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Determinants of Military Strategy, 1903-1994: A Quantitative Empirical Test

Dan Reiter and Curtis Meek
International Studies Quarterly
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 363-387
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2600760
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Determinants of Military Strategy, 1903-1994: A Quantitative Empirical Test
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Abstract

Military strategy is centrally important to understanding the causes, conduct, and outcomes of war. Several foreign policy theories make predictions as to what military strategies a state will choose. This article presents the first quantitative, empirical tests of hypotheses of strategy choice. Analysis was conducted on a random sample of country-years taken from the population of all countries from the years 1903 to 1994. Military strategy is classified as being either maneuver, attrition, or punishment. Empirical findings reveal that democracies and industrialized states are more likely to choose maneuver strategies, and that a state's own experiences affect the likelihood of it choosing maneuver. Factors found not to affect strategy choice include terrain, the level of external threat, troop quality, whether a state is democratizing, whether a state is a mixed regime, whether a state is a military regime, and vicarious experiences.

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