Deterrence by delivery of arms: NATO and the war in Ukraine

Amir Lupovici*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During the course of the war in Ukraine, various actors have employed a unique type of deterrence by denial: namely, the threat to deliver arms. NATO leaders have committed—through rhetoric and deeds—to continue to deliver weapons to Ukraine if Russia escalated the war in order to deny Russian success. Not only is this type of strategy undertheorized, but it also challenges the distinction between direct and extended deterrence that has been central to deterrence scholarship. In deterrence by delivery of arms, the patron deters not by threatening to fight or deploy forces, but by committing to send weapons. However, the strategy also requires the protégé’s ability to fight. Studying deterrence by delivery of arms opens up understudied areas of deterrence (by denial), and provides a useful opportunity to consider how prominent concepts contribute to the research but also at times limit it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-641
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Security Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • Deterrence by denial
  • NATO
  • Russia
  • extended deterrence
  • the war in Ukraine


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