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When a country, a group, or an individual which might have been expected to tamely accept the theft of its possessions or other bullying fights back, and thus sends a message that it, they, him, or her, is not to be trifled (or f--cked) with by the bully or by anyone else.

Similar to the Stonewall Effect (q.v.)
After the U.K. retook the Falklands, the Argentines never attempted another invasion, and there was a noticeable drop-off in other types of adventurism by tinpot despots around the world, largely because they had been chastened by the Falklands Effect.
by PaldanTheGreat May 02, 2011