Obstacles to enduring peace in asymmetric conflicts: a U.S. perspective

01.06.2007

By Non classé

Since the end of the Second World War, wars between state and substate actors have more and more often fallen into the category of “asymmetric” war: war between two actors or groups of actors characterized by a large gap in material power relative to each other. In theory, wars of this type should be rare, because if power implies victory, then since one actor dramatically out-powers another actor David should give in to Goliath’s demands without the bother of actually fighting, since the outcome – defeat for David – is known in advance. In reality, however, both the frequency of such wars as a proportion of the total, and victories by Davids have risen over time.

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