In the article, Offense, Defense, and the Security Dilemma, Robert Jervis argues that the security dilemma is more lethal and that the international conflict is more likely to occur when the offense has an advantage over defense. Robert Jervis also maintains that, when a defense is prominent the chance of war and conflict decreases exponentially. Throughout the article, Jervis makes multiple compelling arguments regarding the offense-defense balance and the security dilemma. The security dilemma exists when "many of the means by which a state tries to increase its security and decrease the security of others." Security dilemma provides a rational foundation referred to as the ‘spiral model’, which is a term used in international …show more content…
Jervis argues that war will be brisk and conclusive and hence beneficial, so greedy states will view war as more tempting. Taking after the fundamental rationale of the security dilemma, states will be more erratic, making expansion more substantial, which makes war more alluring to states looking for security. And, the point of interest of attacking first develops with the offensive advantage, which builds the likelihood of increase in crises through defensive attacks and accidents. Robert Jervis states, “Three beneficial consequences follow. First, status-quo powers can identify each other, thus laying the foundations for cooperation. Conflicts growing out of the mistaken belief that the other side is expansionist will be less frequent. Second, status-quo states will obtain advance warning when others plan aggression… The third beneficial consequence of a difference between offensive and defensive weapons is that if all states support the status-quo, an obvious arms control agreement is a ban on weapons that are useful for …show more content…
While his ideas can work well to explain how adversaries think normatively in deciding on defensive/offensive strategies (although I cannot help but think that they work better in explaining what did occur than what would or could happen), their applicability to the types of international conflicts that bedevil today's world leaders is at least less apparent. For who would ascribe to religiously-inspired terrorists the same analytical thought patterns as, presumably, by their avowed enemies?
Can we assume that Al-Qaeda, and its offshoots, for example, employ the same self-preservation thinking, when there clearly are, in their view, greater rewards waiting in the next world for opposing the infidel? Personal safety, or even the survival of their populace, does not appear to be a variable in the calculus of opposition, and even death itself seems to be the noblest sacrifice for a cause so fanatically
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Although many people assume the motivations for war are determined by a territorial protection, a number of scholars have added other motivations for understanding why war occurs, among these historians one is a conspicuous example his name is Howard Zinn. Zinn has exposed that many countries go to war in order to bring economic prosperity to their region this need for gain in turn causes many of the upper class of that...
The purpose of this essay is to inform on the similarities and differences between systemic and domestic causes of war. According to World Politics by Jeffry Frieden, David Lake, and Kenneth Schultz, systemic causes deal with states that are unitary actors and their interactions with one another. It can deal with a state’s position within international organizations and also their relationships with other states. In contract, domestic causes of war pertain specifically to what goes on internally and factors within a state that may lead to war. Wars that occur between two or more states due to systemic and domestic causes are referred to as interstate wars.
...s to act on the basis of power and self-interest. This is false because states actually have the ability to freely choose between alternative courses of actions. War is not the only option. As Walzer says, rarely is a state credibly threatened with extinction, this means that states are free in a very clear sense, to choose to act on the basis of moral commitments and conceptions of justice as well as upon considerations of their own national interests. This can be seen in practice in democratic regimes where both national interests and moral commitments are based upon the moral beliefs of a nation’s people. Since war is an intentional human activity, states choose whether or not to take the dramatic step of embarking into war. Therefore, any intentional human activity is one that is subjected to moral scrutiny and humans are more complex than the realist picture.
War is commonly defined as an armed conflict between two entities, one that dates back to the beginning of mankind’s very existence. During this time many have attempted to explain the complex nature of war, its actors, and its origins. There are two authors in particular who have made critical analysis on the topic of war within the international system, more specifically the nature of balanced power and hegemonic war and the role that perception plays in conflict. Glipin asserts that disequilibrium will result in a hegemonic war due to inferior civilizations striking falling civilizations. Whereas Jervis asserts that misperception is the driving cause of war. I argue that it is not an inferior civilization, but rather different economies
Followers of Realist school of thought argue the case of 2003 Iraq war from the standpoint of power and Security. The Bush administration’s rationale for launching a pre-emptive attack against Iraq was based on two misleading assumptions: firstly, Iraq had or was developing Weapons of Mass Destruction (along with Iran and North Korea) and secondly, that it was aiding and protecting terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda. Such a conjecture based on unsubstantiated evidence helped Bush administration conjure up a dystopian situation which justified 2003 invasion of Iraq under the pretext of “security maximization”. This explanation was given in pursuance of the realist assumption that States’ as rational actors always act in accordance with their national security interests.
