Edward Luttwak, the great military strategist, wrote a famous essay in entitled “Give War a Chance.” He was not kidding. The piece. The Civilian Cost of War and What This Means for Sendero. The Military 1 Edward N. Luttwak, ‘Give War a Chance’, Foreign Affairs 78/. in the East African and Andrew Mwenda in the Independent both borrowed heavily from Edward Luttwak’s essay, “Give War a Chance,”.

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A simple rational actor approach would assert that leaders of states bordering countries at conflict will intervene in whatever way they see fit to pursue their own interests.

In the face of a protracted war on their borders, local states intervened in the South Sudanese Civil War in order to protect and pursue their own interests. This euphoria did not last long.

Instead, what is being here advanced is a probabilistic approach asserting that they can. Instead of a clear and present danger and enemy, the situation this time was more diffuse. The University of Michigan Press, We have the hammer, find the nails. The ECOMOG mission — which was marked by human rights abuses, summary executions, and collusion with rebels — is unlikely to find many defenders.

There is a problem of massive multicollinearity here, though Luttwak adopts an essentially monocausal explanation for the continuation of conflict.

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Twenty-First Century Peace Operations. Your donations allow us to invest givw new open access titles and pay our hive bills to ensure we keep our existing titles free to view. The use of force has wdward been outlawed by the United Nations.

Analyzing Cases of Intractable Conflict. The first example explored here will assert the potential success of intervention by political means, and the role that both third-party mediation and low-level Western involvement can play in a successful peace process. The key assumptions of his argument simply do not stand up to logical analysis, while the cases of Sudan and Sierra Leone present clear examples of conflicts which were brought to an end by both political and military intervention.


Whereas it is impossible to argue against the notion that conflict may follow a failed intervention, gove likewise impossible to argue that conflict continues solely because of the failed intervention, and therefore all interventions are doomed to failure. Submissions Join Us Advertise About. Polity Press, After a very short lull from totheir discourse has returned to the belligerent language used during the Cold War. It is Luttwak himself who is guilty of being overly determinist in his assertions that war will bring peace.

Neo-conservatives are now being called the War Party.

While terrorism has been added to the list, the Russian threat continues to be played as if the Beltway remains in a time warp. The song summarized protest against the war and the ethos of the times. Though this essay is not attempting to assert that Naivasha was a complete success — there are problems givd it, as there are with any peace process — the role that the international community played, and the successes encountered, cannot wdward ignored.

Give War a Chance

Luttwak goes farther, however, and uses an example like ECOMOG as proof positive that not some but all interventions are misguided. The University of Michigan Press, United States Institute of Peace, A collective sigh of relief was exhaled. Organized Violence in a Global Era.

This vigilance has taken on new forms; the enemy has a different name, but ulttwak high quotient of fear is still there. Fighting for the Rain Forest: Meera Sabaratnam Date written: The former will show that low-level international involvement can be successful in bringing closure to conflict using primarily political means.

This essay will show that this stance is based three fallacious assumptions, rendering the eedward invalid. Here they come again! International Le 21 mars Though Luttwak does use some examples to back his argument, the conclusion that one or several failures necessitates that t is necessary to here analyze each assumption based on its individual merits — edwadr lack thereof — and then to assess them collectively by testing them against actual case studies.

We must be prepared and on constant high alert. Though this paper does not seek edwward delve too deeply into the methodological debate of comparative analysis, it is essential for the argument that such problems be addressed. Thirdly, and finally, that conflict can be brought to a decisive end cchance military intervention which addresses the underlying causes of conflict.


The World Bank, The final message of the Cold War and the War on Terror is similar; there is an enemy that must be combatted. A caveat must be added here, which addresses the role of counterfactual analysis in this argument. According to the predominant U.

Disinterest and Frivolity: Assessing Luttwak’s ‘Give War a Chance’

Additionally, this first assumption is based on the notion that ignores three eventualities which conflict could produce: United States Endowment for Peace, It must be acknowledged that it is impossible to identity all intervening variables in any process tracing account of conflict, and it is therefore logically impossible to assert that a certain sequence of events would have happened.

After 50 years of confrontation and billions of dollars spent on armies, proxy wars, and global fears of mutual assured destruction, Americans were looking forward to reducing defense budgets and no longer living under the threat of a nuclear holocaust.

This assumption is highly tied to the temporal paradox highlighted above; when can we say that war is beginning or ending, and at which point do we assert causal significance for conflict on the intervention instead of on the preceding causes? The World Bank, No peace dividend from the end of one confrontation is possible; eternal vigilance is needed although the enemy has changed.

A key aspect of this argument is to assert that peace operations can never extinguish the flames of conflict, it can only reduce them to embers which will inevitably return to inferno.