US Foreign Policy

Military Coercion and US Foreign Policy

The Use of Force Short of War
New book about the use of the U.S. military force as a coercive instrument, using historical and quantitative analysis of U.S. foreign policy in the post-Cold War era (1991-2018)
Project Info

Since the end of the Cold War the US military has conducted hundreds of combat operations, exercises, and shows of force short of war to advance American interests and persuade adversaries to meet its demands. Military Coercion and US Foreign Policy: The Use of Force Short of War, examines how the US has used its military as a tool of influence, deterrence, and coercive diplomacy to achieve US policy goals. It shows that US efforts to coerce other countries fail as often as they succeed and calls into question many longstanding assumptions about military threats.

Military Coercion and US Foreign Policy uses statistical analyses and historical case studies based on a new dataset of more than 100 cases (1991-2018) to give policymakers and practitioners new insights to help improve their odds of success.

Military Coercion and US Foreign Policy (Routledge 2020) features case studies by renowned experts such as Kenneth Pollack (AEI), Thomas Wright (Brookings), and Bill Durch (Stimson). The book builds upon the pioneering work of Barry Blechman and Stephen Kaplan in Force Without War: US Armed Forces as a Political Instrument (Brookings 1978) in attempting to better understand how applications of military force, short of war, can help achieve foreign policy objectives.

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