Air War College Thesis

Air War College Thesis-49
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She studies how democratic political institutions affect inter-state conflict and foreign policy decision-making.

Her work has been supported by the Stanton Foundation, the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, Stanford University, and has been included on syllabi at Yale, MIT, Stanford, and other major universities. Do domestic political institutions affect the way that states fight wars, and if so, why?

I test this by first presenting evidence that shows considerable temporal variation in alliance formation amongst democracies, and then by utilizing a new dataset that tracks the electoral calendar of every state in the modern era.

Results indicate that democracies are much less likely to enter into alliances in response to new security threats as domestic elections draw nearer and public opinion becomes increasingly important.

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.

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.

The third and fourth empirical chapters evaluate systematic deviations and patterns in bombing operations over North and South Vietnam using a recently released dataset that enables analysis of bombing runs from 1965 to 1975.

Finally, I conclude with a comparative case study of the strategic bombing campaigns as executed by the United States and United Kingdom during World War II.


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