War on the cheap? : assessing the costs and benefits of proxy war
Groh, Tyrone Lee.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Decision makers face a difficult dilemma when perceived threats in another state do not clearly warrant or justify a direct military response. Under such conditions, policy makers may seek to respond indirectly. An especially alluring prospect arises when an indigenous group operating inside the target state appears willing to serve as a proxy and act in the intervening state's interests. Such a proxy seems to provide a significant benefit; it introduces a partner to share the costs and risks involved in influencing affairs in the target state. History, however, shows that pursuing interests in another country through the actions of a third party has mixed results. In some cases, an intervening state benefited greatly from supporting a proxy; in others, states incurred disastrous, unexpected consequences and exorbitant costs. The difference in the types and amounts of costs and benefits raises two questions: what are the costs and benefits of proxy war and how do conditions affect them? To date, proxy war lacks a systematic treatment of its costs and benefits. This dissertation provides such a treatment and arms strategists and policy makers with a framework for considering the potential rewards and risks before making the decision to use a proxy.
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