Deterrence as a Nuclear Strategy: A Cold War-Era Study


  • A. Octamaya Tenri Awaru Universitas Negeri Makassar
  • Samsidar Samsidar Universitas Negeri Makassar
  • Muhammad Tahir Universitas Negeri Makassar
  • Ernawati Kaseng Universitas Negeri Makassar
  • Firdaus Suhaeb Universitas Negeri Makassar


Deterrence, Cold War, military deterrence, US Nuclear Strategy, Soviet nuclear strategy


Deterrence can be considered a theory, a tactic, a national security strategy, or a broader defence plan. As a tactic, “deterrence” is a rational response to the inconsistencies in the international security environment. As a variable, “deterrence” is one of the numerous options available to a state for protecting its interests, and its applicability will vary as circumstances change. Thus, it would be an enormous intellectual and strategic mistake to assume that the function of deterrence is constant. This paper examines the concept of “deterrence,” which has become a realistic addition to military discourse after the advent of nuclear weapons. This article discusses Cold War deterrence’s nature, scope, application, and limits. Throughout the Cold War, this article discusses the nuclear tactics of the United States and the Soviet Union. During the cold war, the rapid growth of the superpowers’ nuclear arsenals did not render retaliatory threats obsolete; instead, they were fueled by counterforce targeting of each other’s economic, social, and military sectors. Thus, despite the 1987 INF Treaty, the US and USSR maintained a high level of nuclear readiness. In practise, military deterrence did not generate the same enthusiasm as in theory. The only time the nuclear strategy of military defence was deployed during the Cold War strategic fabric was in the 1970s and 1980s through the language of arms control instead of the deterrent effect of deterrent threats.



How to Cite

Awaru, A. O. T., Samsidar, S., Tahir, M., Kaseng, E., & Suhaeb, F. (2022). Deterrence as a Nuclear Strategy: A Cold War-Era Study. GNOSI: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Theory and Praxis, 5(1), 144-159. Retrieved from




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