Is Beating the West at Deterrence | Time, Mar. 9, 2022; Nadia Schadlow, Why Deterrence Failed Against Russia - WSJ, Mar. 20, 2022.
[xli] Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) assigns democracy index scores based on: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Democracy Index 2021 (, p. 45; Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, ed., Sarah Repucci, et al, (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021); FIW2020_book_JUMBO_PDF.pdf (, p. 1236.
[xlii] Dan Reiter and Paul Poast, “The Truth about Tripwires: Why Small Force Deployments do not Deter Aggression,” Texas National Security Review 4, no. 3 (Summer 2021): 34-53.
[xliii] Most Americans back sanctions, oppose military action in Ukraine ( Toplines_Russia-Ukraine_Relations_20220124.Pdf (Yougov.Com).
[xliv] On Putin’s “un-deterrability,” see Daniel W. Drezner, Why did deterrence fail in Ukraine? - The Washington Post, March 27, 2023, accessed 18 NOV 2023; also, Robert Hamilton, US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, unrecorded discussion. Zabrodskyi, et al, Preliminary Lessons, 7-12.
[xlv] Strange Debacle: Misadventures in Assessing Russian Military Power - War on the Rocks; How the West Got Russia’s Military So, So Wrong - The Atlantic.
[xlvi] Samuel Charap, Strategic Sderzhivanie: Understanding Contemporary Russian Approaches to “Deterrence.” George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. Cited from Graeme Herd, Russian Strategic Deterrence Frameworks, Strategic Multilayer Assessment, 15 September 2023, p. 5.
[xlvii] Although not germane to this discussion, some degree of self-deterrence probably was involved too. If deterrence is measures taken to persuade actors not to pursue certain actions, then self-deterrence is measures not taken when pursuing an action—provided deterrence by another party is not the cause. Self-deterrence can be difficult to distinguish from actions taken to conserve resources, or the practice of political prudence, or the exercise of self-discipline in a limited war. It also occurs to preserve one’s moral standing or reputation. An example is a state armed with nuclear weapons that refrains from employing them against an adversary who does not possess them. T.V. Paul, “Self-deterrence: Nuclear Weapons and the Enduring Credibility Challenge,” International Journal, 71, no. 1, (2016): 20-40. For further discussion see: Jeffery Michaels, “Self-Deterrence,” Parameters, forthcoming.
[xlviii] Dima Adamsky, “Russia’s New Nuclear Normal: How the Country has Grown Dangerously Comfortable Brandishing its Arsenal,” Foreign Affairs (May 19, 2023);
[xlix] Michael Kofman, A. Fink, J. Edmonds, Russian Strategy for Escalation Management: Evolution of Key Concepts (Washington, DC: Center for Naval Analysis, 2020); files/PDF/DIM-2020-U-026101-Final.pdf.
[l] Frozen war frees Russia to rearm, threaten NATO within 6 years, German military analysts warn (; Russia may need 10 years to rebuild military after Ukraine war (
[li] Zuo Xiying, “The U.S. Deterrence Strategy and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.” The U.S. Deterrence Strategy and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict - Interpret: China (; What Is China Learning From Russia’s War in Ukraine? | Foreign Affairs; The Ukraine Invasion: What Lessons Is China Learning? – The Diplomat.
[lii] The Cost of the Navy's USS Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier (
[liii] Here Is What Each Of The Pentagon's Air-Launched Missiles And Bombs Actually Cost (
[liv] Schelling, Arms and Influence, 62.