Case study analysis of air power development as a test of external democratic behavior.
MacDonald, Robert J.
Moyano, Maria Jose
Moyano, Maria J.
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The United States National Security Strategy is based on two essential propositions: that peaceful international relations can be established through the global spread of democracy and economic capitalism. This thesis challenges the premise of democratic peace through a case study analysis of French, British, and United States' air power development in the 1920s and 1930s. The most powerful argument supporting this theorem is that a democracy's culture, perceptions, and practices inculcate internal nonviolent conflict resolution which are, in turn, practiced in their external relations with other states. If this were true, a democracy's international interaction will reflect these influences in their military, economic, and political exchanges. Focusing on the military aspect of international relations supporting national security, this thesis evaluates if democracies historically tended toward more humanitarian approaches. Did the development and application of democratic state air power doctrine support the notion that democracies tend to be peaceful international actors? At stake is the direction of United States' national security policy and whether it will be based on an idealistic view of international interaction—the "prism of peace"; or whether it should continue to be founded with a realist's eye toward interstate relative power considerations.
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