The Dynamics of Coercion: American Foreign Policy and the Limits of Military Might

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Feb 4, 2002 - Political Science - 281 pages
0 Reviews
Successful coercion should be relatively simple for the United States. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States is without rivals in military might, political influence, or economic strength. Yet despite the lopsided US edge in raw power, regional foes persist in defying the threats and ultimatums brought by the United States and its allies. This book examines why some attempts to strong-arm an adversary work while others do not. It explores how coercion today differs from coercion during the Cold War. It describes the constraints on the United States emanating from the need to work within coalitions and the restrictions imposed by domestic politics, and it assesses the special challenges likely to arise when an adversary is a non-state actor or when the use of weapons of mass destruction is possible.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The theory of coercion
30
Measuring coercion
31
key analytic concepts
37
The path ahead
46
Coercive mechanisms
48
Commonly used mechanisms
50
Secondorder coercion
82
Conclusion
85
Limits imposed by coalitions
158
Coalitions and adversary countercoercion
171
Conclusion
172
Humanitarian coercion and nonstate actors
175
Humanitarian intervention and coercion
176
The decision to intervene
177
Common tasks during a humanitarian intervention
181
Constraints on humanitarian coercion
183

Coercive instruments
87
Air strikes
88
Invasions and land grabs
99
The threat of nuclear attack
102
Sanctions and international isolation
105
Support for an insurgency
117
Combinations
120
Conclusion
123
THE CONTEXT OF COERCION TODAY
125
Domestic politics and coercion
130
Justifying force
132
US casualty sensitivity
134
Sensitivity to adversary civilian suffering
137
US political constraints and adversary countercoercion
142
The asymmetry of constraints
148
Conclusion
150
Coercion and coalitions
152
Why coalitions?
154
The challenge of nonstate adversaries
190
Nonstate actors and countercoercion
194
Conclusion
199
Weapons of mass destruction and US coercion
201
Understanding the danger
203
WMD and escalation dominance
212
how WMD use affects coercion
216
Implications for coercive contests
218
Conclusion
224
THE FUTURE OF US COERCION
227
Challenges to strategy making
229
Why policy makers and analysts disagree
234
Coercion dynamics and credibility traps
236
Final words
239
Bibliography
241
Index
265
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

Waxman is an attorney and policy consultant in Washington, DC.