Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 68


Seven Bridges Press, LLC

Os Fifrh Aveoue
New York, NY 10010


The Dyna mies o Deterrence


List of Figures

Nucleilr ProliferilriOrl and rh e Likelihood of Wuf The Case o Ballislic Missile Deense Conclllsions and Policy Implieations

94 97



Economc Applications : Growth, Trade, anc/ Democrac)'

The Polilies o; Security md Eco nolllics The Statu s Q uo and Interna tional Political Economy Power Transi lion and Economie Policies Economic Growth and Regirne Change Integratio n Eeonomic Consequenees of Waf Conclusions a nd Polic y Illlplica ti ons

107 107 109

113 122




Classic Powt r Pyramid

FIGURE 1.2 8

Grear l'owcr Shifts, 181 5-2000



Hiera rch ies in the Internacional S)'stem


Crear Power Competirion,





Disrribution of Sa risfaction

The Gerrnan Challengc, 1900-1950


Part 111 Poliey <;ha/lenges

6. The Realignrnent Challenge: The Expansion o( NATO
Power Transilions and lhe E xp,lf1sion o( NATO Russia's Oplions Managing Russian Entr)' inlo NATO Managing he Chinese Reaction Conclusions: The Futllre o NATO
135 135

Degree af Coo perarion and Joinr Status Quo Evaluations

fiGURE 1.5 12

German-U.K. Status Quo Evalll<1tion, 1870-2000



War Occurrences and Joim Status

SlIperpowcf Competition. 1950-2000



Quo Evalulrions

'(40 146 -r50 153 153 156 157


Q \ IO


511pe rpower Status


AlIiances ood Joint Srarlls Quo

fiGURE 1.7



The Asan Chal/enge

Managing Power: The Prirnacy of China Tlle Dyna mics o i China's Power Transiti on Managing the Transilion Slrategy 1: Engineering Satisfaction \Vith "f{ealignmenr" Srrategy 2: Contro/ling Territorial Flashpoin ts Slra tegy 3: Reengineering Power Distributions Managing Power: The Emerge nce of India Conclusions: China, India, and (he United Sta tes


A/liance Fonnarion, StatuS Quo, and rhe Probabiliry oE Wal'


Regiona l Hiera rchies in the lntcrna rional Sysrem




Probability ol Regional Wars


The Endogenolls Growrh Trajec tory



167 '175 176 179

A wirh a High Probability of War

fiGURE 1.10

Relarive Power of Norrh und South Vietn am, 1955 -75





The World to Come

The 5tate of (he Worfd -rhp Nf!xt Internalional Periad

A Transition wirh Probabiliry of War



ReI,l[ive Power of Iran and lraq, 1962-95

fiGURE 4.1



A Transirion wirh a Very High Probabiliry of War


Nuclear War POPlllarion Losses for Grear Powers





Tbe $trucrure of Delctreoce



\ Power Transitions: Strategies for the . 21 st Century

Ranald L. Tammen Jacek Kugler Oauglas Lemke Allan C. Stam 111 I\1ark Abdallahian Carale Alsharabati Brian Efird and A.F.K. Organski

11.( ': . !:>o

'- t \


. . "

1 ' ("\'






The Oynamics of Oeterrence Nuclear Prolifera/ion and Ihe Likelihood of Wilr The Clse of Ballistic MissiJe Oefense Conclusions ancJ Policy IrnpJiC3tions

94 97


List of Figures


Economic Applications: Growth, Tl'ade, and Oemocracy

The Politics oi Secwity and Econornics The Status Qua and InternationaJ Political Econorny Power Transition ane! Economic Polcies Economic Growth alle! Re gime Change Integration Economie COl1sequenees


107 109 113

122 125

FIGURE 1.1 Classic Powtr Pyramid

FIGURE 2.1 Grear l'ower Shifts, 181S -2000


or War

fiGURE 1.2 II Hierarchies in ch e Internarional Sysrern

fiGURE 1.3 10 11

FIGURE 2.2 49 Grear Power Competition, H 1.5-1900

52 FIGURE 2.3 The Gerrnan Challenge, 1900-'1950

Conclusions ilnd Poliey Implications


DiSlribution of Sarisfaction FIGURE 1.4 Degree of Cooperarion and Joinr Status Quo [valu3rions

Pan 11)

Policy <;:nalJenges


The Realignment Challenge: The Expanson of NATO

Power Transi/iolls and the ExpJnsiol1 01 NATO RU$s a's Options tvlanaging Russiall Entry into NATO Managing the Chinese Reaetion Conclusions : The Future of NATO

FIGURE 2.4 53 German-U.K. Starus Quo Evaluaton, 1870-2000 55 FIGURE 2.5 Superpower Competition. 1950-2000 FIGURE 2.6 Superpower Sta rus Quo Evaluation, 1941-2000 FIGURE 3.1 RegionarHierafchics in rhe Internarional Sysrem FIGURE 3.2 Probability of Regional Wars FIGURE 3.3 ReJative Power of Norrb and 50mh Vieltlam, 1955-75 FIGURE 3.4 Relarive I'ower 01 Iran and Iraq, 1962-95
fiGURE 4.1



FIGURE 1.5 War Occurrences and Joint Status Quo Evaluations FIGURE 1.6 !\lIiances and Joinr Status Quo Evaluacions FIGURE 1.7 Alliance Formarion, Sratlls Quo, and rhe Probabiliry of War




146 150
153 '/53



The Asan Challenge

Mana ging Power: The Primacy of China The Oynamic5 of China ' s Power Transitioll Managing the Trallsition Strategy 1: Engineering Satislaction with Strategy 2: Contralling Territorial FJashpoints Strategy 3: Reengineering Power Oistributions Managing Power: The Emergenc e 01 India Conclusions: China, India, and the United States




157 158

17 FIGURE UJ The Endogenou5 Growrh Trajectory


FIGURE 1.9 A Transicion wirh a High Probabiliry of War FIGURE 1.10 A Transirion wirh a Low Probabilty of War FIGURE 1.11 A Transition weh a Very High Proba biliry of War FIGURE 1.12 Relative Power, ancl $atisfacrion, and che Probability o \\lar fIGURE 1.13 The Timing of War FIGURE 1.14 The Severily of War FIGURE 1.15 The Duration of \'':lr





The World to Come

The State o( the Worle! 182



The Next InternationaJ Perioc/

182 189

Nuclear War Popularion Losses for Grear Powers FIGURE 4.2 The Srrucrure of Dererrence FIGURE 4.3 Classical Dererrence and rhe Probablity 01 Nuclear War

Notes Bibliography






FIGURE 4.4 91 PoweJ Transjrion alld rhe Probability of Nuclear War ' FIGURE 4.5 The Dynamics of Deterrence

About the Authors




List of Figures Preface Acknowledgments A Tribute to AF.K. Organski Part I Foundations 1. Power Transition Theory for t he Twenty-first Century
The Seareh for New Expl <) ll ations The Strueture af Pawer Trallsition Theary Dynamics oi Satislaetion ancl Dissatislaetioll Dynamies o Power Why Confliet Arises in the International System The Management o Worlcl Politics Concl usions and Projeetiolls

ix xi
xv xvii

4 6






Pawer Transition Theory Tested in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centllres

Evolution of the Internationa l System since '1815 Conclusions and Projections

44 45

Part II




Regional Applications: MlIltiple Hierarchies

Multiple Hierarehies in World Polilics The Multiple Hierarchy MocJel Regional Analyses of the Multiple Hierarchy Model Dynamic5 af Regional Transitions The Dif(u sion 01 War Conclusions and Poliq' Implica tion s


66 71
74 77

82 83


Security Applications: Deterrence and Proliferat an

Tll e Costs o Nuclear War Th e Structure of Deterrence

xiii xii

in that ir offers cJear and relevant implieations for polieymakers concerned with rhe management of internarional poliries. This is a propirious moment for (his theory ro be extended into poliey terms. The theoey has now progressed far enough to offer refined polie)' advice.Alhl there is a clemand fo c new ideas ro guide foreign policies at rhe staet of the new centuey. This book explains how the internacional sysrem is organized. Ir disCLlsses when, how, and why wars occur ar the grear power and regional power levels. Ir provides guidanee for polieymakers abour managing rhe incernational system ro avo id war. It offers a general theory oE intern acional policics tbat ries togecher both economic and seeurity eonsiderations. Ir also provides a gllide to undersranding peaee ,15 a produce of economie and policical integration. Our ideas are first presented rheoretically. The theory subseqllently becomes a framework for rhe applieacions, but only after being sllbjecced to empirical validarion by resting against the historical record. Following chis foundation, currenr policy implieations are diseussed and analyzed. Fllture exrensions are elaborated as a guide ro sysrematie long-cerm policy development. The final ehapter oHers a theoretieally informed walk inco the future. The poliey chaprers address the fundamental ehallenges o che international sysrem. In che afrermath of rhe Cold War, regional conflicrs have been eleva red in importance. We deal with these issues direerly in chaprer 3. Despice the aseendancy oE regional issues, nuclear weapons and strategy retain a position of nationalimporrance. Therefore, nuclear deterrence and proliferarion are disellssed in chaprer 4. Wirh the downgrading of major power eonflier propensity, che foeus oE major power relations also has shifced ro economic intcractions. In chis arena there are rwo trends, one wward integration and consolidatian and a seeond involving sanctions and rrade wars. Chaprer 5 discllsses rhese issues in detail. Having looked at currenr regional, nuclear, and eeonomic issues, we move to the ehallenges faced by deeision makers looking fo rward in rime. Chapters 6 chrough 8 formulace speeifie poliey reeommendarions for rhe furure relations of rhe great powers of the twenry-firsr eentllry: the Uniced Sta res, China, che European Un ion, Russia, and India. In che poliey chapters we focus firsr on how NATO expansion, perhaps ro indude Rnssia, could affecc worldwide power distributions. In che eady decades of this eentury, the British failed to eonstruet a coalition to preserve srability and peaee in rhe Jaee of rhe German-led challenge to the internarional order. The United States has rhe opportunity to avoid rhe mistakes of the 1930s by strueruring a more suceessful eoalicion. The United States can also maintain peace and stabiliry by slIccessfully managing rhe fllture transitions wirh China and India. The eoalition opron is discussed in chapter 6, tbe Chinese and lndian power transitions are discllssed in chapter 7, and the shape of rhe next international bierarchy is projeered in chapter 8.

The eoneept oE this book was boro in a typhoo n in Tokyo, where Or- , ganski, Kugler, aod Tammen fOllnd themselves isolated by che forees oE natllre. Released from the ryranny of eheir schedules, rhey olltlined the organizaron o rhis volume wirh rhe purpose oE translaring Power Transition from es rheoretieal base ro poliey prescriprions. We hope chis is just rhe flrst srep in this evolution. }?eing individuals, not ro mention aeademics, we may disagree on sorne nua nees or colorings in this volume, bllt we share a commondediearion ro the power Transition tradition and (O the proposition chat, where possible, academie research should be lItilized in rhe poliey world. To do less is to waste a signiflcanc resource and ro place the United Sta tes at a comperirive disadvantage in rhe international markerplaee of ideas.




FIGURE 4.6 Shifcs in Nuclear Capa bilicies,


FIGURE 4.7 Classical Dererrcnce, Pro!iferatioll, and Nuclear War fIGURE 4.8 .Power Transirion, Proliferatiol1, and Nucbr War FIGURE 5.1 Maxim;zing Cooperaive and Comperirive Dyadic FIGURE 5.2


FIGURf 7.2 U.S. and PRC Power Shifs,


FIGURE B.l EI"oludon of he Global 1-[icra rchy FIGURE B.2

186 187



The Global Hierarchy in rhe Wor/d Wars Period



The Global Hierarchy in he

Cold War Period
FIGURE 8.4 The Glo bal Hi erarchv il1 he


Economic versus Securiry Conccrl1S

FIGURE 5.3 The Dynamics of Trade anel Monetary Policies FIGURE 5.4 The Dynamics of tabor lvlobility <l ne! Tcchnology Tra l1sfers FIGURE 5.5 The Consequences o The Phoenix Factor FIGURE 7.1 'fhe Global f-/icrarch y:
A (h inese



Posr-ColdWa r
flG URE 8.5 190

CurrcIlt \Vurld Populaion

FIGURE 8.6 120


Curre n World GDP 5hares


Mid-Cenrllry World GDP Shares



I\ltcrnative A: The Global Hierarchy unde.r a U.S.-Icd Superbloc


under China

FIGURE B.9 192 AIcrnati vc Il, The Global Hiel"ardll'



The purpose of this book is to help bridge rhe gap between the aeademie and paliey communiries in world palities. We recognize che magnitud e of char task and rhe moclese role we hope ro play in che process. We also undersrand thar this may be an exercise rhar wil1 not be welcomed by sorne authorities on botb sicles. There may be those in the aeademie communiey who would ha ve preferred rhar we hacl devored rhis entire volume to rhe purpose oE theflrst chapter - codifying and lInifying Power Transtion theory by integrating its various strands and themes and by adding the eonclllsions of formal proofs. And there may be those in the poliey communcy who will hnd che introdlletion of rheorerical rerms and tests to be less than useflll in an operational setring. In a sense, ir is this membrane of ignorance chat keeps llS apart, diluting che reh intellectual promise of rhe former and handcapping the strategie chinking of che larrer. Despite rhese antieipated obstacles, we designed this book with both eonsrituencies in mind. The importance of the praetical applcations of the theory motivates llS to speak to the palie}' community. The importance of che aeadem ie implieatons o a llnif1ed theory morivates us to ex tend and reetif)' the vaIolls strancls of Power Transition research. We ask polie)"" rnakers ro be patient with rhe theoretica l chapters and cheoretieians ro be patienr with the poliey chapters. Scholars will ind many of their qllestions addressed in rbe more detailed endnotes. Policymakers looking for a set of tools ro address critieal problems of the twenty-first century may safely pass over many oE [hese academic references withollt losing the thrust oE our argumento The arguments presented hereil1 are a eoherenr compilation and extenson of the academic tradtion oE Power Transition theory. The auchors represent three inteIlectual gelleratons of that theory, inclllding A.F.l<. Organski, who invented rhe theory in 1958 Jaeek Kugler, who eollaborated with Organski in an empirieal evaluacan oE the cheorY and Douglas Lemke, who extended it beyond merely great power interactions. Ronald L. Tarnmen and Allan Stam, also in the Organski lineage, ha ve published artides that apply Power Trans ition concepts in policy settings. Mark Abdollahian, earole Alsharabati, and Brian Efird have added formal tests and theoretieal extensions ro rhe rheory. This book represents [he latest, and in sorne ways che most aggressive, step in a contnuing forty-year research proect. Those years have produeed a rheory llnusual among aeademic products

1 ":ilJ-_ _ _ _ _ _ _-


elal appreciarion to Bruce Russeu, \Virh whom AUan Stam co/laborared for chaprer 6.

