Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Denial vs. Punishment: Strategies Shape War, but War Itself Affects Strategies

Nakao, Keisuke (2017): Denial vs. Punishment: Strategies Shape War, but War Itself Affects Strategies.

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Formal models of war termination have been developed along two major approaches: in one, war is interpreted as a series of battles, where belligerents exchange denial campaigns; in the other, war is illustrated as a process of bargaining with mutual punishments. In integrating these two approaches, we build a dynamic model of war, where two belligerents choose to attack each other on either force or value in every period. In the early stage of war when military strength is balanced between the belligerents, they both conduct (counterforce) denial campaigns. However, toward the end when one side has depleted its capabilities of fighting, the other side switches to (countervalue) punishment campaigns to coerce the opponent into capitulation. Accordingly, while denials largely determine a war's outcome, punishments can influence its duration. Unlike existing studies, our theory illuminates the two-way causal relationship, where military strategies shape war, while war itself affects the strategies.

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