Findings

Peace Process

Kevin Lewis

March 27, 2010

Game Theory: A Practitioner's Approach

Thomas Schelling
Economics and Philosophy, March 2010, Pages 27-46

Abstract:
To a practitioner in the social sciences, game theory primarily helps to identify situations in which interdependent decisions are somehow problematic; solutions often require venturing into the social sciences. Game theory is usually about anticipating each other's choices; it can also cope with influencing other's choices. To a social scientist the great contribution of game theory is probably the payoff matrix, an accounting device comparable to the equals sign in algebra.

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Military Intelligence as the National Intelligence Estimator: The Case of Israel

Uri Bar-Joseph
Armed Forces & Society, April 2010, Pages 505-525

Abstract:
Although Israel constitutes an interesting case for the study of civil-military relations, the role played by its Directory of Military Intelligence (AMAN) has rarely been discussed in this context. This role is of special interest, since Israel is the only liberal democracy today in which a military intelligence service functions as the leading national estimator not only in military but also in civilian affairs. The unique Israeli model is usually justified by Israel's security concerns - primarily the threat of a sudden conventional attack. To test this model's validity, this article (1) traces and elucidates its historical development; (2) employs five crucial mini case studies to test its practical success or failure; and (3) explains how, in light of the fact that AMAN failed in four of the five cases, its military characteristics create inherent weaknesses that hamper its ability to serve as a high-quality national intelligence estimator.

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The Israel Air Force in the 1967 and 1973 wars: Revisiting the historical record

David Rodman
Israel Affairs, April 2010, Pages 219-233

Abstract:
The Israel Air Force (IAF), according to conventional wisdom, constituted the decisive element in Israel's victory in the 1967 Six Day War, but had much less of an impact on the state's triumph in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The present article takes issue with this line of thinking, contending that, while the IAF's contributions to the Israeli victories in both wars were quite significant, airpower actually was more important in the latter triumph, but not decisive in either one. The article reaches this conclusion through an in-depth comparison of the IAF's accomplishments (or lack thereof) in both wars.

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How Many Casualties Are Too Many? Proportional Reasoning in the Valuation of Military and Civilian Lives

James Friedrich & Tiffany Dood
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, November 2009, Pages 2541-2569

Abstract:
People frequently judge saved lives as less valuable and deaths more acceptable when they are characterized as small fractions of larger "at-risk" groups. Two studies with U.S. college students demonstrated this effect in judgments concerning acceptable numbers of U.S. military and Middle Eastern civilian casualties. At the beginning of the current U.S.-Iraq conflict (Study 1), priming cost-benefit reasoning produced greater proportional devaluation for Iraqi civilian than for U.S. military lives. In a hypothetical armed intervention in Iran to halt weapons development (Study 2), women but not men showed greater proportional devaluation for U.S. military than for Iranian civilian lives. In both studies, proportional reasoners were willing to accept more casualties. Implications for public perceptions and attitudes are discussed.

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Are Coethnics More Effective Counterinsurgents? Evidence from the Second Chechen War

Jason Lyall
American Political Science Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does ethnicity matter for explaining violence during civil wars? I exploit variation in the identity of soldiers who conducted so-called "sweep" operations (zachistki) in Chechnya (2000-5) as an empirical strategy for testing the link between ethnicity and violence. Evidence suggests that the intensity and timing of insurgent attacks are conditional on who "swept" a particular village. For example, attacks decreased by about 40% after pro-Russian Chechen sweeps relative to similar Russian-only operations. These changes are difficult to reconcile with notions of Chechen solidarity or different tactical choices. Instead, evidence, albeit tentative, points toward the existence of a wartime "coethnicity advantage." Chechen soldiers, enmeshed in dense intraethnic networks, are better positioned to identify insurgents within the population and to issue credible threats against civilians for noncooperation. A second mechanism - prior experience as an insurgent - may also be at work. These findings suggest new avenues of research investigating the conditional effects of violence in civil wars.

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"We Don't Talk to Terrorists": On The Rhetoric and Practice of Secret Negotiations

Julie Browne & Eric Dickson
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
Political actors sometimes make public commitments not to negotiate with adversaries whom they label as being beneath diplomacy. Such commitments are sometimes made even as they are being broken. Why do actors sometimes publicly denounce adversaries with whom they intend to negotiate? What effect does such prenegotiation rhetoric have on the prospects for successful negotiated settlements? In this paper, the authors present a novel game-theoretic model of conflict bargaining, in which actors can make public commitments not to negotiate before deciding whether to engage in secret negotiations with adversaries. The authors model such commitments as affecting actors' audience costs; a denunciation increases an actor's motivation to reach a negotiated settlement if negotiations are undertaken. Although such a decision weakens an actor's bargaining power, in equilibrium actors sometimes publicly denounce their counterparts. The authors present and interpret equilibrium behavior in their model and discuss the implications of their results for future research.