MI oI om spouses deserve special commendarion tor toleraring us cluring rhe ofren inconvenient process of writing lhis book. We therefore gratefully acknowledge Cher)'l Kugler, JiJl Lemke, B.B. Sram, Danny Alsharabati, 2nd, in panicular, Susan Tarnmen, wbo nor only graciousJy inviced an army of liS to occupy her home on several occasions but also Was influential in rhe selecrian of oUt" book title. Patricia Organski supported liS every step oE the way, even through rhe mOst difficult oE rimes. Patricia, yOl! are always in our hearrs .

A Tribute to A.F.K. Organski

As One oE Ollr allthors is an emp/oyee of rhe u.s. governmenr, we must srate thar nothing conrained in rhis volUlue shoule! be consrrued as represeming rhe views of the Depanmem of Defense or rhe executive braneh more generally. Tllar said, cIeady we believe thar one da y rbis volume should represem thos e views.

This work .,vas inspired by the brilLiant theoretical contributions of A.F.K. Organski, who died on 6 March 1998, while rhis project was in pl"Ogress .


In adclition ro his profound inrel!ect ancl originaliry, Kenneth Organski will be remembered for his zest for life, love of language, and gifr for frienclship. The magnetic force (hat surrounded him inexorably drew studenrs arrd colleagues into his vortex. He was a devotecl husband, fathef, arrcl grandfather who wil! be missed beyond measure by his family, colleagues, and generations o.f clevoted students. Kenneth was an academie's academic who macle major contriblltions ro the study oE wodd polities. At a time when it was consiclefed heresy, he challenged the realism school of Hans Morgenthau by derailing its inconsistencies. Lacer, he pioneered the use of empirical evidenee ro test proposirions when other scholars relied on instinet Ol" allthority. Wirh an uncanny ability ro idenrify and restructure central issues in the neld, Kenneth was a galvanizing figure of his generation. His impacr 011 the profession has many measures but perhaps the most important is tbat he inspired generarions of studenrs to advanee the frontiers of knowleclge. AFKO dicl not believe in sterile aeademic accomplishments. 1f possible, he urged, research should be put to use for che bendir of mankind. Thus he strongly supported the transfer of academie researeh into the policy world. This extraordinary political scientist, practitioner, ane! edueator was born in Rome in 1923, where he attended the Ginnasio Liceo Torquaro Tasso. He carne to the Unired $tates fleeing the anti-Jewish laws of the Mussolini regime. He served with che American armed forces in the Pacific theacer from 1943 co 1945. (Later in his life, when lecturing before senior military officials, Kenneth would gleefuUy recount chat as a private he had hared oHicers and that he now took great pIeasure telling rhem what to do!) AfterWorld War II, he sertled in New York, where he beca me an American cirizen in 1944 and earned his B.A. (1947), M.A. (1948), and Ph.D. (1951) degrees fram New York University. In 1952 be staned teaching at Brooklyn College, moving in 1964 ro the University oE Miehigan, where most recently he was professor of political scienee and senior research scientist in che Institute for Social Research. In addition to his long and extraordinary teaching and research career, he was also chairman oE the board of Decision lnsights, a consulting firmo He cofounded rhis company in order



-.' .

This is a jointly authored book, an undertaking designed ro demonstIate rbe broad appeal of Power Transition rheory. Al! allthors concributed to each chapter, an exercise tbar pro ved inteUeccually stimularing and remarkably collegial. Fol' organizational purposes, sorne individuals assumed leadeIship for particular chapteIs as follows: cbapter 1, Kugler, Lemke, and Tammenj cbapter 2, Abclollahian; chapter 3, Lemke; chapter 4, Alsharabari and Kuglerj chaprer 5, Efirc! and Kuglerj chapter 6, Stam (an earlier vcrsion oE this chapter was coauenored wirh Bruce Russetr)j chapter 7, Tammenj ancl chapter 8, Kugler, Lemke, and Tammen. Kenneth Organski, of COluse, lives on in every page. The Earhart Foundaton, lec! by Secretar}' and Director of Program Antony T. Sullivun, was generous in providing funding for our rescarch, including two conferences, one at rhe Nacional War College (NWC), rhe other ar che Monterey Insritute fol' International Scudies (MUS). We thank Provost 5reve 8aker and Dean Phil Morgan of MIS and Dean David Trerler of NWC for hosting us ar eher institurions and for providing sabbatical suppart to Ron Tammen, which faclicared the organizarion of this efforro The Nacional Defense University Foundation administered the Earhart FOLlndation gramo We enjoyee! the strong support ane! exceptional sen-ice provided by James V. Dugar and TOI11 Gallagher, rhe presidenr ane! executi ve director, respectively, of rhar Founclacion. Bob Gormley, the publisher of Chatham HOLlse, has become a friend and key adviser in this project. The importance of his firm commitment to our goal of reaching both the academic and policy communities cannor be overstaced. Katharine Mller has added immeasurably co che quality oE chis book. We thank her not only for her editorial ski lis bur for her parience in dea ling with mnltiple authors. We also wish to thank Sarah Mikels, Library Director, and ]eannemarie Faison, Reference Librarian, ac the National DeJense University. Their experrise and assisrance proved invaluable. A number of ndividuals reviewed pocrions 01' al! of our drafes and provided important insights ane! welcome criticisms. With apologies ro anyone we may have accidentally omittecl, we specifically wish ro thank Bruce Bueno de Mesquica, Glenn Palmer, Yi Feng, Paul Zak, Marina Arbetman, Thomas Willect, Woosang Kim, Frank Zagare, Charles Doran, Randy Siverson, Sherry Bennett, Jim Rosenau, George Graham, Richard Rosecrance, Siddharrh Swaminathan, Mchelle Benson, and Kennech Osterkamp. A spe-






ro imroduce scientific rigor te the execution oi poliey and decision making in government and business. A.F.K. Organski wiU long be remembered for a of extraordinary intellectual contributions. His influential ideas on power hierarchies in world politics were imroduced in 'iX/orld Politics and extended in The War Ledge/; coaucllOred wth Jacek Kugler. His powerful insights on national development were set forth in Populaton and World PoweJ; coauthored with Katherine Davis Fox, advanced in Stages of Political DevelofJ111ent, and docllmented in Birth, Death al1d Taxes, ,which \Vas wrirten wirh several of his students. In The $36 Billiol1 Bargain, Kenneth outlined the prospecrs and possibilities for peace in {he Mie!dle East. In these works and countless articles and presentations, he advanced new ideas about the Euture oE world politics and applied these notions to real problems. He was the rare innovat.ive academie who involved and inspired orhers ro furrher elaborare his insights and ro apply rhese new angles of vision to resolve problems. His willingness to take risks in the pursuit of knowledge was a distinguishing characteristic of his careel'. Organski's honors included the Distinguished Faculry Achievement Award fmm the Universiry of J vIchigan, the tifetime achievement award trom the Conflict Processes Section of rhe American Poltical Science Associarion, and the Cavalieri de la Republica from the government of Iraly. Above a1l, Kenneth Organski was a superb edllcaror. His leetures at the Ulliversity of Michigan were, wirhollC exaggeration, legendary. He would light up a room \Vith his intellectual force and wirh rhe passion and humor o his charismatic personality. Some will remember him telling students: "math, math, matb" ane! "wrire, write, write." Others will remember hs authorirative voice and presentation style and his ability to focus imently on ea eh individual asif no one else mattered. Through his writings and through his srue!ents, Kenneth Organski achievee! immortality. He counted among his students many who became prominenr authorities in the profession, including Aaron Wildavsky, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Jacek Kugler, Youssef Cohen, AUan Lamborn, AlIan Stam, Glenn Palmer, and ElIen Lust-Okar. In turn they taught and inspired others, including Douglas Lemke, Marina Arbetman, Suzanne Werner, Frank Zagare, James Morrow, David Lalman, Woosang Kirn, Mark Abdollabian, Carole AIsharabati, Vesna Danilovic, Brian Efird, ane! Ben Hllnt - a1l dedicated ro extending our knowledge o development and war ane! peaee, and all keepers of the Organski flameo Orher students ehose to hone rheir talenrs in rbe poliey world, ncluding Ronald L. Tammen, Arthur House, Roben Hormats, and Ajaj jarrouj. There they applied Organski insights on Capital Hll, in the exeeutive branch, ancl in the business and .financial communities. [n Kenneth's memory, we have consrfllcred 3n "Organski Tree" at rhe Internet sire Powertransitions.com. This genealogy depiets he sllccessive

generations of Organski students who have continued tO advance his Power Transition theory. The tree is a firse and very limited eHort to visually eatalog the "Organski Effect." \Ve invite al! WhO have been associated with Kenneth's Power Trans.ition work t contact Ron Tarnrnen at that site so that we can add names tO this lineage. This book represents om - his students' - rnmeasurable debt oE gratitllde. ,Thank yo u, Kennerh. '




defending tlle United Sta tes from the ideo logiea! alld milirary challenges of cornmunisrn as represented by the USSR. oE thjs efits narrow J?ut necessary perspective, masked emergng crends in \Vorld .power rhat \Vill ha ve a profound impact on rhe international system in rhis twency-Jirst Frorn che mid-1900s on, American stl'ategis ts forgcd consenSllS basee! on pereeprioJls of [he threat. Then rhe dissolution of the Soviet Union undereut the intellectual 3nd publie support for the U.S. role in che wor/d. In a phrase, ir changed everyehing. The nature of rhe rhreat, the so-ca lled bipolar world, the tast-West blocs> ,ilr meJred into history. In rhe afterrnarh, It is as i f an inrellectual void has be en crea red, filled ad ho.; by rhe rhrt>at of the day ol' the sum oE al! new threats. What has been missing is the rheoretical amI practica! foundation tlpon which policy can be estaOlished. The purpose of rhis book is ro offer a new perspectiye of rhe warlcl based 011 l coherenc and validated theory thar bridges the theoretical-policy gap. This oook deals wirh rhe fundamental sbifrs in warld power - po\ver rransirions -- thar ha ve been submerged by th 7'.S ... U:SSRc uo;peri rOn.: It provides a rheory, a that nQ.LQ..nJy ..oLtbe Ullitcd <ls"rhe aorniiarlt power out also rha t role into chis century. Laying out rhe fllture challenges to American leadership, it offcrs llot unly an intellectual foundation for anticipJring these evt>I\ts but si;1ecfic rnanagcmenuools that could be miJizcd ro enSllre a peaceflIrV 75rut1m among che great powers. This is a oook abollr theory in policy terrns and polic)' in iheoretical rerITIs. Ir ullifies Power Transiton rheory and applies ir ro tbe cemral questons of the next dccades. How shollld rhe United States artempt to manage world politics, partieulady rhe challenge oI China? How wil! critic,ll alliances such as rhe North Atlantic Teeat}' Organzation (NATO) el'olve in rhe future? What is che n8ture and scope of regional instabiliry? How can regional conflicts be managed? How will nuclear proJiferation affeet rhe stabiJitv of dererrcncc? What are the global eeonornic effects o( integraron, trade, growth? ITOI,,:i::TIJeconomic Eower rdarioSfil ps r This !look offers a bridge whereon practitioners and thCOfTsCs lay meer to evaluare these and walk togerher into the ne\v centuey. Py(. ,

lhe Search' for New Explanations

The economic collapse and political dissolutioJ1 of rhe So viet Unon has lefr polieymakers and scholars searehing for new fund ame ntal rruths abollt the nature of the internacional syscem. for man}', tbe Cold War era was rhe sup.rerne threat to internacional ancl security, but in hindsight, it was also imellecrual!y cornfortable. The llarure of the rhreat was known. Ir was a powerfu! mooilizing roo! fol' governmem, business, an d society.



