The response of western civilization on modern security challenges of the challenge/response rule and the role of nuclear deterrence

Tetiana Melnyk

Western civilization exists for many centuries and has gone through a difficult path of struggle for its existence. Now it faces a whole complex of new and old threats. This article analyzes the A. Toynbee challenge/response concept (with different patterns and attitudes of historical responses) and its further modification in the framework of the synergetic approach. Seven features (ultrastability, hierarchy, nonlinearity, nonclosure, fluctuation, emergence) at two main stages of development (existence and development) are applied to modern realities of functioning of the North Atlantic security system. Article addresses main old (war and peace) and new (including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, threats to information and energy security as well as piracy) security challenges. At the new international circumstances attempts to find an adequate response becomes even more difficult due to the mixed nature of challenges. Such actors as Russia tend to combine different tools from old and new challenges in so-called hybrid wars to maximize effectiveness of their actions. Proceeding from the above Western civilization needs to address different levels of such a threat simultaneously. Nuclear weapons on one side is overused by some actors and leaves them with the latitude to violate international law with impunity. But nuclear deterrence is crucial to stop and impact these actors by international community and responsible actors as a countermeasure on the other side.

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