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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54500
Doc. No:TL24454
Call number:‭3287081‬
Main Entry:John M. Schuessler
Title & Author:Doing good by stealth? Democracy, deception, and the use of forceJohn M. Schuessler
College:The University of Chicago
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:143
Abstract:Why do leaders in democracies resort to deception when initiating the use of force? What are the consequences? These questions have taken on renewed importance with the controversies surrounding the Iraq War. My argument is that it is the democratic process that is to blame. Specifically, democratic leaders resort to deception when they anticipate domestic opposition to an open declaration of hostilities, and deception promises to blunt that opposition. Open dissent is especially likely in cases where the benefits of using force do not clearly outweigh the costs. As a general rule, the less substantial and imminent the threat and the less assured a quick and decisive victory, the more contentious a use of force is likely to be. Preventive war, intervention in the periphery, and offshore balancing have all been contested on these grounds. In such cases, leaders have incentives to preempt debate by escalating the use of force incrementally and taking pains to shift responsibility for hostilities onto the adversary. The process culminates in a manufactured crisis that justifies open warfare. Deception is entailed insofar as leaders conceal their designs, exploit pretexts to justify escalation, and oversell the use of force. Since the dissertation is a theory-building exercise, I assess the plausibility of these claims in three case studies that were chosen because they best illustrate the dynamics of interest. First, I examine a case of offshore balancing: American entry into World War II. The central argument of the chapter is that deception was necessary to facilitate American entry into even the "good war." Second, I examine a case of intervention in the periphery: American escalation of the Vietnam War. The distinctive contribution of this chapter is to show how deception can backfire in the absence of a decisive victory. Finally, I examine the Truman administration's conduct of the Cold War. This case serves as a useful contrast to the first two insofar as the United States was not looking to provoke a fight with the Soviet Union when it launched containment and was able to reap the political advantages when the Kremlin made the first overt move in Korea.
Subject:Social sciences; Deception; Democracy; Force; Foreign policy; Stealth; United States foreign policy; Political science; International law; International relations; 0615:Political science; 0616:International relations; 0616:International law
Added Entry:J. Mearsheimer
Added Entry:The University of Chicago