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Who Wins?Predicting Strategic Success and Failure in Armed Conflict$
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Patricia Sullivan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199878338

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199878338.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter 1 Introduction
Source:
Who Wins?
Author(s):

Patricia L. Sullivan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199878338.003.0001

This chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to present a widely generalizable theory of armed conflict outcomes based on a unique integration of insights from deductive models of war initiation and modern military doctrine. Scholars and military leaders have argued that poor strategy choices, domestic political constraints on democratic governments, or failure to commit sufficient resources to a war effort can explain why the materially strong do not always prevail in war. This book argues that the key to understanding strategic success in war lies in a better understanding of the nature of the political objectives that states pursue through the use of military force. The chapter then answers the question of whether political scientists should even be attempting to predict who will win wars. This is followed by a discussion of the present state of our knowledge about the determinants of war outcomes.

Keywords:   armed conflict outcomes, war initiation, military doctrine, political objectives, military force

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