SMA hosted a speaker session with Dr. Michelle Black (Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Nebraska Omaha; Director for Workforce Development and Education, National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology and Education (NCITE); Research Fellow, National Strategic Research Institute, University of Nebraska; Co-Editor, Space and Defense Journal) as part of its SMA STRATCOM Academic Alliance Series.
Deterrence has historically been analyzed on a state-vs-state level. However, modern deterrence includes multiple actors who possess many capabilities and have mutual or competing interests. Dr. Black commented that multi-actor deterrence is crucial for understanding today’s geopolitical competitions. She argued that looking at deterrence between two actors not only limits the scope of a project, but is also irresponsible. This is in part due to a changing geopolitical landscape, but also because of a better understanding of deterrence-related terms and their definitions. Understanding terms and definitions relating to deterrence is pivotal for the US, because there are many kinds of deterrence and all actors have their own threshold for deterrence will.
To help predict future outcome of deterrence in today’s geopolitical landscape, the Multi-Actor Deterrence Analysis Methodology (MADAM) Lab developed a seven-step deterrence methodology called the Multi-Actor Deterrence Concept. The concept allows the team from the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) to overlay multiple actors’ interests and capabilities to identify where collaboration or escalation is likely. This new methodology includes both state and non-state actors. The current Ukraine conflict was used as an example of a potential scenario to which the methodology could apply. The next step for the NCITE team’s and MADAM Lab’s methodology is real world testing in current events.