While some theorists assert the just war theory ignores the consequences of war, which are death and destruction, the theory includes several conditions that prohibit entering a war if its consequences are in any way undesirable. The jus ad bellum section asserts that a war must have a reasonable hope for success while achieving just cause and other significant benefits. If it does not, then the purpose of the war is wrong. Moreover, if a war does accomplish its intended benefits, it will be wrong if the destruction it creates is unwarranted, or greater than the benefits. Also, the just war theory includes a last resort condition that prohibits war if its benefits although significant could have been achieved by diplomacy or less destructive means. In order to support my claim, I will circumvent consequentialism by differentiating between the types of benefits and harms and saying only some are relevant to the assessment of a war while others are not.
The war strategies of Carl von Clausewitz and Antoine Henri de Jomini are not mutually exclusive philosophies. Clausewitz’s “Trinity of War”, “war as an extension of politics”, and the “unpredictability of war” speak more so to the upper, strategic and political ranges of war. Jomini addresses the operational and tactical levels in the lower ranges of war with his definition of strategy and his “Fundamental Principle of War”. So if one views their work collectively rather than as competitors, the two philosophies complement each other by addressing different segments of the spectrum of war.
Wendt, Alexander. “Constructing International Politics.” International Security. Cambridge: President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995. 71-81. Print.
It is possible to observe effective results of cumulative deterrence strategy on Israeli-Egyptian conflicts between 1948 and 1979 included four wars. During this period, Egypt has changed its principle strategic goals from total destruction of Israel to the culmination of a peace accord in 1979. Likewise, Israeli victories and crucial raids as a result of cumulative deterrence and punishment have succeeded in fostering Arab moderation and enable Israel to establish a peace in the region. The cumulative deterrence strategy of the Iron Wall Doctrine has result in shifting operational strategy of Egypt, Jordan and Syria against Israel.
People’s ideas and assumptions about world politics shape and construct the theories that help explain world conflicts and events. These assumptions can be classified into various known theoretical perspectives; the most dominant is political realism. Political realism is the most common theoretical approach when it is in means of foreign policy and international issues. It is known as “realpolitik” and emphasis that the most important actor in global politics is the state, which pursues self-interests, security, and growing power (Ray and Kaarbo 3). Realists generally suggest that interstate cooperation is severely limited by each state’s need to guarantee its own security in a global condition of anarchy. Political realist view international politics as a struggle for power dominated by organized violence, “All history shows that nations active in international politics are continuously preparing for, actively involved in, or recovering from organized violence in the form of war” (Kegley 94). The downside of the political realist perspective is that their emphasis on power and self-interest is their skepticism regarding the relevance of ethical norms to relations among states.
Taking into account that states asses its strengths in order to adopt the most effective strategies to deal with potential menaces, westerns states understand the advantages of the aforementioned theory. The current threats that the Western world take into account are composed by local, regional and global menaces. To this paper it is essential recognise the scope of all of those elements that configure a threat to the West. Among many others there are drugs, crime, and terrorism, geo-strategic actors such as the Middle East and Russia, and growing powers such as China. These are complicated patterns that states need to strategically cope with. In fact, the security strategy from Western states is framed between the combination o...
The security dilemma literatures suggest that cooperation with the other states could be a best solution to deal with the dilemma, and the states should decide when they need to enforce some strategies, such as enforce arms control and one sided defensive strategy to arms racing (Brown, Lynn-Jones, Miller 1995: 380).
Current military leadership should comprehend the nature of war in which they are engaged within a given political frame in order to develop plans that are coherent with the desired political end state. According to Clausewitz, war is an act of politics that forces an enemy to comply with certain conditions or to destroy him through the use of violence. A nation determines its vital interests, which drives national strategy to obtain or protect those interests. A country achieves those goals though the execution of one of the four elements of power, which are diplomatic, informational, military and economical means. The use of military force...
How do the terms or implementation of treaties determine peace or conflict decades later? Efforts to build a just and lasting peace are complicated not only because past grievances must be addressed, but future interests must be anticipated-even when such future interests were not identified as the cause of war in the first place. Edward Teller, discussing the Manhattan Project, observed, "No endeavor which is worthwhile is simple in prospect; if it is right, it will be simple in retrospect."2 Only if a nation perceives that continuing observance of the treaty will sustain the state over a long period of time and in changing circumstances, the peace and security promised by the treaty will endure. Machiavelli observed that ". . . fear of loss of the State by a prince or republic will overcome both gratitude and treaties."3
The study of international relations takes a wide range of theoretical approaches. Some emerge from within the discipline itself others have been imported, in whole or in part, from disciplines such as economics or sociology. Indeed, few social scientific theories have not been applied to the study of relations amongst nations. Many theories of international relations are internally and externally contested, and few scholars believe only in one or another. In spite of this diversity, several major schools of thought are discernable, differentiated principally by the variables they emphasize on military power, material interests, or ideological beliefs. International Relations thinking have evolved in stages that are marked by specific debates between groups of scholars. The first major debate is between utopian liberalism and realism, the second debate is on method, between traditional approaches and behavioralism. The third debate is between neorealism/neoliberalism and neo-Marxism, and an emerging fourth debate is between established traditions and post-positivist alternatives (Jackson, 2007).