Air War College Thesis

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In each case, I show that domestic politics profoundly influence civilian decision-making during conflict, and that this influence is most pronounced in the months immediately preceding an election.

These findings challenge our current understanding of battlefield effectiveness, normal civil-military relations, and how democracies fight wars more generally.

This paper suggests that much of this variation can be explained by examining a state’s domestic political process.

Democratic leaders must be responsive to both the security of the state and preferences of the public when determining foreign policy and international obligations.

The timing of the vote provided just enough political cover for a few moderate Republicans to break ranks and ratify the Treaty by just four votes --- the closest margin in U. Indeed, New START appears to be unique in the amount of domestic dissent it generated before the ratification process. This paper uses an historical analysis to investigate the reasons behind domestic opposition to New START. How and why states negotiate over strategic weapons has direct relevance to how the United States conducts negotiations with other states, and understanding the role of public opinion, partisan incentives, and electoral politics is crucial to scholarship on peacetime deterrence and nuclear strategy.

With the use of archival evidence, primary sources, memoirs, and the secondary literature, it concludes that partisanship, polarization, and electoral politics explain the unique Republican opposition to the latest round of arms control agreements, and that continued trends toward polarization and party sorting may have dramatic and unforeseen consequences for the future of U. Regular budget cycles and annual evaluations of funding have created a “use it or lose it” atmosphere in agencies throughout the American government.

Her Ph D dissertation (upon which her book manuscript is based) was awarded first runner-up for the 2015 Kenneth Waltz Prize from the American Political Science Association, an award that recognizes the best dissertation written in security studies in a calendar year. in political science from Stanford University in 2015, and a S. I argue that military operations on the battlefield are systematically influenced by civilian politicians to favor lower-risk strategies in the months preceding a domestic election.

She remains an adjunct political scientist for RAND, where she works on hypersonic missile technology and nonproliferation issues. Because domestic constituencies are casualty-sensitive, democratically elected civilians face strong incentives to temporarily trade long-term strategic success for a short-term decrease in casualties, resulting in the direct and indirect politicization of military operations.

I argue that because democratic transitions are peaceful and legislatures and a free press provide institutional checks on the abuse of power, we are significantly less likely to observe incidences of diversionary war as politicians compete for reelection and transition out of office.

Further, because regular elections limit the time period during which the executive is concerned about public opinion to the months immediately before a general election, we should be most likely to see diversionary conflict during these electoral moments.

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