National Missile Defense and (dis) Satisfaction
Previous research, applying perfect deterrence theory, has demonstrated that national missile defense generally enhances the stability of deterrence, primarily because it makes the defender's retaliatory threat more credible. However, stability is not ensured, because missile defense has the potential to increase other states’ dissatisfaction with the status quo. Consequently, dissatisfied states have an increased incentive to challenge the status quo, undermining deterrence stability. Although there is a lengthy literature debating this point, no one has conducted a rigorous empirical analysis of the impact of national missile defense on satisfaction. To address this significant gap in the literature, we analyze the impact of US missile defense programs on other states’ status quo evaluations through analyses of events data, 1985-2004, and UN voting data, 1985-2008.
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