American politics memo

Subject: Political
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 672
Topics: Americanism, Vietnam War

A Summary of Wittman’s- How a War Ends: A Rational Model Approach

This article addresses the fundamental conditions for two nations at war reach a ceasefire deal and examines how time preferences, military and domestic costs or attitudes on risk influence the nature of timing as well as the result of the peace. It perceives the cessation of war as a way of rational calculations by the people involved; otherwise, the war will persist unless both participants hold the view that they stand a chance to be in a better position through settlement. A crucial outcome of this strategy is that a limitation of hostilities can limit the probability of reaching a settlement and thereby lengthening the war. Besides, it is presented that escalating probability of winning does not necessarily translate to an increment in the probability in reaching a settlement, and thus a nation that only values the current ought not to be at a disadvantaged position in the negotiation process.

A summary of Walter’s- The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement

This article explores the fundamental barriers towards the achievement of a settlement in a civil war. It draws references from the empirical findings between 1940 and 90s adversaries in civil wars, citing that they often nearly failed to reach tangible negotiated solutions towards ending their conflicts lest an external power assured safety during the transition period. Such fact is believed to provide outstanding support towards the enhancement of the credible-commitment theory to explore resolution of civil war.  The authors emphasize that adversaries appear not capable of providing credible promise to honor the terms of the treaty and by its very characteristic provides most rewards to propel cheating and most costs occur because of cheating. Hence, the findings of the study also provide some support to explore cost-benefit hypothesis of war cessation.

A summary of Dixon’s-General Theories of War Termination

This article attempts to examine three schools of thought about war cessation, which have revolved around cessation of dominant interstate wars. The first school of thought contends to the view that war stops upon finding resolutions to their causes, while the second one is of the opinion that war ceases on condition that its dynamic processes reach equilibrium, most likely when one side is destroyed. The third one is of the view that war can stop only when parties in a conflict reach some degree of the agreement they perceive to be better than war. Hence, study labels these fundamental inquiries as the causes, bargaining, and war process approaches.

A Summary of Dixon’s- Emerging Consensus: Results from the Second Wave of Statistical Studies on Civil War Termination

This article looks at the consensus outcomes in the growing statistical literature regarding the termination of the civil war. As such, several trends are ascertained, including the result of civil war is highly dependent on the prevailing military condition, while civil war duration relies heavily on contextual factors of violence fragmentation, the nature of interethnic relationships, and the nature of economic incentives. On the other hand, compromise settlements decrease the identifiable risks associated with postwar massacres that often take a longer duration to be realized as compared to military victories and may easily collapse under situations of renewed warfare. Hence, the study concludes by recommending for the inclusion of further quantitative, qualitative analyses, and theoretical development to provide answers to puzzles often obtained from statistical findings.

A Review of Wittman’s- How a War Ends: A Rational Model Approach

This study includes fundamental conditions of time preferences, military and domestic costs, and attitudes (independent variables) and their risk influence on the nature of timing and peace outcomes (dependent variables). Although the researchers used statistical calculations to obtain probability among these variables, correlation analysis to determine the relationship between the variables lacks as well as a lack of the statement of hypothesis and hypothesis test. Hence, this weakness can be strengthened by using correlation analysis to determine the strength and direction of variables and a probability test (p-value) to validate the hypotheses.

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