Conflict containment in the Balkans: testing extended deterrence
Pjetraj, Walter M.
Yost, David S.
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This thesis critically analyzes a prominent theoretical framework concerning the conditions necessary for successful deterrence and conflict-containment, with special attention to historical antecedents to the current conflict in the Balkans. The analysis of four case studies is based on Paul K. Huth's hypotheses about extended deterrence. Three historical case studies examine the general and specific conditions in which the actions of the defender and the prote'ge' achieved deterrence success. The fourth case study is specifically oriented toward contemporary deterrence and conflict containment efforts in the Balkans. The three historical cases are compared with the current one. The findings suggest that the likelihood of deterrence success is increased when the immediate and short-term balance of forces favors the defender and the prote'ge'. Additionally, the analysis concludes that the defender may create an environment conducive to deterrence success through the use of coercive diplomacy. In the current Balkan crisis, military and diplomatic coercion have at times moderated Serbian behavior. However, the potential withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers from Bosnia and the lack of a truly defensive rather than peacekeeping force in Macedonia may encourage the Serbian leadership to view U.S. warnings regarding the security of Macedonia and the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo as a bluff. If so, the likelihood of deterrence success may grow problematic.
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