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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

Explaining Strategic Performance in Limited Warfare

Explaining Strategic Performance in Limited Warfare

(p.19) Chapter Two Explaining Strategic Performance in Limited Warfare
Success and Failure in Limited War

Spencer D. Bakich

University of Chicago Press

This chapter establishes the theoretical framework for the book. Initially, the problem of escalation is argued to be central to limited warfare and limited war strategies. Undesired escalation can take in three forms: vertical, horizontal, and durational. Successful limited war strategies are those that effectively balance the military and diplomatic objectives sought. Four possible strategic outcomes are rendered from the interaction of military failure/success and diplomatic failure/success. The chapter argues that successful limited war strategies result from a state's capacities to extract and convert relevant military and diplomatic information into strategy. A state's information institution (i.e., the pattern of information flow among policymakers and national security organizations) is the ultimate source of strategic success and failure. Two alternative explanations of strategic performance in limited war are presented: organizational culture theory and democratic civil-military relations theory. Finally, the hybrid method of typological theory and process tracing is discussed.

Keywords:   Limited war, Escalation, Strategy, Information Institutions, Military, Diplomacy, Organizational culture, Civil-military relations, Typological theory, Process tracing

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