A more satisfying view on why big nations lose small wars: the decisive elements for asymmetric conflict outcome

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A more satisfying view on why big nations lose small wars: the decisive elements for asymmetric conflict outcome

Type: Master thesis
Title: A more satisfying view on why big nations lose small wars: the decisive elements for asymmetric conflict outcome
Author: Brongers, Kevin
Issue Date: 2017-11-30
Keywords: global conflict
asymmetric conflict
Mack
Arreguin-Toft
Abstract: Military conflicts with a significant difference in military power or strategy between two opponents are called asymmetric conflicts. Since World War II, research proves military and technological superiority proved to be a highly unreliable ground to predict the outcome of wars. This thesis aims to develop a more satisfying answer on why big nations lose small wars in asymmetric conflicts. The weaknesses and strengths of the currently leading explanations on asymmetric conflict outcome are assessed and combined. Instead of creating another rival view, currently known decisive elements for asymmetric conflict outcome are combined in a new, more comprehensive model. Although further research should assess the significance of the individual variables and the relevance of possible other variables, this thesis concludes that if the duration of an asymmetric conflict is short, the external political pressure aimed at the strong actor is low, the internal political pressure in the home country of the strong actor is low, a symmetrical military strategy is adopted and the strong actor received more military support from an external actor than its opponent, the strong actor is most likely to win the asymmetric conflict.
Supervisor: Regilme, Santino
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Relations (Master)
Specialisation: International Relations
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/56028
 

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