Chapter 3 outline.docx

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Political Science
Leslie Johns

World Politics Chapter 3 – Why There Are Wars? – Chapter Outline I. What Is The Purpose of War? a. What Do States Fight Over? i. War – an event involving the organized use of military force by at least two parties that satisfies some minimum threshold of severity ii. Interstate war – a war in which the main participants are states iii. Civil war – a war in which the main participants are within the same state, such as the government and a rebel group iv. War is a means for a state to obtain something it wants 1. War can be considered a form of bargaining over objects or issues that are of value to the states involved v. Territory is the most common source of trouble 1. Can be considered valuable to the state especially if it is resource rich 2. Also valuable simply because it adds to the industrial and agricultural resources at a state’s disposal 3. Can also have a military or strategic advantage a. Example: Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and Syria vi. War can also be a dispute over states’ policies 1. Example: 2001 war in Afghanistan was the result of the government’s policy in not giving up Al Qaeda to the US 2. In this case, war is a mechanism used for policy change vii. Military force can be used to change regimes when a conflict over regime types is present 1. Example: US involvement in Vietnam in hopes of a pro- American South Vietnamese government instead of a pro- Soviet Union viii. These types of causes may spring from deeper conflicts that give general concerns about state powers b. Bargaining and War i. Good political institutions can often resolve disputes that lead to war by courts backed by effective police powers ii. Bargaining includes all interactions where actors try to resolve a dispute over the allocation of a good 1. This does not mean all bargaining results in a split since some states propose “all or nothing” alternatives iii. Crisis occurs when one state seeks influence over the bargaining outcome by threat of military use iv. Crisis bargaining – a bargaining interaction in which at least one actor threatens to use force in the event that its demands are not met v. Coercive bargaining – the use of threats to influence the outcome of a bargaining interaction 1. Acts can be explicit (direct threat) or implicit (mobilization of troops) vi. Acceptable outcomes from crisis bargaining are determined by the costs and likely outcome of a war 1. Consider two states fighting over a territory worth $100 million and the costs of war would amount to $20 million 2. Expected value of going to war would be $80 million, so the state should be willing to accept any deal that gives it at least $80 million worth of territory 3. Since states determine whether or not to go to war, a state will only accept a bargain that gives it at least as much as it can expect to get from war 4. Proposition: because war is costly, a settlement that all sides prefer to war generally exists vii. Bargaining range – the set of deals that both parties in a bargaining interaction prefer to the reversion outcome. When the reversion outcome is war, the bargaining range is the set of deals that both sides prefer to war. 1. Any division of the territory in this bargaining range gives both states more than they expect to get from fighting a war c. Compellence and Deterrence: Varieties of Coercive Bargaining i. Model can be used to show conditions that make initiating a crisis beneficial in the first place ii. Positioning of status quo can create an interest in initiating war iii. Threats are classified according to whether they are intended to preserve or change the existing relationship between states iv. Compellence – an effort to change the status quo through the threat of force 1. Intended to coerce the target state into making a concession or changing a current policy v. Deterrence – an effort to preserve the status quo through the threat of force 1. General deterrence is the effort to deter attack on one’s own country 2. Also used to protect ally’s with threat of war – called an extended deterrence II. Do Wars Happen by Mistake? War from Incomplete Information a. Hussein’s military preparation for invading Kuwait in 1990 was expected to be a bluff that Kuwait resisted i. World was surprised when Hussein actually went through with the invasion ii. Example shows how bargaining can fail to resolve disputes due to poor and incomplete information about another’s willingness and ability to wage war 1. Kuwait failed to take Hussein’s threats serious b. Sources of uncertainty i. Main issue in crisis bargaining is how each state evaluates its prospects of war ii. Each state’s value for war determines what bargains it prefers to fighting iii. When uncertain about how much one state values war, there is also uncertainty of how much it must concede in order to prevent a war iv. Incomplete information – a situation in which parties in a strategic interaction lack information about the other parties’ interests and or capabilities 1. Present in bargaining when states cannot readily observe or measure key political and military factors v. Capabilities – state’s physical ability to prevail in war vi. Resolve – the willingness of an actor to endure costs in order to acquire some good vii. Total wars – in states mobilize their entire military and economic resources viii. Limited wars – states fight with something less than their full potential often because their aims are limited or of relatively low value ix. Risk-return tradeoff – in crisis bargaining, the tradeoff between trying to get a better deal and trying to avoid a war 1. State can ensure peace by capitulating to adversary’s demands c. Incentives to Misrepresent and the Problem of Credibility i. Characterization of crisis bargaining: diplomatic exchanges, threats and counter-threats, mobilization of forces, movement of troops and weaponry 1. These actions are the language of coercive diplomacy and vocabulary states use to convince one another of willingness to back their bargaining stances ii. Credibility – believability. A credible threat is a threat that the recipient believes will be carried out. A credible commitment is a commitment or promises that the recipient believes will be honored. 1. In addition to threats, the credibility of staying in war is also considered 2. A threat to start a war may be credible, but the threat to remove officials in power may not be 3. Credibility of the threat refers to the target’s beliefs, not the actual intentions of the state issuing them a. A state may have full intentions with carrying out a threat but it is not considered credible by the threatened b. Bluffs succeed when threats with no intentions of being carried out are considered credible iii. Difficulties in achieving credibility 1. Following through on threats is costly a. Example: Cold War with nuclear arms of US and Soviet Union b. Targets appreciate the costs of carrying them out 2. Conflicting interests at the heart of the bargaining interactions a. Both states may want to avoid war but still want the best possible deal for itself, which means there are incentives to hide or misrepresent their information b. If the US communicated its true strength to Iraq during 1990, Hussein might have retreated; it couldn’t though with out revealing its true strategy which would not have been successful if revealed 3. Bluffs are made to hide weaknesses d. Communicating Resolve: The Language of Coercion i. Korean War – when US intervened, it was succthsful in pushing North Korean forces back up above the 38 parallel 1. China threatened to intervene if US forces went any higher 2. When US invaded North Korea, China got involved 3. US saw China’s play as an extended deterrent threat and did not take it serious 4. Not sure if US saw China’s threat as legitimate or a bluff a. Since China did not “put more on the table” the US took the threat as noncredible ii. Methods used to make threats seem credible: iii. Brinksmanship: The “Slippery Slope” 1. During the Cold War with nuclear arms, people wondered since attacks would result in total annihilation, were threats even credible? 2. Brinksmanship – a strategy in which adversaries take actions that increase the risk of accidental war, with the hope that the other will “blink” or lose its nerve, first and make concessions 3. Each side bids up the risk of war until either one side decided to give in or they fall together into the precipice 4. As tensions rose in an international crisis, the risk of accidents would increase a. Passion and fury replace cool, rational making rash decisions more prone iv. Tying Hands 1. Make threats that make backing down difficult 2. Reasserting clear, public statements and actions, reputation is put on the line making the threatened feel more credible 3. Audience costs – negative repercussions for failing to follow through on a threat to honor a commitment a. International audience i. Other states may doubt future threats b. Domestic audience i. Voters and political opponents might seek to punish a leader who tarnishes the country’s honor and word 4. Audience costs causes leaders to “tying their hands: a. Sends the message “I cannot back down; hence my threat is completely credible” e. Review i. Incomplete information can lead to miscalculations in bargaining ii. Brinksmanship and tying hands are strategies to make credible threats 1. Mechanisms used by states to determine which threats are credible and which are not 2. Brinksmanship includes “upping the ante” to prove a state’s resolve 3. Such strategies can lock states into intransigent and incompatible bargaining positions where retreating is no
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