The Strategy of 'Proxy War' According to Christopher Chase-Dunn

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With the advances of modern military technology and more specifically, nuclear weaponry, in the past half-century, war between great powers has seemingly become a relic of the past. The prospect of mutually assured destruction has radically transformed military and diplomatic strategy since the end of the Second World War. Rather than direct confrontation between great powers these states now elect for more indirect means at challenging their opponents. One manifestation of these changes has been the emerging importance of proxy wars as a means to confront and challenge powerful states without directly provoking them. This is the largely accepted reason for the use of proxy wars, but this essay will argue a different interpretation of the concept. This essay will analyze the concept of proxy wars through the lens of a world-systems theorist: Christopher Chase-Dunn. With extensive emphasis on his writings in Global Formation: Structures of the World Economy this essay will provide an interpretation that is consistent with Chase-Dunn's worldview. It will be argued that the logic behind proxy wars is less a matter of geopolitical and geostrategic aim than it is a matter of economics and the domination of the interstate mode of production. After an outline of the world-systems view, the terminology that will be used to describe the actors in the world-system, and the relationship between these actors, this essay will commence with the application of these ideas to the use of proxy wars in achieving the strategic goals of the state. Most prominent among these goals is the reinforcement of the core/periphery hierarchy, which is necessary to the continued functionality of the capitalist mode of production that has proliferated th... ... middle of paper ... ...istopher Chase-Dunn the function and the strategy behind the use of proxy wars is better understood as a matter of economic interest. Through the diversion of interests in periphery away from worker's rights and labour organization and the prevention of socioeconomic development proxy wars have served to reinforce the core/periphery hierarchy which is critical to the maintenance of surplus extraction and flow to the core. If capital accumulation in the core were to cease then the result would be political conflict and social mobilization that would ultimately threaten the balance of the capitalist interstate system. Works Cited Bar-Siman-Tov, Yaacov. "The Strategy Of War By Proxy." Cooperation and Conflict 19.4 (1984): 263-273. Print. Chase-Dunn, Christopher K. Global Formation: Structures of the World-economy. (Cambridge, Mass., USA: B. Blackwell, 1989). Print.

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