The ll,ss (JI' tha t threat has crea red conclitions, f(JI the first time in more rhanJifty fa.v.a.r.abJe_to an of how che internari 9l1a l sysrCl1l ope rates wi.th..2,uJ viewed oI rh e Cold War. - ---The of a l1lonolithic threar has force policymakers ro search_ Jo!.. explanatons rhar lit che oew cireumsranees W)llg q,lel, cllerishcd concepts. Tle foreign policy eomlllunity has gone through a diffic1.l1r and wrenching exercise in che past ten years. The Departmcn t of Dcfense has iclentified a new set oE rransnatonal threatsincludi ng internariona l crime, drugs , terrorisITl, biological and ehemical wea pons, and proli ferarion of nuclear wea pons ane! delivery systems that, in many ways, are less powerfuJ for mobilizing policical support, yet mo re cornplex anel challenging than the bnlre force speecer of Soviet aggression . Similarly, U.S. forei gn policy has undergone a sysrcmatie realignmenr, an economic fOC llS for the poJitieal and milirary imperarive oi meeting communist chn!lenges in the developing world. Tbe sense of uncertainty about the look of rhe new world stems nor usr frorn the radical cha nges it has undergone, but equally from the realizn fi on thar the ,ole! rheol' ies did nor predict and cannot eX,PEin why tlJ..is dramatie transfo'rmation occurred. 1 Why is it that the world seems safer withour twO great superpowers balaneing each orher - the rcnce rhat securccl global. peace? Was OllI notion oi peace and balance of power misplaced? If so, rhar misjudgment ma)' \vell represent che single most important intellectual and policy fa illlre of rhe post-Worlcl Wai' II era. This cbaprer is e!es igned ro accompJish two goals. First, ir offers rhe [cader (\ composite picrure of Pawer Transition rheory by integraring the various extenslons and am plificntions into a coherent whole. 2 lt brings ro" gerher that new resea rch and wcnvs itinto the Jich text o.f the lInderlying (heor}'. By providing a systemacic outline of che among power, satisfaccion, and the choice of peace aod offers a fundation 1m exploring internarional politcs. Second, chis chapter translates Powel' Transition theory imo palieyrelevant terms. Despite extensive emprical validarion, the theol'Y bas been inaccess ible ro the poliey community, in pan beca use of its spedaliz.ed use of langl1age ane! in part because of ies acae!ernic focus. For the po licyoriented reader, therefore, we keep the rheo rerica! arguments cogent and readable. For the academic specialisr, we provide c1etailed eitations and discuss various nuanees, eolorings, nnd controversies in the enclnates. The heart of this chapter s devotee! to rhe three components of Power . Transirion rh .or y: structure, dynamics, an.9 QS?licy': 1:he2 uctural aspecc 9f the theo]')' is exp!ored nrse snce it prov icles an understanding of nature \ of power among natio_ ns, and characteristies of the interMiridnal system linking nations. Wirh tbe international scructure in place, the tl,eory rhen <[('counts ior the m'osr importanr dynamics in the

1 Power Transition Theory for the Twenty-first Century
Never before has there been such utter confusion in the public mlld with respeet lo U.S. (oreJ:gn palie)'. The President doesn't understand it; Congress doesn't understand t; 110r does the public, nor does the press. They all wGnder arotmd in ti labyrinth of ignoranee and error and conjeeture, in which truth is interml1gled with fietion al a hundred points, in whicJ unjustified assumptions have attained the 'Uillidity of premises, amI in which t!Jete s 110 recognized and authoritative theory toohold 011 too - GEORGE F. KENNAN
The United States is engaged in a quiet war. Ir is the intellectual war bel\veen rhose who favor tbe expans ion of Am.cricall inflllence abroad and rhose who rejecr llvolvemenr in distalH ands with serange [lames fo! purposes having inJe apparenr linkage ro their daily lives. Ir is a war thar gO.es far beyond rhe old descriprions of "internarionalist" and "isolarionise" or rhe more modern rerrns of "engagement" and " rerrenchment." lt is a war foughr wirh words, ideas, PLlblic opinion, and legislaran as each sicle attempts to mobilize rs reSOUfces within the interested public. Often operating as che subtext of national debates, tbis batde for primacy represents rhe single mose importanc decision rhe Unired States faces today. Fundano less than the deflning role of che Unitecl mentail y, it IS a strnggle Srates in '[he -t1l1rCl" millenniul1l. X/il [he Unired States ;;etreneh, withdra w, retrear illto the perceived 'seelll'iry of noninvolvemenc, or \ViII ie recognize the impend ing pwer shifts <lnd make tbe polie)' choiees neeessary ro mece [hese new conditiolls? lt is a decision critical noe only ro rhe economic well-being and secllIity of rhe United States, bU[ to rhat of rheinternarional system ir informa!!y lencls. Ir is <l queseion central ro rhis boak. Intel lectua!!y rhe United States is il! prepared for this challenge. From 1945 tu 1990, American elires and che informed Pllblic wcre unified in their worldview. The single excepriotl was rhe Vietnam War in es latel' stages. The Unired States was unified beca use of a comInon, clocumented chreat. lo meee ehar threar, Amrrican poliey inrellecruals, poltical leaders, and military officials fashioned a se ri es of stracegies wirh rhe eommon goal of





u-k. '"'




' .,\l 1

D, "1'(,

\,( .'

{). \ ' t

wirh generates the abiliry to proiect influence beyond its borders. Po pulatia n is an essential eomponenr bllt cannot alone confer international power, as can be seen by the relative weakness of Bangla desh, Indonesia, or Brazil. In order t9 be, t!,llly p<werflll che For i his reason developed cOllntrieshave far more inf]uenee than their developing counterpans. That is whv States dominates China today. .... the Unitecl . Eut those advantages cannot be realized wirhollr fined as the ability of to ,extraet ,::csouLces to .advance natcienal gO<ils. Politically eapable governments garner relatively more resourees and th;eby expand national po\ver. FOl" rhis reason N o((h Vietnam defeated rhe more populoLls and affluent South Vietnam in spite of the United Sta tes' \ ' massive help to the Sourh.

}I "

. . . ...



t ""\


.' ....

'M f

Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction "

'. : <! ; " .

Figure 1.2 Hierarchics in the International System

'archy is subordinare ro the influences of the global dominant power and the great power structure. Relative power estabJishcs the relationships withill regional hierarchies and decermines che spheres of lnfluence thai: link 'the global '!E.1d regional hierarehies. power Transition anticipares rbar wars ..'Vjil diffusej,ownward from global to rhe regiq.nill hie.rNchies up.ward from regional global. For tbis reason, World Wars 1 ancl II,which were majar co"'1Ricrs fol' the great powers of rhe imernational system, diffused to inelude <lImase cvery regional hierarchy. Limited wars involving che major global powers, slIch as the wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghaniscan, rCll1aned con6ned to rheir regions, des pite fears to the conrrary.


Defining power s central to the theory of Power Transition as relative power establislle,s the preeondition foL' war and peace iluhe international is defirted as the ability ro impose on OI persuade fin 0PPOo;;t 'to eomply wirh demands. 5 In rhe lexicon of Power Transiron rheory, power is a combinatioll of three elements: the numDer oE people who can "'l.o.rls. ane! fighc, t)lr economic producrivity, and che eHectiyeness of rhe poltical system in eJ\tra..,eting and pooJiog individual cOlltributiollS to Hdnato_ o:! How much "power " thcse capabiliries cndow a stace

clriyinp_decisi?ns .fU[ w.ar and peaee is relative the the y, eonflicts are generarcd by the . desire of a nariOll to improve ies political position in che hierarchy. DissaJisJiecl nacions challenge rhe s.tatus quo. Contlict does not occur frequently at the great power level beca use most of rhese natioJ1s are relatively satisfied and support the existing rules of che inremarional system. Instead, rhese status quo nations seek cooper<lrive solucions to problerns that enhance cheir economie and security gains. . Narions :lt the top of the hierarcby (figure 1.3, p. 10) set the rules in place and are more likely to be more sacisned with chose ru les rhan rhose lower In che global hierareh)'. This should not come as a sUl"prise since the . great powers control most of rhe wealrh, enjoy most of rhe prosperity, and wie!d most of Ihe power in the international system. By definiron, the dominant power is satis.6ed, ancl specifically so in \the absenc; of open cont'ict challenging its dominance. The dominant narion is the defender of the status quo . After aU, it crea tes and maintains the global or regional hierarchy froIn which ir aecrues substamial benents. 6 The few clissatisfied JlatiOlJs at the top and many at the bottom oE che hierarchy view rhe internacional system as not .eqllaLt9 rheir cxpectations and long-term interests. They cOIlsider the internationa 1 system to be unfair, corrllpt, biasecl, skewecl, ancl dominatecl by hostik forces. Their ratonale or grievance may be historical (Germany prior to WorldWars 1 and 11), ideological (Soviet Unon), religious (lean), territorial (Israel), personal (Libya and [raq), Ol" cultural (China). Despite different perspectives, dlssatlsned nations all view che global status quo as unfavorable. They are dissatisfied with established internationalleadership, its rules and norms, and wish ro .chaQge them . The largest proportion of di'ssatisfied nations likely reslcles in rbe small power e<ltegory, nationswith mini;nal wllh

J- l"> , ...,..

. ' tl ".c..




(r, v I..


() PI {) (""


.J I



/ frn d""tn ,1

,'(rG ()} \

1i.? T




"\ 1
11 J"""


':: 1

: 1

systcm. O aH theo,ies ar the internarional level, Power Transirion has che mosr tighrly integra red and inrernally eonsistenr explan<1rion fr.lv.hy... ho.w, am! when wars ocellf. In addition, ir provides evidenee aboU( the cosrs, intensicy, duration, and eonsequenees of war. H:lving deseribed the inrernacional s)'stcm and holV ir deals wirll conf1icr, tbis chaprer continues by . exploring how the rheory rhe major polie)' issues faeing the \Vorle!. Wirh the srruerural and clynamic COI11in place, lS- ;lpositiol1 te cleal wirh rhe managemenr ,} lion PQ)iric:11 of allianees and internarional organizarions, eo_ economy concerns, and rhreats' to international arder - such as nucle'a r p;-;;feration and loca! wars. finally, rhe chaprer ends wirh a look beyond the present, based llpon the Power Transirion vew of our future .



Dominant Power


Great Powers

Middle Powers



lhe Structure of Power Transition Theorry

In a rheorctica l sense, Power tradirional typecastng, It is neith.eu:e.aliS:L.lLo.r..ideaUsr, though some scholars have placed it in che forJle g,refer to cal! ir rationalisi. Ihat } 'et ayna!1lic, since it<recognizes tharpo'cy are auhe ca-re'"o 'f ardispures, Sub;ect ro empi rical tesrng, ir mesheswell wirh objective conclusons from J:istory. Thus, it marr.ies empirical evidence witil tradirionai scholarly researeh and sound policy advice. It i5 a rheory rhar lends icself ca a blend of rhe emprica! and poliey worlds.

Sma ll Powers


Figure 1.1 Classic })owerPyramid '. _


chis pool. .Cha llengers are

Power 1j'ansirion t1eory - de.scribes a hie:ar.chical systeJll, Al! recognize the presence of this hierarchy ami the relarive distribution o f po wer .tberein, The disrribution 01 power is uneven and is concentra red in rhe hands of a few. A domnanr narion sits at the cap of thi s s)'stem (see figure 1.1), Thar nation co nrrols che largest proponion of resO llrces wirhin the system. Yer this naton, despite out' clescription as clorninam, is !lot a hegemon, Ir c3nnot single-handedly. control the aetions of othcr powerfuI nation..s. Ir maintans cs position as c10minant power by ensuring power preponderanee over potential rivals and by managing the international system Lindel' rules that benefir its allies and sarisfy rheir national aspirarions. As we can see in figure 1.1, rhe eategory of gl'ear powers resides below (he dominant nacion, eaeh having a significanr proportion of rhe power of the leader. Currenrly che grea t pO\AJers are China, ] apan, Gennany or rhe European Union (EU) in roro, and Russia (assuming reeovery). Their role, in most crcumstances, is to share in the allocation of resouree.s and ro help maintain rhe internacional powers one occasionally nnds nations, such as China 01" India, thar art' flO[ fulJy inr.egratecl juta che


On occasion a .potenrial ha lJenger at'ises out of ..wjth 80 pe.rcel}r or, more of Today, only Chifla porential challengel" to rhe Unired Srares, and then only ifjLrema.i.os. its internacional role. In the distant futul'e 1nda could al50 play this role. Dissatisflcd and the,i r Sp'ppDrtcrs are initators 01 Beneatb rhe great Q..owers at.e lhe mlddle powers, subs wntive sta tes of th si'ze of Franee, Italy, or Brazil, with resources ,har cannot be dis po.wer ro challeng' the clomllant powe0 or inrer;;; r.ional conuoL The largest number of narions resides farrher clown the pyralTlid: smal.L .p,owers with few resources relative to thY-flliddle. :lnd i 'l; grea.r powers. They no r2 che dominanI nation's the lnrernanonal systel11. - " 1 New research has shown rhar hierarchies also exisr at regiona.llevels: Wirhin each region, such as Sollti merica or rhe Middle East, t he a re regional h:erarchies, wirh their own se[s of dominant powers, great powers, ancl lesser These regional hierarchies are inf1ueneed by the globa l hi.erarchical systcl1l out ca nnor, in turn, con trol rhat larger sysrem: Figure 1.2 (p. 8) suggests rhe relative power distributions in rbe global sysrem and in .l few regional sysrell\s. Note tha[ (he distriblltion of pOWl"f clead)' makes rhe regional hierarchies subordinate to rhe global hierarchy. These regiona l hierarchies funcrion in dIe $dll1e manner and operate rile same power rules as cbe global hi erarchy, In al! cases . rhe dominanr power in rhe regional hier-



''J('' ,



(' (

j! el l i

e \G, J


'\) ).



