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Success and Failure in Limited WarInformation and Strategy in the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Iraq Wars$
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Spencer D. Bakich

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226107684

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226107851.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Information Institutions and Strategy in War

Information Institutions and Strategy in War

(p.1) Chapter One Information Institutions and Strategy in War
Success and Failure in Limited War

Spencer D. Bakich

University of Chicago Press

This chapter lays the foundation for the information institution approach by arguing that information/intelligence acquisition and sharing are central to effective strategic decision-making in limited war. While information features prominently in extant theories of international relations (i.e., in rationalist bargaining theory and theories of political psychology), none have satisfactorily captured the role information plays in strategy design and execution. Existing state-level theories that address the role of information in foreign policy (i.e., organizational theory) offer overly pessimistic expectations pertaining to how information is shared and to what effect. This chapter argues that information flow patterns among top policymakers and national security organizations have two institutional effects on strategic outcomes: the aggregation and adjudication of policy preferences, and leaders’ abilities to extract and convert strategic resources from within the state. Information institutions are argued to be the salient institution affecting state behavior when executives have a monopoly of policy authority.

Keywords:   Information, Institutions, Bargaining theory, Political psychology, Organizational theory, Decision-making, Strategy, Intelligence, Policy authority

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