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The Deception Dividend: FDR's Undeclared War

John Schuessler
International Security, Spring 2010, Pages 133-165

Abstract:
When do leaders resort to deception to sell wars to their publics? Dan Reiter and Allan Stam have advanced a "selection effects" explanation for why democracies win the wars they initiate: leaders, because they must secure public consent first, "select" into those wars they expect to win handily. In some cases, however, the "selection effect" breaks down. In these cases, leaders, for realist reasons, are drawn toward wars where an easy victory is anything but assured. Leaders resort to deception in such cases to preempt what is sure to be a contentious debate over whether the use of force is justified by shifting blame for hostilities onto the adversary. The events surrounding the United States' entry into World War II is useful in assessing the plausibility of this argument. President Franklin Roosevelt welcomed U.S. entry into the war by the fall of 1941 and attempted to manufacture events accordingly. An important implication from this finding is that deception may sometimes be in the national interest.

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The conflict mitigating effects of trade in the India-Pakistan case

Dawood Mamoon & Mansoob Murshed
Economics of Governance, April 2010, Pages 145-167

Abstract:
We examine whether greater inter-state trade, democracy and reduced military spending lower belligerence between India and Pakistan, beginning with a theoretical model covering the opportunity costs of conflict in terms of trade losses and security spending, as well as the costs of making concessions to rivals. Conflict between the two nations is best understood in a multivariate framework where variables such as economic performance, integration with rest of the world, bilateral trade, military expenditure, democracy orientation and population are simultaneously considered. Our empirical investigation based on time series econometrics from 1950 to 2005 suggests that reduced bilateral trade, greater military expenditure, less development expenditure, lower levels of democracy, lower growth rates and less general trade openness are all conflict enhancing. Globalization, or a greater openness to international trade with the rest of the world, is the most significant driver of a liberal peace, rather than a common democratic orientation.

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Targeted Killings in Afghanistan: Measuring Coercion and Deterrence in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency

Alex Wilner
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, April 2010, Pages 307-329

Abstract:
This article examines the coercive and deterrent utility of targeting the leaders of violent, non-state organizations with precision force. Building on the literatures on targeted killings and deterrence theory, this article provides a case study analysis of targeted killings in Afghanistan. Relying on publicly available and semi-private sources, the article presents a comparative analysis of four targeted killings conducted against Taliban leaders. Findings suggest that the eliminations degraded Taliban professionalism, diminished the group's success rates, influenced their selection of targets, and weakened morale. These findings speak to the efficacy of targeted killings in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency and to their value as both counter-capability and counter-motivation operations.

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Strategic Demands, Credible Threats, and Economic Coercion Outcomes

Valentin Krustev
International Studies Quarterly, March 2010, Pages 147-174

Abstract:
The crisis bargaining literature sees demands as endogenous to crises. However, despite the parallels between military and economic coercion, sanctions researchers have preferred to analyze economic coercion after demands have been issued, and have not explored sufficiently the possibility that when senders formulate their policy objectives, they consider the international constraints imposed by the capabilities and interests of target states. I complement the sanctions literature by deriving the implications of strategic goal formulation in a game theoretic model of economic coercion that assumes endogenous demands. The model explains the inconsistent empirical relationship between sanctions costs and outcomes as well as the paradoxical tendency of senders to select into difficult disputes. I find that threats are not always more effective than sanctions and suggest what an optimal sanctions policy might look like.

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Ending Civil Wars: A Case for Rebel Victory?

Monica Duffy Toft
International Security, Spring 2010, Pages 7-36

Abstract:
Since 1990, negotiated settlements have become the preferred means for settling civil wars. Historically, however, these types of settlements have proven largely ineffective: civil wars ended by negotiated settlement are more likely to recur than those ending in victory by one side or the other. A theoretical and statistical analysis of how civil wars end reveals that the type of ending influences the prospects for longer-term outcomes. An examination of all civil war endings since 1940 finds that rebel victories are more likely to secure the peace than are negotiated settlements. A statistical analysis of civil wars from 1940 to 2002 and the case of Uganda illustrate why rebel victories result in more stable outcomes. Expanding scholarly and policy analysis of civil war termination types beyond the current default of negotiated settlement to include victories provides a much larger set of cases and variables to draw upon to enhance understanding of the conditions most likely to support long-term stability, democracy, and prosperity.

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Economic sanctions and the duration of civil conflicts

Abel Escribà-Folch
Journal of Peace Research, March 2010, Pages 129-141

Abstract:
This article studies the impact of economic sanctions on the duration and outcome of intrastate conflicts. Sanctions are argued to foster the convergence of beliefs over parties' capacity, to reduce the utility of victory and to increase the costs of continuing fighting. Using a sample of 87 wars and new data on sanctions and sanction types, the author shows that sanctions and their durations are statistically associated with shorter intrastate conflicts. It is also shown that total economic embargoes are the most effective type of coercive measure in these cases and that sanctions imposed either by international organizations or by other actors have similar negative effects on war duration. In the second part of the article, the dependent variable is disaggregated, and I demonstrate that sanctions imposed by international institutions increase the likelihood of conflict resolution, whereas those sanctions not imposed by such institutions tend to increase the probability of a military victory. Moreover, if the targeted state is a member of the international institution imposing the sanctions, the effect of such coercion is even greater. Economic embargoes are also proven to increase the likelihoods of a military and a negotiated end, whereas international arms embargoes reduce the likelihood of a military victory.