IL('-"t + H

- b(!

-? tI.('


! "O{J/>


\ ..


\.I\..t.S"t'O 1.-j


Joint Status Quo );yalunlion

S.tisl1ed-Dissutisl1cd Rare low-Ievel, .,.,.--.-..". ,hort displlles



_ .

.. -




\. \\?



. \.t -fe +

tI t


r :

No wurINo disputes

warINu di spules

Moderate amoull! o f medium-high disputes, duration varies



Rare, low-Illoderate l' scver(yfsplIles, sllor! lO



> "



mcdiulTI c.luratioll

Many sub-war dispules, sny duration possible, any severly possibl e

Cold War

duratiQJl, lota; war,


ends in l\llllihilation of WWII_)

I _1

. , th. e Yisi:2!::...Pf9vided by rhe d.issatisnep We believe this was che situarion between Nazi Germany and rhe SovietlJnion after Operation Barbarossa, the Gecman invasion of Russia in 1941. figure LS also provides a glimpse imo re1arions between the United Srates ane! China. lmmediately after \X1orld War E, these twO nations were at odds and pursued noneoopenitive .strategies. Despire ies relative weakness eompared to the Starcs, China intervened in rhe Korean conflict in ] 950. Following Nixon's historie visit ro China in 1972, relations improved ro rhe point that extreme noocooperatioo was reduced. rf rhis reJarionship, follows the path exemplifled by 13ritisb-German or GermanFrench relati-;ns in the post-World \YIar 11 era, borh parties eould cooperare to their lllutual advantage. On rhe other hand, if differences between illcre e,.rhey are likely foemploy lloncooperativc taeres .c hat in the, overall tensions in w _ orld As C.h.i!J._'U,2'::$S Lowar9.J2aritv Stat.t:;.:!, tbe possibility of war inereases. -.... . ...

Figure 1.5 War Occurrences alld Joint Status Quo Eva luatiOllS
. .

I\J u

e l'

+l \.. 1\?


Power Transition argues that the sapiLlEY of allirlee the of interesrs and the degree of agrecmellt ab.out the status q.\.1O allies. l'Jations thar share form stable alhances, sueh as NATO. j!Llianceuhat are li!<ely beb.E0J5el]..!Yhenj:Os: e!angeJ..ltat prompte.g the ...ag.:oome.o.u!.lliaP..p,ears. This waS the case with che Allied agreement wirh che USSR in World War n. From a long-term dynamic perspectlve, alliances canoor be treateel as if cbey are simply responses to secllrity chreats. hgLl&lasting a!lianees are basecl 00 policy eompatibLity among .l/le joint .ar ].tlt.llS _Q.!!2.: ShOL't-term agreemenrs drawn among oppanenrs ba:<ed only on external threats. Because...Ro,er Transition concentrates on long-term dynamies, the relevanr a[[ianee.s 'lre stable ancl with few Figure 1.6 (p. 14) illustrares the eonditions for stable --;nd unstable a/lianees thar can be eseablished within eicher a global or a regionai hierarehy. Enduring ane! well-formed allances are formed among nations that share a common commitment ro the status qua and cooperate \.;Tth each other. Indeed, che special relationsbip between che United Staees and Britain cannot be understood in any other terms. These two nations bave eoorclinated pulicies even when the gains frorn slIch eHorts were not clear for both sides. Recall that che United Sraces violated tbe principIes of the Monroe Doctrine and a long-standing anticolonialisr poliey when it sidecl wirh England during the Palkland-1Ylalvinas War. tQUg _analysis at rhe time sug.\.1IJ ired s.taces coul.d gainJar more side mo.\:t 'x.illing tQ ,"ppon. Yo!, d"pitG minim,1 g,iru; Ih, U"itGd S",,,

'o. . .

World War Il can be attnbllted dlrccdy to a change from noncooperative to cooperative interactions as the pair f:om che ro sansfied-sansfied eoJulllns. che ElLls . .Y..lSJ!llC eoaULioo. As COrllmon. wisclol11. indicates, a':ld natioos dominace. worle! polities. lneeractions produce' a Cold War when rhe dissatisfiecl naton has insuHicient resourccs to direccJy ehallcnge tbe c!omnallt g.Qe. In sueh situarions relarions are srable but confrontationaL Under of <In, th: probahility ormaJor wars -such as-\'{forld \YIar [ 01' U-IS at ts hlghest. 1 he satlsficddissatisfied dyads seldom cooperare. Cooperation between sllch sra tes is antieiparecl to be cpisodic at best anu is pcrhaps most likely when the dissatisfied srate is pereeivcd to be ehanging its evaluation of the status quo. An example migbt be provicled by U.S.cSoviet cooperacion afrer 1989. As sueh transitory situations clarify, the satisfied natian will either continue to cooperate because ie accrlles gains - as lS che case after Wodd War II with the ,?v'!arshall Plan - or will retreat from cooperation - illustrated by rhe emcrgence of the lron Curta in in Eastern Europe. Thus, eithcr the pajr moves firmly imo the sarisned-satisned colllmn or the cooperarion diminishes. Finally, joi.ntly nations can colInde when they concur abotlc t_ heir opposition to the sratus quo . Such similar dissatisfaccioll WaS -che basis for the alliance between MussoJini and Hider. Alternatively, jointly e!issaeisflecl states engage in noncooperation or outright ,onni" b","" Ih" "jO<! Ihe imec"";on,r;;-;;;,;g;,me",,






Joillt Status Quo Evaluatiou

1 S"tislied-S,,('isfiod Salisfi.d-'O;'snti.ficd

Dominant Power

Col!\lsiw partnership

.Figure 1.3 Disl'ibutioll of SlltisfactiOIl



Securiry comrnunities ECllomic inlcgraliolJ


c. " ,E


I ComperitivcDelcrioratirtg

<:> .,

Confronlalional Compclilion

Hierarchical Reorderillg Wllr



y e o Z

Figure lA Degrec of Coopel"lltinn and Joint Status Quo Evaluations Llrnn, rhe exrreme form of lIoncooperarion i3 ..1)'<11: rq che SOLu;ce of che chalJenger's dissatisacrion, The final column represenrs interactions between twO dissa risfied na" tions . If two nacions are dissatisfied withrhg status qU0 for rhe same Feason, thar is, they both would like ro in$tiJL1te the ,s<lme changes to the status q.UQ, .rbe. resuJe may be ". colll,!..sive partnership in which the dissarisned ;Jign against the satisijec! coali.tion . However, nations can be dissacis11ed wirh rhe status quo for (har is, [hey would Iil<e to insridifferenr ad prhaP'fincompacble changes to rhe status quo. In such cases rhcir relarions wil! be very nuncooperarive, ane! there may be a high thae rhey will resort to war. Figure 1..5 (p. 12) summarizes the relationship benveen the probability andintensity of conRict berween differenr rypes of dyads. Tbese factors are interrelated and can reinforce, Ol' defuse confrontations, For simplicity we center on the security dirnension only, bllr an equivalenr analysis applying ro economic concerns is the ropic addressed in chapter 5. The reader' shouicl llore rllal in flgure 1.5 Or in rbe text, specific cases are offered as examples illustrating lhe highlighted relatiooships, None of rhe figures are presenrarions of empirica] data, although extam emprical research justifies the examplcs we Figure 1.5 otstatJls gIlQI'"'?v.' lu,<lrig lls .on _probability)iid_s.ever.itY_Q .l confliq. ]ointly sarisfiecl narions are expected ro be rhe mosr cooperarlve ,lnd ro face the lowesr probabliy of conflicto [n the rare evenr rh,u a conflict shouJd occur, it is anticipared ro be of the mildesr severiry. Sarisfled nations do llor engage in conrinuous, lloncQO.perativ.e beha\,ior because rhey resolve disputes rhrough negoriaJiqn. Indeed, the difference in relations between Germany and France before and afeer

influence in rhe internationaI system who ofren consider chemselves the vicrims of more powerful neighbors. Occasional1y a great power - like -. Germany or the Soviet UnioIl - - is irs role and >. .the -internacional sysJem . .rf 'ir is growiQg ar <l Hlre and exrracring"'re- .' sources J2,f_use <lt the nationaJ may become a challs: nger j tothe dominant naton. . -..id.. 1'16

Dynamics of Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction

The horizoncal axis of figure 1.4 illustrares the relationship berween che satisfaction or dissatisfaction oE two councries with either a global or regional Status quo. The vertical axis describes rhe type o relationshp, by degree of cooperaton, wirhin the same dyad oE nations, Jointlu atisfie"cC.l:!.atons interact cooperatively... Examples are long"term secu(iry coml11unities, such as NATO wirh che Uniree! States and tny number of European acrors anel ecooomic imegrariol1, as is occurrng wirhin rhe European Union, Deterioratan in the degree of cooperaron implies that one (lf the states may be becoming dssatisfied. Thus, the dyadic relariol1ship is becoming more comperitive. The secancl column, illustnltes che relationship within a sarsfied .. dssacisned dyad. Na clons coopera te Linde! these conditiOl1s when the satisfied power anticipa tes rilar the other is becoming satisned, This is a transtionaJ stage that should be remporary at besr, The mose prevaJerlC relationship is confronrational competition. Given pariry wirhin this col"



, !


,. -


'f; I No warlNo dispules

c. o e V




Salis Ocrl -Dissati, roed

Rare low-Ievel ,

s hort disputes


es crr
wariNo di5pllteS

.. rt, U

.t!;e yisfih.-Rrovid , ed by the orheu iissa.tisJie.d




Dissatislied-Dis,atis ficd


.... e

.g ':j "

Rare, low-moderatc

-. scv'{ri(Y'tlispules, short lO Illcdiulll uuralioll

"'[any sub-war disputes, any dumlioll possible, any severity possible

Modernte [1111 0 11111 0'mediulll-high dispules,

d\lration varies

'" q ""


Cold War



long Rare. inten se war, long durntioll , (otai war, duratlon, en s wilh defeat ends in mllihilation (Western fh mt of WWII) onl 01' W\VIl) _ _- ' -_ _ __ _._ _....L_ _ . _ __ _ _ -.-3


We believe [his was che siw arion bet'Neen Nazi Germany and the Soviet"Union after Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of RlIssia in 1941. Figure 1.5 (lIso provides a glimpsc into reiations between the United Sta res and China. lmmediatel y after World War U, these cwo natons were at odds ane! pursued noncoopcrtive stracegies. Despite its l'elacive weakness compared to rhe Unit)'!d Sta tes, China intervened in the Korean confliet in 1950. Following Nixon's historie visir ro Chilla in 1972, relations impro ved to the poillt rhat extreme noncooperacion was reduced. If this relarionship,.follows the parh exemplified by Britsh-German or GermanFrench in the post-Wodd War 1I era, both parties could coopera te to their mutual advantage. On the other hand, if differences between ths m they.are likeJy themploy_noncooperative tactes .c hae in che.. will increa-se ovel'all tensions in 'N.odd poJitic. As C.hj.lJ.<1_moves possibility oI war ncreases.

Figure 1.5 Wllr Occurrences and Join1 Status Quo F:valuatons

.. . , l

,.( ' < )..,..,

' ...


