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Security Dilemma

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Security dilemma refers to a situation in which the state’s actions, such as enhancement of the nation’s military power, intended to intensify its security can make other nations to respond with same measures, resulting to enhanced tensions that build conflict, even when neither of the nations wanted it to happen.

Turning security dilemma into security challenger

In any nation, Security dilemma can turn to a strategic challenger when a dilemma of interpretation supports the view that another nation is a definite threat to its national security. The interpretation might be wrong and the defensive moves of the oher nation can be misunderstood as being aggressive. In this kind of scenario, decision makers who responded in a military confrontational way risk developing an important level of mutual hostility when initially neither of the party had bad intentions.

These nations therefore find themselves under security competition which makes them to be more insecure thus creating a security paradox condition that many people normally confuse it with security dilemma. Security paradox is derived from security dilemma. It refers to a scenario in which two or more nations that seek to improve their own security, provoke through their actions or words an increase in mutual tension, resulting in less security all round.

The security dilemma normmally turns to a strategic challenge on the basis of fear. The states usually develop the fear of being attacked. They always fear to loose prestige, fear to be oppressed by foreigners and many more. Because of these kinds of fears, the increase of   military power of a given nation can be viewed by other nation as a threat to its national security.


From our discussion it is quite clear that an increase in the military strength by any nation always cause other nations to respond equally by increasing their military power since they normally view that particular nation as a threat to their national security thus turning security dilemma into strategic challenge.

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