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MIT17_causes and Prevention of War_Van Evera

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  1MIT/17.42/CausesandPreventionofWar StephenVanEvera MILITARYPOLICYANDTHECAUSESOFWAR:EIGHTHYPOTHESES I. FIRSTMOVEADVANTAGE(or crisisinstability ). Thegreatertheadvantage thataccruestothesidemobilizingorstrikingfirst,thegreatertherisk ofwar. SeeSchelling,ArmsandInfluence,chapter6(assigned). A. Whendoesitpay/notpay/tomove(mobilizeorstrike)first? 1. Theproblemistwo-sided.Ifyouhaveafirst-moveadvantage,itpays youropponenttomovefirstjusttodenyyouthefirst-moveadvantage. 2. First- strike vs.first-  mobilization advantages.Botharedangerous. B. Dangersraisedbyafirst-moveadvantage(FMA): 1. Opportunisticwar.( Ifwestrikefirstwewin,solet'sstrikeand capturethebenefitsofwinning! )Notaprofoundpointbutmany analystsdon'tgetbeyondit. 2. Preemptivewar. Wefeartheywillstrike,sowemuststrike. Examples:Israel's1967attackonEgypt;Russia's1914mobilization. Andtwoextensions: -- AccidentalWar. Example:1890BattleofWoundedKnee. -- TheReciprocalFearofSurpriseAttack --Schelling.( Wefearthey fearwefeartheywillstrike;sotheymaystrike;sowemust. ) Thisisthecommonformulationoftheproblembuttheleast realistic.Historyshowsthatreciprocalfearalmostneverhappens, perhapsbecausestatesseldomseethemselvesasthreatstoothersso theyseldomexpectotherstofearthem. 3. TheDangersofCandor--themostseriousofthese3risks.States concealtheirgrievancesandtheircapabilitiesbecausetheythink: we mustlullthemintobelievingweareweakandbenign;otherwisewecan't gainsurprise. Thismakesinadvertentwarandwarsoffalseoptimism morelikely. a. Statesconcealtheirgrievances:Chinavs.USA1950,Egyptvs. Israel1973,Prussiavs.Austria1740. b. Statesconcealtheircapabilities,leavingothersunder-deterred: Chinavs.USA1950,Egyptvs.Israel1973. c. Statesconcealtheirmisperceptions,leavingothersunableto correctthesemisperceptions:NorthKorearegardingU.S.intentions 1950;ChinaregardingU.S.intentions1950;BritainandFrance regardingU.S.intentions1956,Prussiaregardingotherpowers 1740,JapanregardingU.S.will1941. C. TypesofwarcausedbyFMA:firstmobilizationandfirststrike;preemption ofopponentsandpreemptionofneutralstates. D. Howcanafirstmoveadvantagebeprevented?Theingredientsandantidotes toanFMA. 1.Isasecretmilitarymovepossible?Thisisafunctionoftwofactors: (a)theconcealmentoftheattack;(b)thespeedoftheattack.Ifso, peaceisbolsteredbytransparencyandslow-travelingweapons. 2. Canasuccessfulsecretmovechangeforceratiosintheattacker's favor? 3. Istheoffensepowerfulrelativetothedefensiveinwarfare?Ifthe offenseisveryweakthereislittlefirst-moveadvantageevenifstates canchangeforceratiosbystealthyfirstmoves. E. Howcommonarefirst-moveadvantages?Answer:veryrare.Howoftenhave theybeenperceived?Answer:often!Actualfirst-moveadvantagesare scarcebuttheillusionoffirst-moveadvantageiscommonandcauseslots oftrouble. F. Howcouldthefirst-moveadvantagehypothesisbetested? II. WINDOWS OFOPPORTUNITYANDVULNERABILITY(causing preventivewar ): The greaterthefluctuationsintherelativepowerofstates,thegreaterthe riskofwar. A. Varietiesofpreventivewar:  21. Eventsinternaltostatescancauseshiftsintheirrelativepower: Germanyvs.Russia1914,Germanyvs.BritainandFrance1940,Germany andJapanvs.USA1941,Israelvs.Egypt1956,Spartavs.Athens440 BCE,USAvs.Iraq1991and2003CE. 2. Shiftsinalignmentsamongstatescancauseshiftsintheirrelative power:Japanvs.USA1941,USAvs.Britain1812;indeedallwidewars... 3. Tacticalvs.Strategicwindows. B. DangersraisedbyWindows: 1. Attackpaysforthedecliningstate(itthinks warisbetternowthan later,andsincewarlaterislikelylet'sstartawarnow! );and belligerentdiplomacymakesmoresenseforthedecliner(itthinks a warnowwouldnotbesuchabadthing,let'sriskit! )(USA1950s.) 2. Therisingstatehaslesscredibility,henceotherswon'tsettle disputeswithit.