Dangerous Thresholds: Managing Escalation in the 21st by Forrest E. Morgan, Karl P. Mueller, Evan S. Medeiros, Kevin

By Forrest E. Morgan, Karl P. Mueller, Evan S. Medeiros, Kevin L. Pollpeter, Roger Cliff

Escalation is a ordinary tendency in any kind of human pageant, and modern day safeguard setting calls for that the us be ready for a number of escalatory threats. This research of escalation dynamics and ways to escalation administration attracts on various old examples from global conflict I via Somalia within the early Nineteen Nineties to notify escalation comparable decisionmaking.

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RAND Corporation, MR-1061-AF, 1999, pp. 30–36. 19 See Benjamin S. : RAND Corporation, MR-1365-AF, 2001. S. S. S. S. 21 Although it provides a handy first-cut image of the escalation concept, the escalation ladder metaphor can be seriously misleading if taken too seriously, in at least two respects. First, it offers a linear model of a phenomenon that is actually far more complex and ambiguous. There are a host of directions in which a conflict or confrontation can escalate, and, unlike the rungs on a ladder, it is not always clear whether the opponent or a third-party audience will consider one step to be more or less extreme than another, especially when the steps involve dissimilar measures.

1 However, systematic thought about escalation and theories on how to manage it did not crystallize until the Cold War, when the nuclear capabilities of the United States and the Soviet Union made the potential costs of uncontrolled escalation horrific. Cold War–era thinking about escalation focused on the dynamics of bipolar, superpower confrontation, and theories on how to manage it emerged as a branch of nuclear-deterrence literature. Escalationmanagement constructs offered approaches for manipulating mutual 1 Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Michael Howard and Peter Paret, eds.

The sources of accidental escalation usually reside at the front line rather than in the centers of command, however, so policy responses to the mechanisms will look quite different. Prescriptions for minimizing the risks of accidental escalatory events depend on the nature of the accident. The chances of accidents occurring due to failures of mechanical systems (either literally or figuratively) can be reduced (but not eliminated) by designing these systems in such a way that allows for a high degree of reliability and by creating procedures, including ROE for armed forces, designed to minimize such risks.

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