We Must End the Illusion of Military Dominance

United States military analysts love strategies and the theories behind them. The theories provide what appear to be perfectly reasonable and rational approaches to warfighting, even offering a sense of certainty about the outcome. After all, they’ve been designed with military precision. Authorized personnel at the Pentagon or military think tanks are assigned to create strong, catchy names for the theories. A longtime theory is “Escalation Dominance,” which has a close cousin called “Full-Spectrum Dominance.”

Both theories promote the idea that effective deterrence comes from being able to defeat the enemy in every step of a potential conflict, in any place, and at any time, from small-scale skirmishes between proxy guerillas up to and including nuclear war, and possible escalation within a specific conflict. Such strategies would, in theory, deter any adversary from initiating any step up the escalation ladder.

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