Politics, Economics, and Presidential Use of Force Decision Making

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This study adds to the foreign policy decision making literature by furthering an understanding of the convergence between foreign policy and domestic politics. It is also relevant to conflict theory, in particular the diversionary use of force. It uses a simultaneous design to tap the interdependence between politics, the economy, and force. Statistical analyses reveal that the unemployment and Soviet crisis activity had positive impacts on levels of US force. Ongoing war had a negative impact. Uses of force also lead to a significant rally effect in presidential approval. It offers explanations of the use of force decision process based upon the noncompensatory theory. Two case studies are presented: Dien Bien Phu, 1954, and Grenada, 1983. Finally, the study discusses the benefits of substituting domestic economic management and collective security for military force.

Table of Contents

Table of contents: Introduction; Diversionary Use of Force; Testing the Theory; Case Studies; Conclusion The Future of US Use of Force; References; Index

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