A Modern Deterrence Theory Case Study: America’s Failure to Deter Japan

The Strategy Bridge – Everything old is new again. The world is gripped by a pandemic, people believe the Earth is flat, and the United States is trying to suppress the appetite of an expansionist Asian superpower. While China’s rise is undoubtedly less savage than Japan’s conquest of Southeast Asia, the feeling that America has been here before seems unshakeable. Analyzing the U.S. failure to deter Japan from conquering Southeast Asia using a modern deterrence theory framework reveals opportunities to improve contemporary deterrence strategies.