Download Dangerous Thresholds: Managing Escalation in the 21st by Forrest E. Morgan, Karl P. Mueller, Evan S. Medeiros, Kevin PDF

By Forrest E. Morgan, Karl P. Mueller, Evan S. Medeiros, Kevin L. Pollpeter, Roger Cliff

Escalation is a traditional tendency in any kind of human pageant, and modern-day defense surroundings calls for that the U.S. be ready for a number of escalatory threats. This research of escalation dynamics and methods to escalation administration attracts on various historic examples from international conflict I via Somalia within the early Nineteen Nineties to notify escalation similar decisionmaking.

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Extra info for Dangerous Thresholds: Managing Escalation in the 21st Century

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1, Summer 1992). This is a classic example of the difficulties of divining an adversary’s thresholds and the associated risks of inadvertent escalation. , 1991, especially pp. , 1991, pp. 208–219. The Nature of Escalation 25 may or may not still be required, depending on whether the action still holds appeal once its escalatory potential is made clear. Several factors make this more problematic in practice than it may appear at first glance, however. One is that an inadvertent escalation risk may not be recognized in advance by any party in a conflict.

S. actions is not dramatically easier and, in some cases, can be even more challenging. S. Navy Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) attacked an air-defense target in western Bosnia. 14 Such surprises can result from having imperfect intelligence about the enemy, but in many cases, the problem is not that the enemy’s attitude toward 14 Similarly, the Serbs interpreted the expansion of NATO’s air defense–suppression effort from eastern to western Bosnia, which occurred as a matter of course when sufficient aircraft became available to conduct the operation, as a deliberately and significantly escalatory step in NATO’s campaign.

Will the first bombardment of a city using conventional explosives appear more or less escalatory than the first poison gas attack against a military target? Is attempting to kill a nation’s leader more or less provocative than gravely insulting the national religion? Answering such questions is not only often difficult but also frequently unimportant. The other serious problem with this metaphor is that you cannot fall up a ladder. Climbing a ladder requires purposeful effort, while escalation can happen unintentionally and—especially in armed conflicts and often in prewar crises—it is usually easier to escalate than to deescalate.

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