World War 11 can be atmbuced dlrecdy to a change fmm noncooperarive to cooperative .inceraccions as the pair from .the saris6ed-dissatisfiee! to satlsfied-satlsned colllmns. &'lU.s.-tlK.. coa.!J ti 0,0_ 0S commOll,. WlsdOI1l. Indica tes, .. 31 nd nacions dOll1inatewor!c! polit.ics. Interaccions produce a Cold War when the dissatisfied nation has insufficient rcsourccs ro directly challenge the dominant o le. In slIch situations relations are stable but COllUncler th( ran:: circwnstances ()f clu: pmbabllity rld W<1r 1 or Ir - IS at .rts 11lghest. 1 he satJsneclof maJor wars -slIch dissatisfled dyads se!dom cooperare_ Cooperation between sllch states is amicipated to be episodic ar best ane! is perhaps 1110st likely when the dissatisfiecl state is perceived to be changing its evaluaron of rhe status quo. An example might be provided by U.S.'Soviet cooperaton after 1989. As such transitory siruations c1arify, the sarisfied o<1cion will either continue ro cooperate beca use it accIues gains - as is the case after \'V'orld War Il wirh the Marshall Plan - or will retreat from cooperaron - Ilusrrared by the emergence of che lron Curtain in Eastern Europe. Thus, either the pail' rnov'es finnly into che satisf1ed-satis.fied coiumn or the cooperaton diminishes. Finally, ioi,Ptly dissatjsfied. !l?cions can collude whe,l} they eoncur about .oppostion , to the status ",qLlO . 5uch similar dissatisfaccion was' the .ely,. jojntly basis for che alliance between Mussl.ini and Hitler. Altemari-v dissatisfied sta tes engage in 9l' ourright





_,onnia be""" ,hey coi'" ,he

Power Trans.itiol1 ;rgues that stayiliry o alli,sUlce. the of interesss and the degree or agreemel1c abo lit the status am.?.!!g alhes. l'rations thar share WIl! forl11 stable alitances, sLlch as NATO. are likely to be (he This was the case wlth the Al(ed agreement wlth che USSR in WorldWal' n. From a long-term dynamic perspective, allianees cannot be trencee! as jf tbey are simply responses to security hreats. k2n&lasting alliances are based on poliey cOlTIpa,tibility al110ng oinc c?_ mn:,i5ment _ or Shorc-term agreements drawn arnong opponents arebasecl oIlI}' on external threats. Transition concentcatcson long-term dynamics, the relevant allianceS.<\re stablc and with few defections. Figure 1.6 (p. 14) illustrares rhe conditions f lI stable -ancl thar can be established within eicher a global OI a regional hierarchy. and well-formed alliances are formed thae a common commitl11ent to che' status quo and cooperate wich each other. lncleed, the special relacionship between rhe Unired States ane! Britain cannot be understOod in any other rerms. These twO nations have coorclinated policies even when che gains frorn such efforrs were not ciear for both sides. Recall that the United Sta tes viola ted che principIes of the Monroe Doctrine and a long-standing anticolonialist policy when it sided with England during [he Falkland-Malvinas War. P _ Qli9'_analysis at the rime suggcsted..thattl1c Unitee! States could gainJ ar mpre Jlx S\!\!RQnl!1g .. \Y"iJl iPJLrg r:e$,rd ilie.. "'Pyo". Yet, d"pite minimal gaio> ,he United S",,,








;" ", ;.. GillJ

; !.!!

(i [,: ,: No A Iliallce

. :;

TenuOlls Allianee

': " " o

'-' '-' d

..... e

.C'::: .

EI/dllrjg Allianee

:;: ...


Joint Status Quo Evaluntioll
'l"-t' ( I / )


" ""
' o( ,,(,. f.r.:;

" .g

Low ..,;:'.. ;.:;

.-....,,' - , . ... . .

-, . , ',


Figure 1.6 Allianees aucl Joint Status Quo Evuluations

Nemrul .Ioin! Status Quo :,'alllatioll: Llefcllder lId Po!enlilll Ally

favored Britain beca use ir anticipated thar in the funlIe Britain woukl reciprocate. This was an accurate assessrnem. Brirain has been an lIIlwavering supportel' io the Unired N ations , the most important defender and parricipant in U.$.-led actions against Iraq following Deserr Srorm, ;][Id our srrongest ally dunng the Koso vo crisis. G:ooperarion and trl!sr - -,,- -. ..1hat do nat share a common view of the status guo may still , :nter int.o but t?ey 'ictu1t l; at \A'<l-J [ the enemy 01 enero)' IS rny lnend accurately descnbes short-bved al- ( \'j;'';'" . _ hances of convenlenCe. For example, dUfmg World War.II rhe Umted Stdtes .J and the USSR joincd forces to wage War against Germany, onl)' ro turn on ':\L" , each other once the Nazi threat was defeated . Power Transirion theor" anticipares that such alliances wiJl persisr onl}' as necess';;y;;:;d' w.ill changes In tbe shorr,tenn calculations, AlIiances between nations rhat do not share- CO n 1J nO; pret'eres but nevertheless For ex} cooperare are far less srable and are. coosequently easy tO O j \ ', ample, the alhance bet,wecn the Urllted Sta res ,and Saudl ArabIa 1S nor based on s,hared preferences, }'ec econOlmc loteractJons and regIonal rl;C\ Yh/ goals preserve lt. The comm1tment ro defend Saudi Arabia fcom potencial \jtt..;.,t harm froro lraq is credible. A similar commitment in the evenr of conflict 1 1- ( , with Israel is far fess Iike1y. fT I Figure 1.7 shows the potemial contribution oC alliance members and rhe resulting stability of sllch alliances in the face of war. 7 AU<wces. esLab lne condition .flows from the combinarion of a posirive valllation o che status quo and

'- 1 UlJswb!" ..rIJiall ce

[:, ",'( " tl 5mble .-r/lillJlce

Figure 1.7 Allianee Fonnation, Status Quo, and the Probability ofWar , , of m]iated and lIU)j ncain ec L by che polic.)L goals_ NATO, for wastormed afeer World War Il, aided inpa:-tGy the Marshall Plan bUl also by the shared goals imprnted on (he vanquished by an OCCUPY " in g force. ltjs for " rhis. . tl!,at orher autocraC1es. abQY_ e_ O J,IL 45-clegre e li-ne..are crea.red .io J he .,iliadow ati ve of war N.atioEJl1a.ximize_th.ciU:_ cl pow !.; T,hUsSR Allies entered ineo such an agreement to defeat NaZI Gcrmany dunng World War JI, but that alliance d,id nor tase beyond the war and eveutuaJly mutated into open hostilir)'. Likewise, rhe Russian-German alliance lasted ooly a few years un,t!l HIt.ler (hose ,t challe,nge , the , tf r- 4 ' , f ( J." !-:X! I v.-'<" C l I. f(... f '" X f q,w ) P t.-J ,S f Vt


f ;,"




ynalnlcs O Power

(f ...:J"J

- ..


.... . .


Power Tnmsio.n postula tes rhat a counrr function of P..9puL 1Jon, productiviw, an.d 20 by hese three key elements, each w jch a Population ,ize is relacively fixed anlOllFcult ro change in rhe snort tem1. Economic grm''Ltb changes_ l11ore f<lJdlY .$llli ! ff:cts power in rhe,

t' ,1
16 ,.



tj "\....

... ....

- '



' -

\ '






capacity, which meas.ure.

be highly volatile, affects p-O\'l.erj{L\.,he


in ,thls measure accurately fOI . llCcamc ,oE. codlIcts wge,Lamo r].gJuUy ..lJniJke alternate meaSllres ir accounts wirb equivalenr accuracy far che ourcame of conflcrs between developed contenders and developed and developing ' A l1umber of competlllg conceptualizations of powel' or national capabilities are available, bue mose fajllli..UlVin t;'; O'racC'css ro me<!SLm:..llle.l1.C and accounting f(ifr djanilc The mast wi dely llsed measure n-' ';orld poJitics is an economic, and military COI11ponen es. National capa,biliry measures are effective in ranking rhe relations between natJOns but [ad to captllse .. Q f change .
Economic Growth


. " .. o...
. 6

" =






Low Poli lical Capaci ly Trajeclory

o el

'" o '"


0 E.W

Growth D)'n'Hllks




Poverty Trap -

The foundat ion for economic growrh describecl in figure 1.8 is adaptcd fram CLlcrenr and f!}ture capital acclll"1.1l!!!'Lt)J) purpose is effectively reflected and measurecl by domestic product (CDP) perpe ira . P .?.8ic.:ll detailed below, is abi lity of governments ro extraer resources fIOll.l .0..g rd er to advau(.e the policy goals 9(the governmen_ t. Nore thar nations wirh limited GDP and low political capaci ty may fall inco a "poverty trap." On the other hand, as economic growth starrs, prompted by changes in political ca pacity, rapid econolllic growrh is achievecl. For this reaSOIl, output change are concentra red among developiog, societies, When Ilatons achieve relatively high levels of cap ital accumularion and maintain poltical capaciry ae average rares, Olltput growth stab ilizes and produces susrained / urowth ar moderate le veis. o Endogeno us growch rhe charaereristics of che stages of develop;entrlgi'll'YPropsed by Organski;reiITfO:Cing rhe reets of 1o Power Transition. Endogenous growth theory shows that cal \Vit/ crev;ope.d maintail1 steady growth races, buc will l10e allow them to remain ahe.a d of rapiclly developing cOllntries. The dynamics of endogenous growth suggest thar che' distribucion of capical and labor aeross socieeies will force outpuc ,f.onverg -nce societies with relacively low rates of per-eapita GDP wiJl, if che y avold the poverty trap, enjoy high growth rate o Thus, efficieIH discrbution of reSQurces in marker ecul10mies eventually will ]cad ro among alLeconomies wich grow cn. Figu re 1.8 lustrares poss ible growth paths fol' societies ar different stages in their economic growth. ' J witb. lev- ' els of poltica] capaClty have .Qlfferent growtb Natioos with

Cnpln Gross DOlJl eslic Product

Figure 1.8 The Endogcnous Growth Trajectory

high poll rical capacity grow rapiclly ane! achieve sustained growrh much ea}'lier. On the other hand, low poltical capacity gove.rnments maintain rates (Jf economic growth and conrinue to flirt with the possibiJiry o hlling inro rhe poverty trap. Figure 1.8 also illustraces the distincrlon between the direction uf rhe growth path (indicated by the arrows locared 011 the growrh trajcctories)_ CouIHries are either headed inco the poverty trap (rhe lowcr lefe comer of rhe figure) or roward susranecl economic growth (the llpper right comer oI che figure). Fol' the path that leacls to a poveny trap, political capacity ane! inicial physical OI human capiral is so low that the economy will be callght in a low-income developmenraJ trajeeror}', That is, when there is a pauciry of physica l ane! human capital, birth rates wil! be so high char human capital deaccllmulates over generations. As a result, Ollrput will contraer. 12 . / Power Transition shows that the shifts in power associated wirh such ( dynamics have seriOLIS consequcllces foc stability. The dynamics 0 1 niLtioral ,PAw,e..r...growth .canno.t be cha-nged dramarically by in.ternatio.nal interven" rhe long term, political factors profllpt cllanges in physical 'am:l capital driven by technology ane! lead IO economic convergence in \ per-ca pita terms. When socieeies with similar populations are at different stages in rheir growcb paths, one dominares rhe other. When they are ae the same srage; they aehieve parity. From {he perspecrive oE war, the mos{ pOentially dangerous co ne!ition in rhe incernatiQnaJ system occurs when a


sociery <'Ir the





gIO?.::I.LliyarcbY, rht ha,s P?ssedEY : .9Pjdly .gr,o..w"ng na,cion mucJl J argeepQpuJ !eion. Such un Mcrtakng gready increases rhe Ijkelihood oE majar War. fndeed, rhe srory oE che Wesrern world can be SUI11marized effectively by exploring rhe overraking berwecn, firsr, France and England, ehen England and Germany, and more recently rhe unsuccessflll overtaking by the USSR oE rhe Ul1ited States (see chapter 2). Despice rhe technological advantages of developeclnilrjons, chaUengers high 15rowth rates 01 convergence. The high dfferential in per-capiea GDP berween the - Uruc! Srates and China cleady is a temporary condiriol1 'har aCCOU[][$ for the currenr substancial power advantage of the Uniced Srates. But can annual ecol1omic grow0. pool'ly with whicnare i'i.vo ro t'hreefillles higher. Short oE panirio-;;-;' decenrralizarion, China eventually will become the worJd's !argest econo111y, This processis no different rhan che severa! overrakings of rhe United Kingdom by Gel'many. Note thar in two occasions wrld wars were fought, but folIowing rhe last conflict, the EU emerged. produce war but )':_ 9JWEYs tb e s truc.cu re These dyn amics have importnr policy ramficarjons for U.S. -Chinese relations, 2nd fmure relations among China, rhe Unred Slares, 2nd eventually India (see chaprers 6 ancl 7).