(Othersthink: Aftertheygainstrengththeywill breakanypromisestheymadewhileweaksoagreementswiththemare worthless! )ArabsandIsraelis1930s. 3. Haste,truncateddiplomacy( Wemustresolveanydisputesbeforeour powerwanes ): a. Shortenednegotiation--->Noagreement.Examples:USSRvs. Finland1939,Britainvs.France1755(7YearsWar),Europe1914. b. Notimetowarn--->onesideunderestimatesanother'swill. Examples:GermanymisreadBritain,1914;Finlandmisreadthe USSR,1939. C. Howcommonarewindows?Answer:theyarecommoninperception,rarein reality.AsGermanChancellorOttovonBismarck(1862-1890)said, preventivewarisusuallyto commitsuicidefromfearofdeath. Whyare illusorywindowssooftenimagined? D. Applicationstotoday:wouldnucleardisarmamentcreatedangerouswindows? Wouldnuclearproliferation?Also:in2002theBushAdministration embracedadoctrineofpreventivewaragainstroguestatesthatmoveto gainweaponsofmassdestruction.Isthisgoodpolicyor suicidefrom fearofdeath ? III. FALSEOPTIMISM: Ifloserscouldforeseetheirdefeattheywouldnotfight; hencefalseoptimismontheoutcomeofwarraisestheriskofwar. (See Blainey,CausesofWar,chapter3, DreamsandDelusionsoftheComingWar, assigned.) A. Threetypesoffalseoptimism: 1. Optimismaboutrelativepower:Hitlervs.USSR1941,Arabsvs.Israel 1967,Israelvs.Arabs1973,Francevs.Prussia1870,SaddamHussein 1990-1991(HeproclaimedtotheU.S.: Wewillwalkonyourskulls! ). 2. Optimismaboutrelativewill:Japanvs.USA1941,Confederacy1861,USA vs.Vietnam1965,SaddamHusseinofIraq1990-91and2003( The Americanshavenostomachforcasualties! ). 3. Optimismaboutrelativeaccesstoallies:Germany1939,NorthKorea 1950,Germany1914. B. Causesoffalseoptimism:First-strikeadvantages?Armsraces?Self- glorifyingnationalistmyths?Multipolarity?Personalitydisorder? Narcissismandrelatedpersonalitydisorderscausedecisionmaking pathologiesingovernment. IV. CUMULATIVERESOURCES: Thegreaterthecumulativityofresources--thatis, themorethatcontrolofoneresourceenablescontrolofanother--the greatertheriskofwar. --BufferRoom: weneedtocontrolourlifelines/backyardetc. --Resourcesthatcanbeconvertedintomilitarypower,e.g.,industry. --Credibility. Howdoesthenuclearrevolutionchangethingsonthisscore? V. CHEAPWAR: Warisleastcommonwhenitscostsaregreatest. VI. EASYCONQUEST/OFFENSE-DOMINANCE: Theeasierconquestbecomes,thegreater  3theriskofwar. Offeringthisidea:HughGibson1932,RobertJervis1978. SummingitupistheassignedreadingbySVE, PrimedforPeace. Arelated idea:the securitydilemma. A. Whatisthe SecurityDilemma ?Itariseswhenstates'effortstosecure themselvesleaveotherstatesinsecure. B. Areoffensiveforcesandforceposturesdistinguishablefromdefensive forcesandforcepostures?(Sometimes.)Doestheoffense-defensebalance varyacrosstimeandspace?(Yes;comparethebattlesofFrance,1914and 1940.) C. Ten(10)DangersthatAriseWhenConquestIsEasy: 1. Opportunisticaggression.Whenconquestiseasycheapgainscanbe hadbywar,sostatesgotowar. 2. Defensiveaggression.Statesarelesssecurebecausetheirborders arehardertodefendandtheirneighborsaremoreaggressive.Hence theyseektoexpandtomaketheirbordersmoredefensible;tocut theirneighborsdowntosize;andtoousthostilenearbyregimes. 3. Fierceresistancetoothers'expansion.Smallgainsbyanenemycan snowball,soeverygainmustbestronglyopposed.Thisintensifies thecollisionbetweenexpansioniststatesandothers. 4. First-moveadvantagesarelargerbecausestatescanmakegreater territorialgainswithanymilitaryadvantagesgainedbymobilizing firstorstrikingfirst. 5. Windowsarelargerforthesamereason.Smallforce-ratioadvantages canbeconvertedintolargeterritorialgains,andsmallforce-ratio disadvantagesmaytranslateintolargelosses,sostatesareanxious tostrikewhiletheyhavetheupperhandiftheyseethemselvesin relativedecline. 6. Fait Accompli tactics: a. Thesearemoretemptingtoadopt( Wemustgainouraims,since oursafetyisthreatenedifwefail;henceweshouldadopteven recklessdiplomatictacticsiftheywillwork. ) b. Thesehavemoredangerouseffectsifadopted. 7. Alliancesaretighter,hencewarshaveagreaterpropensitytospread (e.g.,1914).(Statesthink: Wecan'tletouralliesgounderor we'llbenext;sowemustjoineverywartheygetinto,evenwarsthey start. ) 8. Secrecyistighter,hencefalseoptimismandmisperceptionaremore common;anderrorsflowingtherefromhavemorecatastrophicandless reversibleconsequences.