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How Wars Start: Capabilities, War Aims, Perceptions

  • Robert E. Harkavy
  • Stephanie G. Neuman

Abstract

Generally speaking, or historically speaking, wars have begun for any number of reasons or as a result of a variety of possible sequences. Some have begun almost suddenly, erupting like a summer storm with little warning and with few prior expectations. Others have been the culmination of lengthy rivalries and feuds, involving arms races and serial crises. Some have begun definitively on a given day, with the opening of full-scale hostilities, while others have escalated slowly from a minor skirmish to all-out battle, sometimes involving an interregnum often characterized as “phony war.” Some wars have been premeditated; others have involved crises escalating out of control, constituting wars that “nobody wanted.” The variety is mixed and nearly endless.

Keywords

Gross National Product Force Ratio Military Expenditure Major Power Incumbent Regime 
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Notes

  1. 1.
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    This analogy in the minds of the Pakistani military hierarchy is pointed out in D. K. Palit, The Lightning Campaign (New Delhi: Thomson Press, 1972), p. 77, wherein: “The Pakistani high command has for a number of years nursed a pipedream about launching a massive surprise offensive deep into Indian territory—spearheaded by armoured formations, a la Moshe Dayan.”Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert E. Harkavy and Stephanie G. Neuman 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Harkavy
  • Stephanie G. Neuman

There are no affiliations available

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