,Of rhe three power v,!rables, opOpllJaon che , sine, 8 L l a ,nP!l. tox power Population is rhe poremial resource pool [IJat a nation can .- begin -ro mobiLize rhroLlgh economic development. Productivity can be al,. te red ayer rhe long [un and relarive poljeical capacity can be changecl in rhc shorr mil by rhe imposition of new, more effective poltical controls. BU[ without a large population, a narion cannot hope ever ro become eithe)' a grear power Ol' a dominant nacon. Popul,ation nor identical ro great or dominant power sra tus, bur, if mobi!ized inro a pl'O( fucrive for use at rhe u;-\tio'),allevs:!, la,!'.ge _po-plio's offe' cilt'rnous P9t enrial resources. Of the (hree varia'bes, leasr suscptible -...... ..""" . -- . is the .. . change. GoveIlrnrents can ntervene economically ro alter l1<lrional producrii;;Ey and politically to enhance rhe relative political capacity sitie O[ the equacion, bur in rbe shorc terITI , popularion growch rates are difficuir ro manage by governmcnt policy.Ll The sze oE popularions ultimately determines rhe o( a naton. PopuJarion is rhe element rhar determines in che long run which -' rt:i't'it liS- will remain major powers. France, England, ane! Germany were great powers when the resr of rhe world had nor jointd the industrial revolution. Today rhese n<ltions no longer can hope to challenge indi'.


vidualJy for dominance in ,he global herarchy. Despice rheir economic produccivity, rheir popuJarion base is no longer sufficienr te compete "vith nacional populations rhe sze of rhose in {he United States, Russia, China, 01' lndia. A second aspect of popularion is critical in lInderstanding how power grows in rhe intemarionaJ system. As figure 1.8 (see p, 17) suggests, mature developednatiol1s have sribJ\,-,..J)9FulatipQs. have fully lIndergone . the demographic transition and are unlikely to expand -their Their 0;11y (Ol' growrh is_tbrOlJ.gJ mand rhrough chIS clemographlc riansltlon. 'Some natlOl1S, slIch as hance, Japan, and ev'c n lraly, may weU have declining po.puJations in this century, pevel9 ping f!,!ltigns, ,S1Il hancl, ..t..Pe . yeaes or _ so_:.:.'en As implied in figure 1.8, capable government creates an envronment conducive to a demographic transirion, thus boosting human capital and economic growth. Governmems in developil1g narions (hat can increase government capaciry \ViII take conrrol oE the population expansjon, acce/erate investment in human capital, and anain self-sustaining growth. \X'hile deveJoping narions are able to reduce popularions rhrough a combinaron of poltical imervcntion and econornic prosperiey, ir is very hard to innease a popul'!tm---n (, < gorle 'L economic ";'Vl\:, The mostimportanr m:ilication of such power clynamics is that it is very difficult ro reverse a power ovenaking. Once France lose its premie' po(p,,"obk sition in Europe after Napoleon, ie couJd no Jonger challenge Britain and I6 f O\/c( of far larger popl1lariolls, Like1j : ! Germany beca use both hacl the 0 ... \.1\ wise, England and Germany cOllld no longer compete for wode! leadership when the! colonies underwenr rhe industrial revolurion and became ndependent. Neither could confrone rhe more populous Russia and the United Sta tes, . 1, I *'T' In rhe long run,che jl.lr.t<dy prosperolls Uned States cannor remain ehe domiI]ant { the internarional systemllecau; e Goth 1..{ .bave popla rioJlsjoli):, J inlJ;s]a.1r. This population gap cannot be bridged p by a developed society. Therefore, becausc of the COl1strants rhat stable -' popuJ8cions impose on rhe expansion oE power in deve/oped societies once !.\ . Asan iJations modernize 3nd overtake che Unired States, no new transirions \; are anticipaced. H rhe current roseer of nations remains in 'JJace, it appears China and eventuaUy Indiawill become furure dominant nations. Unless failecl empires regenera te, no new subseqllenr overtakings will take place S since no exsting nari ons wil! have the potential to chaUenge ei[her China 01' India and


/ -- -

, \



C \ \"<2






' 0




Poltical Capacity
The final component of nacional power is relative poltical capacicy. Remembering (h at relative political capacity IS' the abiJity of governm ""C r l ts t extraet reSOUfces from rheir poplllarions, rhe qucstion is, ">2lidLcuuntxies wifl be ableJ o [ranslate rheir economic vitality into national power? Focusing on the endogenolls growth trajectory in figure 1.8, ler LIS exa mine he possibilities. Countries at the boctom of this growrh trajectory with low levels of rCSO LlI'CCS from tht:ir pop.lllations, sinee individuals consume musr if nor aU resources to SllppOrt -daily existence. As na[i ons develop, however, it do es not lIel:essa rily foJIow that,ower increases either dil'ectly or proportionaJly. Among- low nati ons, there i5 sllbs'tanriaJ in ability to extract reSOllrces. Nations with SHong political concrols have le verage amI can mobili2,e potemial populaton resonrces into actual national power. The Viemam War provides a gone! exarnple of che differences between potential and ac tual power. By virfue of effecrive poltical controls, North Vietnam extracted a higher proportion of resnurces from ,\ smaller base population during the conflicto Sourh Vietnam, with weak political cor1tl'ols yer a largel' econorn.ic and dernographic base, could noto Even subs tancial U.5. asssrance and clirecr rni[itary intervention in slIpport of the Somh Vietnamese eould not give Souch Vietnam rhe edge. 14 lior counrries wirh large populations and improvi ng productivity on che steep portian of the trajectory, relative poliricaliapacity the s ruC;:d variable fOI hO\y -pow_ erful becorn.es. For example, should lndia, with a population oE 1 billion, increase its per-capita productivity and then efficient!y extraer resources frOI1l irs popu lacion, ir wOllld be on a trajectory ro evenrually chailenge international leadership in the larter half of che twenry-first century. On the orher hane!, if Trae were to undergo economic moclernization and increase productivity, chat naton eould only aspire ro chalJenge for dominance in its regional hierarchy due to the relatvely small Iraqi population of about 20 milIion. Countries at che rop of the endogenolls growth rrajecrory have lTIobilized mQst of the population ahd cconomic resources in ther soc iety and face increased eosts for any marginal addition. It is physically impossi ble, fol' example, ro dOllble the extraction o resources in Sweden when the gvernmem already takes more than halE of the available gross do rnestie producto 5ubsequendy, rhese mature societies expand slowly both in econornic anel poltical development e!ue in large pan ro technological advanees. The lens of Power Transition allows a scha lar or to thar poli'tic; l and econornic changes are inescapably linked.
1 ;:

Why Conflict Arises in the International System Overtaking

Most theories explain how and why conflicc emerges in che international system only in the mose generalized sense. Power Transirion, however, has syslogical srructures Jinking the core iSSlles oj conJlLct io tern-: tll' timillg, ir!.illion,_coscs, As such, it is unrivaled in scope and reach. It nor only offers an explanarion of why connicr OCCllJ'S, but also describes ane! anticipa tes the characteristics of co nflict and provides advice 011 how to manage conflicto Two cWine al the ,Fto.babilin Q LWt._Jhe first mri, . Ir. TransitioIl exists in a hierarehy when a gl ? --:' wer becomes a potential 80 persent (Jf rhe or the -:domioant: n'a..Rm1,. oE the dol1linnt natiQ.,rLby The secone! conceg t is m'ertaking, piccurecl generically in figure 1.9 J (p. 22-:Ovtttaking occurs when a ruing power enters the stee p growth portion of che enclogenous growth trajectory and develop.$. ec.o.Q.omically at .. z::ertaking process, rising achieves p<!riry either through increasecl prodllctivity and/or political c2.pacJ..rU .nd is the domil1ant"nation in of relative power. This evenr grearly j w::xe.as_ e.s f conflict. Figurel.9 diS'plays ihe dynamics o Po;;r Tra5ifiO1)rillustrating the relative power relationships of a challenger and dominant naton over time. The solid line is the power trajectory of the defender/dominant power, and the e!otted tine is che power trajectory oI che challenger. Durng the early time period, rhe dominant power has unambiguolls power preponderallce over the potential cha llenger, a superiority rhat is recognized by boch sides. Note that of the dominant power is relativeJy sJow comRared to thaJ 01 challenger b _ ecallse the dOill..in,ant power has a maUnder such cone!itions, war i5 highly unlikely; 'the expected olltcome is pea ce. When a E,Qltntia:l ... hierarchy Eltering..the-exis.tiQg regime aLldjrwuJt:.],,...J:..cb12Qses This type oE structura! coodicion is depictee! by relations in the Korean peninsula toda)'. Despite its isolation and dissatisfacton wich (he existing arder, North Korea ca n no longer challenge 50mh J(orea as it did in 1950. Although both nations rglle that division is llnaceeptable, they have not recoociled governrnental structures and conrinue ro threaten each orher across rhe demilitarized zane. Peace is preserved beca use 50mh [(orea now holds a preponderant aclvantage over the Nonh and could compel he North in case ofwar. Indeed, assurning thar thrd pa rties -such as [he Unjted Sta tes, China, or RlIssia - are not involved, any confLict on the Ko-



rh ';ef







12k. l'

5t.:,fetLl .




Defmda PrepomJerant






Clwllengcr Prepollde/'fll/t /- , _.'. -

.'_ . -.

, ..

Defender P/'epondel'ant


e/ aJlellger

Challenger Satislled \ Overtaking


.. '" ;:
/ .. ,


L------ Defender










Figure 1.9 A Tl'ansition with a High Probability of War Figure 1.1 O A Tnmsiton with a Low Probability of War


rea n peninsula wOlltd be short ancl would terminate wirh the imposition of Sourn Korea's preferenees over tbose of the North, Ip.Jigure 1.9. rhe ve power pari ry. While the dOJ]linanc gap wirh tbe dominant 20we r remains superior, irs abiliry to influenee che ehallenger diminishes. rhe ione of parity, bach the ehallenger and the dominanr power rea lize thar waf an overtaking wil! cake waged exist-J,hacis., gccur whl;l1.JD.e ehallenger , conclitiof!1or pariry, ang overtaking l!lay i.l.1 \.cl,:Lmui)iet. As ngl11'e 1.9 illustra tes, war is rhe likely ouccome when the challenger is dissatisfied and overrakes the defender. Recafl that Germany and Great Brjtain foughe long and biccerly in War/d Wars 1 and 1I preciscly bec2use Genm1l1y bad ovenaken Britain prior ro , eaeh war and beca use Germany's leaders anricipated in each case th_ et ha.i<l _ fair o i!}J%e Qf fQrg;s. In .overrakillgqrovide che fol' coo fljee beca use the chalJenger anricipaces a fail' chance of winning. m.cs.<;"p _ <U.iry, evel1 accompanied cause of conflic r. Parity and overtaking muse be minaton ro change the anc{' its illcur _ _ -b. _ _ ..... _ status ... _q-Lw.. significa nc risks in order ro alter che rules of the existing hienuc hy. From , rhe defender's perspeccive, conditions for war are generated by [he inabiliry to persuade che challenger th ac [S iOlerestS will be incorporated into the exisring regime along with relatee! changes in power structures.



Parity and overtaking increase the probabilicy rhat there will be an iniriaeion oE co nfli cc. Eut, as illLlscrated in figure, 1.10, the actual overtaking . may be eaceful. This was [he case a f the Uniree! Sta tes and Crear Bntain ar t e end ot the nineceentb centllry when boch nations were satisned, The United Sra tes' overtak ing of Great Britain did nor (hreaten [he srrueture Inof rhe exisring internarional order, deec!, the reason that the c10minant powel' does nor prcempt while ir holcl s preponderance over a poremial challenger is rhe ha pe fol' reconciliarion of differences. If [he dom jnant power ane! challenger were ro realign preferences over time - as the Uniree! Stares and Great Brirain e!id foflowing rhe War of 1812 - a preelllv,riye <\ ttaGk wOlJld not be beca use sa t\. ,i.s.6ee! Bominanr -- --' 1. p[aces Power Transi!.ion _ i r] _aseord witb the L.2E.1QYJe1 :..lJ:.al)si gn, is si milariey 01 governmenrs' foreign poliey goals across time thac - Jos.te.rs sacsfaeritln with [he status quo, Since the dominant power ere: foJlows . , _-tites ilie global s aws 'qu'o in wa yS'larorable ro it5eH, it i':,, :, '(\ that sim ilarl y constiruted srates wiU also benefit froIn rhe sra'rus qua. TI1US, , ',O'i''states witb economicne! politica! instj cutions sim ilar (O those of che e!omi_l..I/\Q. p 2.!ver lt!ze,[y \;;11 be satisficd with the Status quo. :i[h othcr , risfl ed)and Democra tie nations appear ro generate anc enjo)' 11 g 1 degrees of sarisfacrion, arguably beca use cbe dominant

r - ! Kis_



'v) !I\.


't..J.f ">1 ,1,








Defender Prepollderallt


Cllnllenger Prepollderalll

Dissatisfed Challenger

Dissisfied De1endcr




!:" :: '



j.: ,

Figure 1.11 A TranstiOIl with a Very High Probability of Wal'


j' '1




power is a democracy., sif!lilarity yjrUJ D..e state thus leads liS to anticpa te the existence of a ebno.Cl'atic peace. 16 'Figure 1.1 1 illustrares rhe of rwo equatly matched d.issatisfif d powers <lt O dcr;;:- a circumStance s b_ ar .has not at the global level natiorls are ur pariry and face an impending ovcrtaking, neirher is satisfied with rhe existing status _qJJ.O _P..9 Such conditions may have been descrptive of relations berween Egypt and Israel before rhe es' tablishment of a regional status quo in rhei[ pan of rhe Middle Ease. ln such a case either side could iniciare war beca use both are dissarisfied wico the eXlsting status quo. These rare conclirions are che most dangerolls in the international system. Wars are rhe expe tcd
'\ ,'J ;' 1 ' <;'" j"' . C' ('_!/ The Initiaton of War


\ , \. v.. ./ h.j' v"






''''- v

<, ,.' . ,\ ""



( ...


