Why Do States Choose For Fight Limited And Proxy Wars?

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Strategic Studies z5012301 Why do states choose to fight limited and/or proxy wars? How effective is this as a strategy? With the conclusion of World War Two, a thirty-five year period of political and military tension erupted primarily between two superpowers: the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR). This period of time is known as the Cold War. The Cold War was a conflict of differing ideologies amid the superpowers and formed the basis of conflict; war fought by proxy and limitation. Proxy and limited wars are fought in order to secure National interests through means other than unrestricted war or state-on-state conflict to mitigate the risk of an existential war or potentially unacceptable strategic consequences. This essay will analyse the reasons states seek to secure their national interests through limited and proxy wars and examine their effectiveness as a strategy. In doing so this essay will argue that both can be effective as a strategy, but the extent to which they are is dependent on the effective application of certain enduring tenets. Limited wars are defined as those in which the weapons used, the nations or territory involved, or the objectives pursued are restricted in some way, in particular one in which the use of nuclear weapons is avoided. The belligerents involved in a limited war do not aim for complete ‘domination or extinction’. States often choose to fight a limited war to lower the risk of escalation, reduce the economic and

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