The, State, And War

918 Words Apr 19th, 2016 4 Pages
There’s no absolute answer to what exactly causes war to happen. International Relations scholars theorize about war in an attempt to explain the causes they think are correlated with war. Political Scientists compiled a non-exhaustive list of the conscious reasons why governments have decided to go to war. The two reasons I found to be related to the Cold War were the following: to preserve or restore a balance of power and to thwart the hegemonic aims of another power. Additionally, to fight small war now against a growing power that would pose a greater threat later (p. 284).

Kenneth Waltz in his book Man, the State, and War, distinguished three images of international relations, or levels of analysis, in terms of which we usually try to analyze the causes of war. According to the first image, war is traceable to human nature and behavior. It is embedded within the human psychology. However, Dougherty argued that international war cannot be adequately explained only by reference to psychological and biological explanations of individual aggressiveness. The first image does not provide a rational explanation for the causes that led to the Cold War, as it is limited to the human psychology. This individual level of analysis points towards the way individual leaders and their inner circles decide to go to war. George W. Bush’s decision to go to Iraq in the second Gulf War can serve as an example for a decision that was made through this first image. President Bush and…
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