Vl tllt.


Power Transition is a powerful predicror of waI in global aud regional hic .Ql1f1u,S:l).ce of parity one At the globallevel followg World War Ir, 110 nato.n has acheved parity wirll 01' rhreacened ro overcake the Unired Sta tes. Consequently no great power wars have occl1rred. Berween 1850 and 1950, on che orber hand, Germany overtook rhe Unired Kingdom ust prior to World War 1 anc! again just prior ro World War n, thereby isolating this narrow period of opportunity for global conflicrY

A similaI process takes place within regional bierarchies. For example, the c.S lnflict between Iran and Iraq) ovcrt?kng of han, in the wake of rhe 1980 collapse of Ibe I!'.E.!3.ian .- 'Power relations are an important detenninanc of conflict when there are rhe status qua bllt not a material consideration wben sllch differences are niii'm-al. Nations can reduce the of war by reducing their T1iiSiSlYy' o easy. OissatislactiQ;l Ts.... b a se'd on- 'jJ(;'rccived real differences between cbe popuJations in councries. A simple agreement will noc nu!lify such effects. Populations have long memories. For example, it took time and major changes in government for European narons to accept that Germany was 110 longer a threar to their existence. Leaders are constrained by these endming preferences of the popularions beca use they ha ve to respond te rheir desires of their public suppoJ'ters to mainra.in poltical power. The acceptance of Germany as pare of Europe has progressed fai" more among EU members than in the East European countries. Moreover, drama tic changes in rhe structure and behavior of the Russian leadership currendy fall under peJsistent semtiny in the Unired States. 'fhe imporcq,rl.t p.oint here .i.Lth.a.t .iJ cou"ntrie,? disappear, ..cooperarion rather rhan becomes the rule. NatlOnTUFfV/o: h 'lte"rn;?te eQ,smesJabijity, an9 In international where confrontation is the rule, nations tend toward dererrence, which is a rhreat te respond in kind against anticiparecl challenges from ao opponenr. Clearly such nations also employ satisfaction,builcling measures, but tbey rely more heavily 011 rher ability to increase cosrs to reduce probability of war. This is rhe story oE the Calel War between the Unced Srares ami rhe USSR, which endecl nor with reconcili aton between these two opponents, bU( beca use of che collapse of [he USSR. Ultimately, when a ver)' dissarisfied natan cannor resolve in; diHerences with rhe defender, they wil! resort ro war. This was rhe case of Nazi Germany and England in 1939. When a power transition ir ta,g,es a single dissatisfied a coilict .;hile ir takes nariOjls.... rO .preserve In the nuclear envronment, consideree! i.n further detail in chavter 4, of '("ar beca use costs Leade'rs wiU think fa r more carefully befare initiating a conflict that has the PCltential for enormOllS casualties than in the case of a war with very limited consequences. Thus, when two satisfied nations acquire nuclear weapons, there i5 litde potential for conflict regardless of power relarions - as was che case between Britain ane! France after 1945. When a satisfied naton ac' quires nuclear weapons, as did (he Unted Sta tes cluring the Cold War, the proba bility of war decreases and remains low uncl a dssa tisfied challenger .reaches parity. When a dissacisfiecl nation ; uclear weapons, as did rhe USSR after 1950, OI when jointly dissacisfied nations do so, as is rhe


'l '-' )('


\ {lO \

'-' fr , (. ''j
Chnllenger Preponderan!


- -L

... '1'


lit ... .





Defellder PrepOl1deranl




CllIIllellger PreflO/ldernnt

Defellder Prepo 11 derall I



Probability ofWar


& :.o

_ _-


" :J;:


_ - - - Defender


" e


;> '" "


1 _ _-

--- ;



Figure 1.13 The Timing

i, -

Figure 1.14 The Sevel'ity of War


, '

Being reJuctant ro take OIl a poteminl challenger when ie has clear superiority, che dominanr power is even Jess like!y to do so when rhat challenger becornes more powerful. Having passed up rhe opponuniry to rid itself of <In irritlnt early on, ir now Bnds char che costs oi war againsr a more powerfui challenger are inueasingly high,12 Once_rbs ,dominanr couner)' sets the rules .at the it.s actions a re inhibited by <lclherence to die -status quo that it has devised,

ity of war deereases, but the severiry of war increases, b.lg..udy (such as World Wars 1 ancl II), whi!e more frequenr eonfronratons of Jesser magnitude occur before overtakings,25


lLo(\ +:-, J

The Severity of War

The Timing of War



Underscanding the logic pro vides a perspective on tbe rirning of war, Wars between great powe occur ar specified til!!.c:syliehin the peExamined from t ltt ther side of the ca in, figure 1.13 shows thar grear dearly superior dominant powe( [ mbalances of power preserve rhe peace Conditions of relative equaliry or Balancs are of (?otenti-I. ..!:Y!.r, original presentarian of Power Transition postula red thar wars are iniriared before che actual overtakng but after che challenger had entered rhe period of parity,lJ conckd!i rhar wars.)Y...QllkLoccllr Power Transirion scho.lars cOntinlle to debate this question. The most receor research indica tes rhat rhe probabiliry increases prior ro the overtaking but the of a"ywareatdoes occur in chis early parity period is diminished, After the overtaking, che probabil-


The severity of war depends on the riming of the outbreak of conflict during the parit)' period, As figure 1.14 shows, if a challenger miscaJculates and initiates war early in the parity period, ir faces significanr risks. g:tLll1tl:y .. h.as-ere;red_3...Jl!:2l!g quendy has enorm ",.Q,Lls.,resotHces ofLt.he -chalknge. [n thisj ii'ac ]Qi1""W3r wilt b_ e ilie.ralJeng,er but nGt as coSily for che international under -orher scenarios, -Later in-.fhe-parperiod, ho,:yey.er, c.ondLri9ns.-haJie-Gh-aflged, Frsr, rhe challenger has grown more powerful than the dominant coulltry_ Seeond, the dominant nation 's allance system will have weakened appreciably as sorne supporting great powers :ecognize d1hid arnerlcTshift occurring in che intemational system and begin ro decouple from the dominant power, if nor realign comp!etely with the challenger, The shift in tbese (W0 conditi011S suggests that wars in rhe parity period following be intense and cost1y, World Wars 1 and n followed power transitions a'S anccipredWRile the -Pranco-Prussian War of 1870, for example, occurred at rhe time of overtaking. 1 ';


'}J .






1" 1 ';'\
o '



'< j



o, L.





1 j !



, \ erOIl

, " \'O",er \tch\tn"

Figure 1.12 Relative Power, alld SatisJactiou, and the Pl'obability ofWar

case for Pakisran and India today, rhe probabiliry of war increases as thcy approach pariey. Mutual assured desrrLIcrion (MAD), cherefore, tronf the power cransirion perspectivcis a renUOllS condition rllat should be avoided rather rhan encouraged ..
SatisfactiOf/, and Co',flicl

A summary of rhe argurnenrs we have made thus fae can bese be visualized by displaying the between relative power, degree oi s..atisfaction,_and_rhe -p.r.obabilit)' oC conflicr (see figure 1.12).19 Note that as an ;';;[aking occurs, if the ch;ll;nger ' becomes satis,ried, rhen rbe probabilty of war declines precipitously, sometirnes leading te integratan. The new preponderant pOwer becomes a defender of che status quo under stable condirions, as we indicaree! was the case between Englane! and the Unieee! Sraces at rhe beginning of the l'wentierh cenrury. In those cases whefe che defender fails ro accommodate during rhe overraking and cbe challenger conrinues LO be dissat isiied, [he proqability of war is very high. Further, this probabiity increases after parity, leading ro l very long period ';vith a high peobabilicy of war. This was the case between Gcrmany and the United Kingdof1l duro ing eh, c hrst haH of rhe twemerh cenrury. Tlle choice now facing the Unirecl

States nd Ch ina is ro avoid the trap oE dissarisfacrioJ1 und transicion, which grcatly raises rbe :robabiliry ot war. fo!_s:onOicL Bue as we show aBoye, evC 111 m'F1d<l-n..therdln nor eX,R.lall1 why sorne overtaklllgs result in war and vihy others are the rhrcl-Y'a.riab.le ro rhe calcularian, Great powers engage in conflict over preferences ane! policy differences lne! (hese srem from a country's sen se af satisfacrion. Sarisned narions are not expecred ca cngage in conflict even iI tbere is an overtaking among rhem.A peaceful transfer of responsibilities and leadership is antici.parecl due ro the .a nQ ,?ecurit)' .gruJJs...tl1e.y- 9 .Q;:.e,..fmffi lllter.FlMi.o.nal yste;'-On I'he orher hancl, a dissatisheJ challenger overcalcing a domi-!4-, n:.1Jlt country calculates rhar irs prospeces for victory are increased by ies rapid grawrh in paweeBeing wich the the IeMlers of rhese nations are condirioned to seek changes to rhe status quo. Parity, cherefore, brings dein opportunity. And rhey are likely to se ize thar opportunity ar some point in ehe ove rtaking periodo Dissatisfiecl challengers fu!y ro iniriare A challenger cosi. med with grevances ma)' seek redress early in rhe parity perioe! only to find irs power and allance system ins ufficienr ro achieve success. A moee cautious havlt!g overtake n rhe dominant rhan a redress of ;;aTSeek fO'Csr" ;\hlish an internacional sysrem lInder its' awn chis wil! givc rise ro a war of greac ferocicy. Ir should be poinred out rhar sratistically for wars among all srates, iniciators have \Von rheir wars far more freqllently han defenders, buc in major wars chis nend is reversed as allies join the defender of rhe status quo ro ensure their $Llrviva1. 20 One quesrion rhar needs lO be poseel is, wh)' doesn'c a dominant power ralce advanrage of its enOrmous power advamages, prior ro parir}', to iniciarr war againsr its real or potenrial cnemies? The resrs wirh che hierarchical system establishecl by rhe dorninanr power. The dominant natian has createel a syscern wirh standard rules and nOIms provicling eco nomic and securily It has a supporcing case of satisfied natiollSo Under bese concltions, initiating conllct is counterproelucrive si nce the nacjan would the -.!liance 01 sacisfied scares) even possibly tearing it apart. Having ser [he tirles-a n-d nd'rms, rhe dorninant nation cannot disrupt chem by irs awn actions wirbour serious 1055 of support. Instead, by preserving tbe stacus gH..o, to attract aJ...!!l<1!]1 as possible ro secure its preponderance. The for'mation ofNATO demon-mates tfiar rbe Unlted Srates did noc seek simpl)' a balance of power with che USSR bur ra(her a preponderance of power in arder [O minimize che rsks oE wal'. by bandwagoni,l]g21 ro crea te an overwhclmlg coalirion againsr rhe Soviet Union .






