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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Why Has it Prevailed So Long? Stephen Morrison and Alex De Waal asserted that it was only the effort of third-party mediators — with committed low-level edwars — to intervene to compel belligerents of the Sudanese Civil War to break the deadlock and embrace peace.

The final message of the Cold War and the War on Terror is similar; there is an enemy that must be combatted. 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.

The response to this state of perpetual war does not have to be pacifism. Thirdly, and finally, that conflict can be brought to a decisive end through military intervention which addresses the underlying causes of conflict. United States Institute of Peace, There seem to be few historical examples which would support this view.

This paper would find agreement with Luttwak here: Additionally, this first assumption is based on the notion that ignores three eventualities which luttwaj could produce: There is a problem of massive multicollinearity here, though Luttwak adopts an essentially monocausal explanation for the continuation of conflict.

Indiana University Wag,vii-viii.

This argument is not only counterintuitive on paper, it is also based on a set of spurious assumptions far too broad to be ignored. A Dirty War in West Africa: In argument addressing what should or could have happened, adopting a counterfactual view of history is inevitable. Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing.


Additionally, he asserts that wars have not progressed towards this outcome, due to meddling on the part of the Global North. 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.

Give War a Chance

Indiana University Press, This essay will show that this stance lutwtak based three fallacious assumptions, rendering the argument invalid. London School of Economics Written lutteak This causes a causality dilemma, in which intervention of a conflict is granted causality for war instead of the actual causal mechanisms which caused it in the first place. 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?

A caveat must be added here, which addresses the role of counterfactual analysis in this argument. Organized Violence in a Global Era. A complex history of this intervention is not required, its military successes are well documented in the literature on Sierra Leone. The assumptions that war will end and create peace ignores the idea that there are actors who benefit lhttwak war and its continuation, and have no desire to see it end.

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 edwarr or lack thereof — and then to assess them collectively by testing them against actual case studies.


In their analysis of why this conflict chancs for twenty-two years, at the cost of almost two million lives, Ali, Eldadawi and El-Batahani assert key causal significance to the duration on external intervention on the part of neighbouring regimes supporting rebel movements.

This concept, influenced heavily by Clauswitzian thinking, asserts that we givee assign a clear beginning and end date to any conflict. The former will show that low-level international involvement can be successful in bringing closure to conflict using primarily political means. Trying to Understand Collective Heroism and Responsibility. War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone.

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Causal factors of both greed and grievance which existed prior to a failed intervention will exist afterwards if not addressed, and at best, can only change hands as one belligerent force seeks dominance over another. Though this paper does not seek to delve too deeply into the methodological debate of comparative analysis, it is essential for wzr argument that such problems be addressed.

Send troops to the Baltics to bolster the first line of defense. The World Bank, Luttwak goes farther, however, and uses qar example like ECOMOG as proof positive that not some but all interventions are misguided.

Meera Sabaratnam Date written: Clausewitz, Carl von On War. The song summarized protest against the war and the ethos of the times. Analyzing Cases of Intractable Conflict.