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Logics of WarExplanations for Limited and Unlimited Conflicts$
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Alex Weisiger

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451867

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451867.001.0001

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Short Wars of Optimism

Short Wars of Optimism

Persian Gulf and Anglo-Iranian

Chapter:
(p.159) [6] Short Wars of Optimism
Source:
Logics of War
Author(s):

Alex Weisiger

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451867.003.0007

This chapter examines a set of wars that were more limited in severity and duration. These include case studies of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the 1856–57 Anglo-Persian War, both of which match the expectations of the informational mechanism. In both cases, war occurred because the participants disagreed about relative strength or resolve, and in both cases the recognition of its errors forced the loser to make rapid political concessions that allowed for a quick negotiated settlement. The chapter argues that either the informational or the principal-agent mechanism turns out to have been most significant in bringing about the war, while significant commitment problem concerns were absent.

Keywords:   severity, duration, Persian Gulf War, Anglo-Persian War, informational mechanism, political concessions, principal-agent mechanism

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