Finding Virtue in Strategic Denial and Deception
Strategic denial and deception (D&D) is an advanced tool of statecraft that not only aims to influence the minds of key decision-makers in target countries, but more importantly, results in actions by the deceived that favor the deceiver. This work examines the core components of a strategic D&D campaign, regardless of the part of the world where it is practiced, what ideological construct is applied or what kind of organizational label is attached to the operation. Case studies on China, Russia and Britain illustrate at what stage in their historical and geopolitical development do states generally harness this tool of statecraft. The trajectory of U.S. global power calls for a more sophisticated U.S. foreign policy that relies on the art of balance and power of politics and selective duplicity in managing its global affairs. As history has shown, when strategic D&D is executed successfully, it can go a long way in conserving a nation's strength and human treasure. A deeper understanding of the virtues of strategic D&D by U.S. policymakers may be the necessary path toward preservation of U.S. global power.