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Why the West's Military Superiority Scarcely Matters
Author: Rob de Wijk
Publisher: En Mets En Schilt Uitgevers
Since the end of the Cold War, liberal democracies have conducted military interventions on numerous occasions, and with mixed results. Why is it that these results have so often been poor? The main argument of this study is that to be succesful, force must be used decisively. This requires the right balance between means and ends, based on an understanding of the dynamics of coercion. But even if this is the case, asymmetrical reactions from a weak opponent could easily offset Western military might. This is why, this book argues, the West's military superiority scarcely matters. Rob de Wijk is director of the Clingendael Centre for Strategic Studies in The Netherlands. He is also professor in the field of International Relations at the Royal Netherlands Military Academy, and professor of Strategic Studies at Leiden University.
This book is an excellent introduction to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Julian Lindley-French clearly outlines all of the institution's key facets to deliver an authoritative account. Detailing the origins, institutions, workings and activities of NATO, this volume also focuses on its future as the institutional basis for the security dimension of the transatlantic relationship, and an institution contributing to global security. It is clear that NATO faces fresh challenges in the twenty-first century and will be in the spotlight for years to come.
Examining Russia–EU relations in terms of the forms and types of power tools they use, this book argues that the deteriorating relations between Russia and the EU lie in the deep differences in their preferences for the international status quo. These different approaches, combined with economic interdependence and geographic proximity, means both parties experience significant difficulties in shaping strategy and formulating agendas with regards to each other. The Russian leadership is well aware of the EU’s "authority orientation" but fails to reliably predict foreign policy at the EU level, whilst the EU realizes Russia’s "coercive orientation" in general, but cannot predict when and where coercive tools will be used next. Russia is gradually realizing the importance of authority, while the EU sees the necessity of coercion tools for coping with certain challenges. The learning process is ongoing but the basic distinction remains unchanged and so their approaches cannot be reconciled as long as both actors exist in their current form. Using a theoretical framework and case studies including Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine, Busygina examines the possibilities and constraints that arise when the "power of authority" and the "power of coercion" interact with each other, and how this interaction affects third parties.