Snyder: Civil-Military Relations and the Cult of the Offensive 1914 and 1984

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 351
Professor
Jason Scott Ferrell
Semester
Fall

Description
Snyder: Civil-Military Relations and the Cult of the Offensive 1914 and 1984 Security, not conquest was the principal criteria used by the designers of the plans, but their net effect was to reduce everyone’s security and to convince at least some states that only preventive aggression could ensure their survival  When strategy went awry, it was because a penchant for offense helped the military organization to preserve its autonomy, prestige, and traditions to simplify its institutions routines or to resolve a dispute within the organization  Pre-ww1: the state of civil-military relations in each of the major powers tended to exacerbate that normal offensive bias, either because the lack of civilian control allowed it to grow unchecked or because an abnormal degree of civil-military conflict heightened the need for a self-protective ideology **Writes about how offensive strategies promoted war I 1914 and why each of the major continental powers developed offensive military strategies promotion of war  time pressure imposed by military exigencies may explain the haste of the crucial Russian mobilization  it was neither the reciprocal fear of surprise attack nor the change of pre- empting the opponent’s un-alerted forces that produces this pressure Germany  Schlieffen sought to capitalize on the relatively slow mobi
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