(Statesthink: Iftheyknewourplansand forcesourenemiescouldconquerus;hencewemustobservedark secrecy. ) 9. Armsracingismoreintense,givingrisetowindowsofopportunityand vulnerability,andtofalseoptimism. 10. Offense-dominanceisself-feeding:offensebreedsoffense.( Offense isthestrongerformofwar;weshouldbuywhatworkssolet'sbuy offensiveforces. ) D. Howcanthesehypothesesbetested?Whataretheirobservable implications?Howmuchhistorycantheyexplain?Testsandwhatthey show: 1. Inthepaststateswereoftendriventowarbythesearchfor security.Inaworldofverystrongdefensesthissearchwouldnotbe necessary,andthewarscausedbythissearchcouldbeavoided. 2. Warhasbeenmorecommonwhenandwheresecuritywasbelievedscarce. E.g.,Germany'sbordersarenotdefensible;Germanyisaggressive. 3. The1914case:itsdetailsfitthepredictionsofoffense-defense theory. E. CausesofOffensiveandDefensiveAdvantage: 1. Militaryfactors: i. Arms. ii. Geography:mountainsandbodiesofwaterarebarriersto offense. iii. Nationalism.  4iv.Urbanvs.Ruralsetting. 2. Diplomaticfactors: i.Arealliancesdefensiveordefensive/offensive? ii.Do balancer statesexistanddotheybalance? iii.Can collectivesecurity bemadetowork? 3. Theconflictbetweenarmsanddiplomacy:candefendingyourallies requireoffensiveforces? F. Areoffensivemilitarystrategiesalwaysbad?Despitethedangerslisted under A ,isoffensesometimesthebeststrategyanyway? 1. For extendeddeterrence (i.e.,protectingallies)? 2. Forscaringaggressor-statesintobetterbehavior?Example:USpolicy towardStalin,1950-53?RecentU.S.policiestowardNorthKoreaand Iran? 3. Forscaringsmallorweakstatesintobetterbehavior? 4. Forlimitingone'sowndamageinwars,andforendingwars? 5. Forreformingotherwise-unreformableaggressorstates?Examples:Nazi Germany,imperialJapan,Saddam'sIraq. 6. Whentheoffensealreadydominates? G. Howeasyisconquestintherealworld?Doesthenuclearrevolutionmake conquesteasierorharder? H. Arelatedhypothesis:thesurvivaldilemma. Statesconquerordestroy otherswhentheyfearbeingphysicallydestroyed,eveniftheyneednot fearconquest. ThenewaggressiveU.S.counterproliferationpolicyis drivennotbyfearsthatterroristsmightconquertheU.S.,butthatthey mightdestroysomeofit.Ascenariotoconsider:thespreadofWMDto manyhandswillcreateasurvivaldilemma.Muchwarwillstemfromthe effortsofstatestokeepWMDoutofthehandsofcrazednon-stateactors. VII.ARMSRACINGANDWAR A.CausesofArmsRacing: 1. Secrecy. 2. Offense-dominance,offensivedoctrinesandforcepostures. a. Offensiveforcesspurmorecounter-buildingbytheotherside. b. Indirecteffects:secrecy,lessarmscontrol. B. DoesArmsRacingCauseWar?Isitmoreacauseorasymptomof internationalconflict? 1. Statesinfermalignintentionsfromothersstates'militarybuildups. Iftheyarebuyingarmstheymustintendtousethem--onus!(Hence wemightbewisetolaunchpreemptiveorpreventivewar! ) 2. Armsracingcauseswindows. 3. Armsracingcausesfalseoptimism. 4. Whytheimportanceofarmsracingisexaggerated:warandarmsracing arecorrelated,butisthecorrelationspurious?(Doesmutual hostilitycausethemboth,creatinganillusionofcausation?) VIII.WHATABOUTDISARMAMENT?ISITPOSSIBLE?WOULDITCAUSEORPREVENTWAR? A. Isdisarmamentpossible? --Couldthehumanraceeverreallybedisarmed?Considertheslaughter ofancientwars,wagedwithswordsandshields.Forexample,when RomanandCarthaginianforcesfoughtatCannaein216BCEsome76,000 ofthe126,000participantsperishedinanafternoon.Andmore recently(1994)HutuextremistsinRwandaslaughtered800,000oftheir TutsiandmoderateHutucompatriotsinafewweekswithmachetes. -- Whatqualityofverificationwouldberequiredbeforestateswould disarm?Whatarrangementstoequalizebothside'spossiblerateof breakout fromthearmscontrolregimewouldberequired? B. Isitdesirable?Theproblemofpreventivewar. C. Ifit'spossible,isitnecessary?Ifstatesalreadygetalongsowell thattheycanagreetodisarm,whyisitneeded? Theseeighthypothesesrepresenttheuniverseofmajorhypothesesonarmsandwar. Ifyoucanthinkofmoreyou'vefoundsomethingnew.
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