Civilization Requires Deterrence | RealClearPolitics

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Deterrence is the ancient ability to scare somebody off from hurting you, your friends or your interests -- without a major war. Desire peace? Then be prepared...
Deterrence is the ancient ability to scare somebody off from hurting you, your friends or your interests -- without a major war.

Desire peace? Then be prepared for war. Or so the Romans believed.

It's an easily understood concept in the abstract. But deterrence still remains a mystical quality in the concrete since it is only acquired with difficulty and yet easily forfeited.

The tired democracies of the 1930s learned that lesson when they kept acquiescing to Hitler's serial aggressions.

Hitler's Germany foolishly later attacked a far stronger Soviet Union in 1941, given Moscow's lost deterrence after its lackluster performances in Poland and Finland, its pact with the Nazis, and its recent purges of its own officer corps.

Deterrence is omnipresent and also applies well beyond matters of war and peace. The current crime wave of murder and violent assault in our major cities is the wage of loud efforts to defund the police and contextualize crimes as somehow society's rather than the criminal's fault.

As a result, lawbreakers now believe there is a good chance that robbing people or hurting or killing them might result in monetary gain or at least bloody satisfaction. They no longer fear a likely sentence of 30 years in prison. So, they see little risk in hurting people. And innocents suffer.

With a border wall, an end to catch and release, and tough jawboning of the Mexican and Central American governments, a new American deterrent stance in 2019-20 discouraged once unstoppable waves of migrants.

Northern bound migrants knew that even if they reached and crossed the border, there was a good chance all such effort would be for naught, given quick apprehension…
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