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The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological

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The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 20 Sep 2018, 23:40
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The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological truth, that fear of retaliation makes a would-be aggressor nation hesitate before attacking and is often sufficient to deter it altogether from attacking. Clearly, then, to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following can be properly inferred?


(A) would-be aggressor nation can be deterred from attacking only if it has certain knowledge that it would be destroyed in retaliation by the country it attacks.

(B) A nation will not attack another nation if it believes that its own retaliatory power surpasses that of the other nation.

(C) One nation's failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.

(D) It is in the interests of a nation that seeks deterrence and has unsurpassed military power to let potential aggressors against it become aware of its power of retaliatory attack.

(E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.


Source: LSAT

Originally posted by elegan on 30 Oct 2012, 00:06.
Last edited by Bunuel on 20 Sep 2018, 23:40, edited 2 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2012, 00:44
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Going through the answer choices, we can see that only option D is a mild statement. All other statements are quite aggressive stating that for somethging to happen somethin MUST be done. So, our first step would be to take up D and check whether it logically follows the argument. The argument says "to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.". Option D clearly follows on from this statement.

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Re: The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2015, 18:23
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This is NOT a GMAT Pill question, but a real LSAT question (However it appears in GMAT Pill :P )

1) that fear of retaliation is often sufficient to deter would be aggressors.
2) that in order to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power greater than a potential aggressor could defend.


(A) implies that fear of retaliation is required when it uses the words "only if." But the first statement in the stimulus implies that it's "often sufficient."
(B) has the relationship in the second statement backwards. If a nation believes that it's military power surpasses that of others, then it will not be prevented from retaliating - but it may still attack in the first place.
(C) isn't true either. One nation's not attacking doesn't establish that they feared retaliation. Maybe they just got along with the other nation. The stimulus discusses one thing that would prevent a nation from attacking another nation. The stimulus does not discuss the only thing that would prevent one nation from attacking another nation.
(D) must be true. If one nation has a stronger military than any other nation, and military deterrence is achieved by other nations perceiving themselves to be weaker, then the strongest nation should let every other nation know it's strength, so that those other nations will be deterred from attacking.
(E) is not necessarily true. A weaker nation could trick others into thinking that it was stronger and thereby achieve deterrence.
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Re: The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2017, 20:34
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elegan wrote:
The theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological truth, that fear of retaliation makes a would-be aggressor nation hesitate before attacking and is often sufficient to deter it altogether from attacking. Clearly, then to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following can be properly inferred?

(A) A would-be aggressor nation can be deterred from attacking only if it has certain knowledge that it would be destroyed in retaliation by the country it attacks.

(B) A nation will not attack another nation if it believes that its own retaliatory power surpasses that of the other nation.

(C) One nation’s failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.

(D) It is in the interests of a nation that seeks deterrence and has unsurpassed military power to let potential aggressors against it become aware of its power of retaliatory attack.

(E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.

Source: LSAT


This is an inference question. We are asked to determine which of the answer choices must be true given the statements in the stimulus. The stimulus provides us with 2 statements.

1) that fear of retaliation is often sufficient to deter would be aggressors.
2) that in order to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power greater than a potential aggressor could defend.

(A) implies that fear of retaliation is required when it uses the words "only if." But the first statement in the stimulus implies that it's "often sufficient."
(B) has the relationship in the second statement backwards. If a nation believes that it's military power surpasses that of others, then it will not be prevented from retaliating - but it may still attack in the first place.
(C) isn't true either. One nation's not attacking doesn't establish that they feared retaliation. Maybe they just got along with the other nation. The stimulus discusses one thing that would prevent a nation from attacking another nation. The stimulus does not discuss the only thing that would prevent one nation from attacking another nation.
(D) must be true. If one nation has a stronger military than any other nation, and military deterrence is achieved by other nations perceiving themselves to be weaker, then the strongest nation should let every other nation know it's strength, so that those other nations will be deterred from attacking.
(E) is not necessarily true. A weaker nation could trick others into thinking that it was stronger and thereby achieve deterrence.
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Re: The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2018, 02:03
elegan wrote:
The theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological truth, that fear of retaliation makes a would-be aggressor nation hesitate before attacking and is often sufficient to deter it altogether from attacking. Clearly, then to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following can be properly inferred?

(A) A would-be aggressor nation can be deterred from attacking only if it has certain knowledge that it would be destroyed in retaliation by the country it attacks.

(B) A nation will not attack another nation if it believes that its own retaliatory power surpasses that of the other nation.

(C) One nation’s failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.

(D) It is in the interests of a nation that seeks deterrence and has unsurpassed military power to let potential aggressors against it become aware of its power of retaliatory attack.

(E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.

Source: LSAT


From the stimulus, the two conditionals(simplified) we have are:

1)Fear of retaliation -> Deter from attacking
2)If believed to have great enough power by other nations -> Maintain military deterrence

A) 'only if' means the condition is necessary i.e. option A can be simplified to Deter from attacking -> Fear of retaliation. This reverses the order of 1(makes sufficient statement a necessary one) and hence is incorrect.
.
B)If power surpasses another nation ->deter from attacking. This changes the sufficient condition of (1). Nowhere is it mentioned that surpassing power is sufficient to deter an attack.

C) This can be reduced to: Deter from attacking -> believes that it could not withstand a retaliation attack. This is nowhere stated in the stimulus. Even if we assume that 'believes that it could not withstand a retaliation attack' means fear of retaliation, it reverses statement (1). Either way, it's incorrect

(D)Correct. In line with (1) and (2). If aggressors are aware of the power -> it will help maintain military deterrence which is in interests of the country

(E)This can be reduced to: Maintain maximum deterrence -> Maintain the strongest retaliation force. This is incorrect not only because it 'exaggerates' the conditional statement (2), but also reverses it.
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Re: The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2018, 09:38
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There was misspelling. Accurate version below

The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological truth, that fear of retaliation makes a would-be aggressor nation hesitate before attacking and is often sufficient to deter it altogether from attacking. Clearly, then, to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following can be properly inferred?


A) would-be aggressor nation can be deterred from attacking only if it has certain knowledge that it would be destroyed in retaliation by the country it attacks.
B) A nation will not attack another nation if it believes that its own retaliatory power surpasses that of the other nation.
C) One nation's failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.
D) It is in the interests of a nation that seeks deterrence and has unsurpassed military power to let potential aggressors against it become aware of its power of retaliatory attack.
E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.
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Re: The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2018, 23:41
kablayi wrote:
There was misspelling. Accurate version below

The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological truth, that fear of retaliation makes a would-be aggressor nation hesitate before attacking and is often sufficient to deter it altogether from attacking. Clearly, then, to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following can be properly inferred?


A) would-be aggressor nation can be deterred from attacking only if it has certain knowledge that it would be destroyed in retaliation by the country it attacks.
B) A nation will not attack another nation if it believes that its own retaliatory power surpasses that of the other nation.
C) One nation's failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.
D) It is in the interests of a nation that seeks deterrence and has unsurpassed military power to let potential aggressors against it become aware of its power of retaliatory attack.
E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.



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Re: The Theory of military deterrence was based on a simple psychological &nbs [#permalink] 20 Sep 2018, 23:41
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