Conventional deterrence models from Thomas Schelling (1966) to Frank Zagare (2004), including Robert Axelrod, Robert Jervis are primarily applicable to conventional warfare. Where as in multipolar world Richardsonion model finds its application. Classical deterrence theory emphasises on, proportionality, reciprocity, coercive capability and rationality. Whether one is nuclear optimist or pessimist, it has worked a long way. The tremendous gap in the theory and practice that globe faces today, is due to the changing nature of warfare in light of the emergence of rogue states and terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

Typically, the cause for conflict among nations is explained by Charles Doran’s power cycle theory, where a revisionist power challenges a status – quo power at an inflection point.Game theoretic analysis and agent based simulation explains ingroup – out-group conflict as under-
• Hostility in the intergroup interaction results if the fraction of parochial members of at least one group is sufficiently large.

• The possibility of conflict increases with the difference between the groups, this causes phase transition.

• During peace time, the payoff for tolerant- non altruists is more whereas, during war time, parochial altruists is more, that leads to fitness. This explain the evolutionary root of conflicts.

However, in all such analysis, it is the stronger state, which has a higher possibility of winning, wages war against the weak state. There are situations, where the weak especially rogue state creates conflicts against strong state in different ways. U.S National Security Strategy defines rogue state as “These states, brutalise their own people and squander their natural resources for personal gain of ruler, threaten their neighbours, use threats, sponsor terrorism, reject basic human values…” The author here, addresses this phenomenon as context as cause which is neither sufficient nor necessary condition under which weak state wages war against strong state, but makes certain outcomes more or less likely in combination with other factors using:


•Power Transition Theory. “This is a war initiated by state, that feels more dissatisfied regardless of whether one in defender or challenger. Here, a weaker power would be more dissatisfied with status quo if it is in loss frame.

•Windows of opportunity Theory. Policy makers decide to choose wars where the conditions are suitable for them, and such conditions world drastically worsen as time lapses. Thus Even a weak state would wage war that is anxious about future. This would be preventive or preemptive war.

•Diversionary Theory: This is external use of force for internal political purpose or internal compulsions.

•Rational Choice Theories. Limited goals for military action in asymmetric conflict like better negotiation advantage.

For analyses, the author uses cognitive model, as combination of Game Theory and Prospect Theory, combining perceptions of rich and frame effect.

While strong states have preference order of Prisoners Dilemma, weak states have preference order of Chicken Game. If credibility of punishment is increased, strong state can push weak state thus preventing defection.Decision makers of rogue state in loss frame seek risky choice. Gain frame choose safe choice. Hence strong state should make defection costly.

For Weak State: In Chicken Game, cooperation is safe choice, defection is risky choice.In Prisoners Dilemma, cooperation is risk choice and defection is safe choice

Sang Hun Park has given enough empirical evidence to demonstrate this phenomenon. U.S. Army War College clearly differentiates between ‘deterrence’ and ‘coercion’ and emphasises on capability, credibility and effective imposition of unacceptable costs. Centre for Strategic and International Studies in such situations recommends deconstructing the network into component parts to deter them independently. This brings us to a conclusion that, strategically dealing with a weak rogue state requires proactive, credible use of strong incentives and disincentives, so as to make cost of defection high, thus converting the Chicken Game into Prisoner’s Dilemma game.This will ensure that the weak rogue state does not gamble and take undue risks threatening the strong state.

Prof. Rajiv Gupte is Professor: Management Studies and is a frequent contributor in Strategic Studies, Geopolitics and International Relations.

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