Daryl Press on credibility
January 25, 2007 1:14 PM   Subscribe

The Credibility of Power. Daryl Press, author of Calculating Credibility: How Leaders Assess Military Threats, argues that in a crisis, the credibility of threats is primarily determined by the balance of power and the interests of stake; past history is relatively unimportant. As case studies, he examines the decision-making of Hitler and his generals during the crises over Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. "To this day, U.S. leaders ... are loath to reevaluate existing commitments for fear that doing so would signal irresolution. These fears, however, are greatly overblown." An example of US rigidity: Gideon Rose on the end of the Vietnam War.
posted by russilwvong (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
'irresolution' is a great word.

This is my only comment.
posted by rokusan at 1:48 PM on January 25, 2007

Mod note: fixed link
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:02 PM on January 25, 2007

Some other interesting writings by Press:

The Myth of Air Power in the Persian Gulf War and the Future of Warfare. International Security, Fall 2001. Argued that the effectiveness of bombing in the 1991 Gulf War was exaggerated, that Saddam's tank forces survived the bombing--they were just outmatched by the technical superiority of the allied tanks.

Keir Leiber and Daryl Press, The Rise of U. S. Nuclear Primacy. Foreign Affairs, March/April 2006. Leiber and Press argued that ongoing improvements to the US nuclear arsenal and the decline of the US arsenal have given the US first-strike capability (!)--intentionally or not--which could be destabilizing in a crisis. Sparked some interesting discussion; Foreign Affairs also published an exchange of letters.
posted by russilwvong at 4:50 PM on January 25, 2007

Policy kills.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:42 AM on January 26, 2007

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