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Threat and Anxiety in US Foreign Policy

Christopher Fettweis
Survival, April 2010, Pages 59-82

Abstract:
Four decades ago, Karl Deutsch devised what he called 'Parkinson's Law for national security': A nation's feeling of insecurity expands directly with its power. This certainly seems to apply to the United States, which is simultaneously the strongest country in the history of the world and the most insecure of today's great powers. The threats it has recently identified in the international system, from Iraq to Hugo Chaacutevez to terrorism, are minor compared to what most states have had to confront throughout history. As states grow in power they usually also become more materially secure; why, then, do they often seem to worry more, often about trivial matters? This essay explores the political psychology of unipolarity. Pathologies arise when irrational forces drive policymaking; presumably better policy results from more rational cost-benefit analyses.

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Do Democracies Make Inferior Counterinsurgents? Reassessing Democracy's Impact on War Outcomes and Duration

Jason Lyall
International Organization, January 2010, Pages 167-192

Abstract:
A core proposition from decades of research on internal wars asserts that democracies, with their casualty-averse publics, accountable leaders, and free media, are uniquely prone to losing counterinsurgency (COIN) wars. Yet one should question this finding, for two reasons. First, existing studies overwhelmingly adopt no-variance research designs that only examine democracies, leaving them unable to assess their performance relative to autocracies. Second, these studies do not control for confounding factors that bias causal estimates. Democracies, for example, typically fight wars of choice as external occupiers, while most autocracies face homegrown insurgencies, a function in part of divergent levels of state capacity possessed by democratic and autocratic combatants. This study corrects for both problems using a new dataset of insurgencies (1800-2005) and matching to test whether democracies experience significantly higher rates of defeat and shorter wars. No relationship between democracy and war outcomes or duration is found once regime type is varied and inferential threats are addressed.

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A simple mechanism for resolving conflict

Rafael Hortala-Vallve & Aniol Llorente-Saguer
Games and Economic Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
In Conflict Resolution situations where two parties with opposed preferences need to make a number of decisions simultaneously, we propose a simple mechanism that endows agents with a certain number of votes that can be distributed freely across issues. This mechanism allows parties to trade off their voting power across issues and extract gains from differences in the intensities of their preferences. The appealing properties of such a mechanism may be negated by strategic interactions among individuals. We test its properties using controlled laboratory experiments. We observe that equilibrium play increases over time and truthful/honest play decreases over time. The subjects almost reach the welfare predicted by the theory even when their behaviour is far from equilibrium. The fact that deviations from equilibrium do not do much damage to its welfare properties is a further argument in favour of the use of this mechanism in the real world.

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Last charge of the knights? Iraq, Afghanistan and the special relationship

Patrick Porter
International Affairs, March 2010, Pages 355-375

Abstract:
At the heart of the 'special relationship' ideology, there is supposed to be a grand bargain. In exchange for paying the 'blood price' as America's ally, Britain will be rewarded with exceptional influence over American foreign policy and its strategic behaviour. Soldiers and statesman continue to articulate this idea. Since 9/11, the notion of Britain playing 'Greece' to America's 'Rome' gained new life thanks to Anglophiles on both sides of the Atlantic. One potent version of this ideology was that the more seasoned British would teach Americans how to fight 'small wars' in Iraq and Afghanistan, thereby bolstering their role as tutor to the superpower. Britain does derive benefits from the Anglo-American alliance and has made momentous contributions to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet British solidarity and sacrifices have not purchased special influence in Washington. This is partly due to Atlanticist ideology, which sets Britain unrealistic standards by which it is judged, and partly because the notion of 'special influence' is misleading as it loses sight of the complexities of American policy-making. The overall result of expeditionary wars has been to strain British credibility in American eyes and to display its lack of consistent influence both over high policy and the design and execution of US military campaigns. While there may be good arguments in favour of the UK continuing its efforts in Afghanistan, the notion that the war fortifies Britain's vicarious world status is a dangerous illusion that leads to repeated overstretch and disappointment. Now that Britain is in the foothills of a strategic defence review, it is important that the British abandon this false consciousness.

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Soft metrics: What are they and what use are they for the Intelligence Community?

Mihaela Quirk
International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems, Winter 2009, Pages 335-349

Abstract:
Modern decision making challenges the human capacity to reason in an environment of uncertainty, imprecision, and incompleteness of information. Atop the uncertainty, ranking in the presence of multiple criteria, multiple agents, and heterogeneous sources of information is often the main task to accomplish by the analysts in the Intelligence Community (IC). Soft metrics are attributes of decision criteria that cannot be expressed numerically. These metrics are at the core of a computational engine that is perception-based, with computational 'atoms' expressed in natural language (NL). The soft metrics approach as a basis for natural language-based computing contributes to fast analyses and an efficient use of human resources in contemporary decision making such as: intelligence data analysis, the Global Strike (target pairing), risk analysis, threat assessment, strategic interactions, conflict analysis, and the strategic deterrence assessment.


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