! .



a welcomc addition chat brings srability to the region. And, in lact, some theorists take this posicion. 33 l .contradi;QlLherween p!.0terat.ioll-.and Pe. oE nuclear is not a remedy for eonfliet. The reconciliation oE satisEactiQ,n wltfii1 he War in the Nuclear Age J ince;:-nacional order, is the remedy. Nuclear weapons in the hands ol satis' . .... ;\..(\ -- r ed powers pose 'no ducat. weaponsin the hands of dissatisfied Power Transirion theory recogn)zes that ,the cost terrep"!.J.Q...tns: are nor universally nor uniform!y O (O." 10><\(\ powers, the Ilsk takers of the international sysrem, pose unusually severe by the specter of massive eosts. . . .Q threats. Power Transition does not hold that dissatisf1ed p_ Olvers will be creterrenro m t iSirrg by some uclea"counrerbalance, coupleq withthe opporrun.i.rY..i9 r jI} rela.tive power This has distincr and mportant poLicy implica'Ir .war_\,Jl tlons for che nuclear age, It also rllns CQumer to rhe prevailing doctrine of ' determined by g,..nation's pOP .lLlp t[oJ), s_ c:...Ql1Q!nic :[evelopment, and politieal the Cold War periodo It is for this reason The doctrine of mutual assured desr!Lletion declared that, despite wha tthar the United Sta ces has invested so much to deoy Iraq nuclear eapability. ever dfferences mighr divide rhem, natlons wirh secure second-srrike forces Finally, Power Transition suggests thar China not only muse be watched at would be deterred from initiating nuclear \-var. Under these condi;:ions, it a global leve! wheo it overtakes rhe Unired States, but must be montored was argued, nuclear wac \Vas renderecl .i rrational and unthnkable. Thus within es regional hierarehy if lndia beeomes a regional challenger in the "safety wil! be che sturdy chld oE terror, and survival rhe (win brother mid- to late-twenty-nrst and nuclear of annihilation, "31 and the possibility of deliberate \Var was minimized if do noc mix without serious consequences. oot eliminated. 32 Mutual assured destruction was the logical extensiOll of balance oE power ehcory ioro the nuclear age. It brought wirh ie all rhe inrellectual failings o the former and none of the promised security. That rhere was no war between rhe United States and the USSR durThe Management of World Politics ng this period is ofren cired as a confirmaran of docrrinal Sllccess, Freed [rom the restraims of Cold War orthodoxy, this camfortable condusion Managing A/Jianees can now be debarecl. In retrospeer, rhe degree of relative safety enjoyed Power Transition as stable coaltions by the United Sra tes was higher befare the Cuban Missile Crisis than after. similar ()f .... Stable alliances are not agreements In our view, rhe period o MAD \Vas by no means reassuring , BOl1nded by o convenienee that can be altered easily or \Vith few consequenccs, A case serious discussions on copies sueh as "launch on warning," post-attack surin point is the Allied coaliton with the USSR dllring World War n, whieh vival capaeties, national minimum and maxirnum death statstics, nuclear was a tempoIary, unstable, aod unreliab!e assoeiation that .fell apart immeeffects overlays 011 major cires, not co mentan movies and television prodiately after rhe end of the common conflict.,)n alliancc; in grams dealing wirh "day after" themes, it eerrainly did not "{eel" like a Power T[ansitLQI1 _. 3 r.e_arrangements _ oi where nations safer period of time than today. Preponderance "feels" a good deal more beca use of eommonll' heJd commiqnellts to exisng_ t uls;s a.n.d rhe economc seeure. a1_ d secuI-ty gains [hus as eX(lmpli fied by U .$.-Britsh relations aod The dass L c balance of power/mutual assured destruction lngie sug... the larger NATO coaEton. S.LJfh a!lianees. to be long gested that the spread af nuclear deterrence the peace. When a o l tIte c..Qugllenee,.2fjnteres[ amoQg larger number reached -and entered rhe condition oi mutual assured clesrruction, the theory argues, rhe likelihood of war rhe membe.rs. AlIiances ereated by the dominant power are desgned to strengthen the among them deereased for ,he same reasons it did for the United States stability of the sysrem by creating a preponderanee o Ptisfie,cl countries. and the USSR during rhe Cold War, Pushng rhis argumeJ.t to its 10gicaJ A successful dominant power attracts- a o g;"e; t and middle lS.ussia, .ana Clilna s liOliTalvoGare..th<l-l,ranspowers and some small powers in suppon of ltS leadership, l)I.ations ioin . ( g oJ nuclear weapons din!iE.is.b.Jb.e ,probabiliry. of ing the dominant power become part of a status quo a!lianee system. U.S, war between them and with Israel. Moreover, the nuclear tests undertaken foreign poliey in the pos(war era provides a cJear example. "b y lCliaacf1iaklstan ;houldb e vewed by classie MAD proponenrs as

oI Germany following World War 1, and reestablished great dissatisfaccon among the vanquished Germans, who subsequendy attempted once more to bid for dominance in che international syscem.


\...\.\ l'. \

1 i \ '\

I vl

C V,{\/v,\.Q

, .-

tI o t ' , .y



1' <:: t-; <' <:


'?\,\ t \\.. \/\/ . ....


l \t

l/IJ\;) Y"<C


Defellder Preponderan!





Challellgef Preponderllllt


. .<



_ _ _ _ Defender



" 5

1 .,


rions tcmporarily pOStpolle eonflier but may eventually res \lIt in the most severe wars. Shorter, {aster transrions inerease rhe likelihood bllr lower the severity of warY There is a poliey logie to these conclusions. With fasc overrakings, the cwo countries are in parir}' for a short period of time and eheJe is relatively les s opporrunicy' for polier- disputes ro develop !HO war. Bur with slower transcions, these paliey disputes have time to develop irreversible momentum Jeading to war. Pmver Transirion scho lars agree that che period of parity remains as the zone al contenrion and probable war. The rheory holds rfJae- eonRict can oecur anytimc during the parity period but che probabiliries and consequences vary wirh the specific eonditions of that transition. nations are in rclative parie)', the higher the probaQiJity' of war and Inger the durarion or any war they may flght.
The Consqllencs of War

Short l __




Figure 1.15 The Ollratioll of War

The Duration of W,lr

Power Transition also provides a guide ro undersranding che duraton of war. Figure L15 shows rha[ as a clissatisned chalJenger approaehes pari[y and overtaking with the domn ant naton, rhe duraron of Hny war thar rhe relativeJy equal power may oceur inereases clramatjcally. th.aL ea:h narion brings ro bear du;ing a conflicto ,<\s'-neitherr l1'C!omi;1Hnr naton qQr rhe ehallenger __ LJnilatel:r power advlltage, -barl'! are likely to engage in a war of attr.rion. Hoping te wear rhe other side clown, each si de is fighting with an equal chanee o' winning clue to rheir relatively equal power. \'V'orld \)lars r and Ir are resrimony ro the almost egual pwer ol primary combatants and a!lances in a costly and drL\wn-our war. longer two .rival natons are in relative pariry, the 19nger che duraton o'f aoy rheY 1i'gh'CligJJ.t. As either the challenger 01' dominant nation a relative power advantage, the expecred duration oE wal' deo'eases. This is clue to one side achieving an adva ntage over the other, increasing the likelihoocl oI that side prevailing and che war rherefore terminating .
Speed of Overtaking and War


.... ..



There is sorne evidence linking the speed of rhe overrakng with the severity of war. FasGer.o.venakings appear to lead to a lower probobility of wa! and slower overtakings inerease rhe pro.b.ilbility of war. lntegratng these emprical observa'tlois resulrs in the concfusioll thar longer, siower rrans.i-

rnajQ.r..J:Yar is rhc_relative am0.2K.. are rediscribLlted. Conrrary to expectarions, llations recover relatively . qu.icldy from the consequences of war. 28 Dominant ancl orher great powers can engage in war and return to theif earler posiron in the internacional system after one generaron. For an aclvaneed muion, rhe time necessary to eateh up ro ts prewar growch pattero is less than twenty years. Power Transition theorists call this the .Phoenix Factor.,29 , Beeause of the Phoenix Factor, [he outcomes o grear power wars ti do llot change long-term growth rates. However, wars do bu.e a dramarie an the distriburion of satiSf8:C tiO dissarisfaer!o;-nj !?e The lessons oFdevasratingw ars"are d'it peace and stability is short-livecl if dissatisfaeton is allowed ro .f1ourish among rhe vanquished. A punitive peace, or a peace without effortS to reeonstitute che vanquished state as a satisfied member, is likely ro be a short peace._The,., of political systems in Germany and ,Tapan and the prOvision of post,war W'e aesigned' ro transform.chOse:i..rtPns dissatistled j:o satisfied soeieties. The poliey 'P'ower Transition's Phoenix Factor are insrmctive. Following a conflict, the dorninant nation must find ways to reconcile the norms and values of the defeated challenger (who will be in (he position to ehallenge again wirhin one generation) with ies own. Otherwise, confliet wiII once more 100m on the hOl'izon. Thus, despite the fact (har the power di srributions following boch wodd wars wece very similar, the United Stares chose ro rransform the vanguished seates after World War n ilEld aehieved a stable environmenr where power transitions amor,lg E:uropean grear powers did 110r generare war due to widespread sarisfaccion. On rhe other hand, rhe French <1nd English emphasized punishment








The objective of NATO is not alld has nar been simply rhe defense

oE the associared nations from an attack by che .W 'arsaw Pacto .Mmual security has been the dorninating focus in public disco urse and the vehicle used tO justify rhe alliance wi(hin rhe caprals of NATO countries. But an equally important and perhaps even superior objective, according to Power Transition tl1eo ry, is. the maimenance of stability_within EUlo.pe.ancLrhe cementing oL.tie.s. l1nder U.S. guidance, ensurec: rhat power overtakings among France, England, and Germany did IlOt lead 1 and U. nc. : to the reperirion of Wor!d figbJ....Q!}e another. ,-' ," r,., " LooIJ;g(owarcl the fmure 'from the Powcr Transitioll perspeetive, the llld..,.anempt ca integrate new aldominant power shoLiance as pare of a l rger effort oJ defending rhe states wpe.re .p ecessary from salli,fled nations. The benencs fr the dominanr-nation ' are obviollS. Ir expands ts po01()T resources ancl . supporters while transforming potential rivals il1(o allies. (i"{ What rhen are [he implicacions for NATO expansion? Power Transition ustines the expaosion of NATO to Poland, Hurgary, and the Czech Republie and to al! others who now sharc the values (demoeraey and economic growth) and accepe [he rules (status quo) oE the dominant power. This incorporaton, however, does not substantially alter the distriburion of power jn the inrernational f....$m a11., is fundamental relations}pj n rhe inter nacional s.yscem. From the perspective of che enHene domil1ant power, the United States, the most important near-renn adjusrment ir could make to the international This would serve alliance two purposes. First, ir wOllld accererate rhe development oE a satisned natioo out of one that retains the pore ntal to revert to dissatishecl status. Second, it would signi6cant!y cid to (he pool of reSOlll"CeS of the domiir nant councry. The tighe integratiol1 of Russia into the U.S.-Ied international system would be the largesr single step to preserve .tile }' :'\; internatonaJ system,.ch,fQ ILQe t.k,e--i1:"fle near .futme. an efrort would certainly acldress complainrs rhar currenr NATO expansion makes Russia feel isolated and threarened. To earry chis argument to its next logic'al point, che subsequenr foreign palie y goal of che United States should be che a satisfied China, eicher by diren inregration into an alliance r- t5y "creating opportunities to olili'Ze : mo he exisring.imern, 'lQ?na ls y s tem whereby ir aecepts prevailing rules and no rmo. ln' both cases - Rus sia and China - the Unired Stares would be rakng aetion to avoid a challenge by a dissatisfied power. In rhe case or Chi;;, ane xpansion of NATO to- indude rhis nation m'ay help in creacing the conditions for a peaceful overraking, should rhat oceur, rhus redueing the possibiliry of global war.


.. \



> .j"'-j .

"" '

.,;:,' '"

lnternatignal organizJtions are inst.irurional power and ltS great powers ro eodify 'and/Slr 1Qrms,-15 Inrernmional organizatiol1s also create eondrions and arenas fo r resolving disputes thar mighr fornent conflicr in dissarisned nations. The perm anent membership oE rhe UN. Security Counel constitutes a uscful vehicle for understanding the Power Transirio l1 perspecrive on managing - lterl1ational orgal1izations. The Power Tram ition perspec tive has imporrant implicarions far internarional organizations. For exa mple, permanent rnembership on the Seeu rity asna p-'!Jit of powe r i!]1mediately after World Wal' n. The United Srates, Great Brirain, "Franee, and rhe Sovii Un ion were rhe grear powers of rhat time. Since that time, however, the same economie modernizarion pracess rbat propelled these stales to great power status has changed .s.be _Great Brirain and FrillJQ!)1!: ve power relarive ro Germany and Japan . The exclusion o[ Gfmany and Japan from perialiet iembers hit) on the Securiry Council was logiea l at th ar rime since they were defeated adversares and did l10 t hold subsrantial power. eeoo,?!.:nie '!O l0.llger consistert t.he -e-ihance managel'ial ab ility and maintain satisfacrion in rhe inter" national system, permanent lllembership 01\ the Security Co ull eil shonld reflecr rhe hierarchy. Th at translares into a permanenr rnembership co mposee! o the United Srates, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, ane! evcntLlally India. Should rilar unlikely ad jusrmem come to pass, rhe exclusion of rhe Unitcd Kinge! om flnd trance from rhe Secu riry Coun" ci l eould be seen as weakeniJ1g rh ar bocly. Bllt this would not neeessarily be the result oeca use both are sa risfted mcm be rs (lE rhe dominanr coalition, and England is the most lo ya l aUy of che Unit_ ed Stares, While this . Council ,should nor be sratlc. ]n the tuwrc, India or sorne orher yable canaldare'111lght emerge to replace Japan o,. Germany. Only by reflecciog the current power reality can the SecLlIity CounciJ play its critieal roJe <IS a mediator of disp utes, peacekeeper, an d peacemaker.


Managing Satisfaction



To pres;::c'N! lhe exisring status quo, the principal objective of he dominant conntry ami its c10sest allies is to expand international -sYSfem. Thc 'i:lfiIT1it'counrry mlisr-5e-ca reful nor ro allow clisputeso1 perceprions of inequitable trea rment ro metasrasize inro diss<lrisfaction with he sys tem . 1'lli5 is pa rti cul arly uue among grea( pO\-vers rhat are or eventual!y coulcl Decomecltil1 'enW-rs . Thls means hat he dominant counrry







- I


must meer two foreign paliey challenges: crearion oE binding associarions and che resolution of territorial disputes. ower UaSt"ion cheOrY suggests that ffi"'prpose of cconomic cornmunities sllch as \VTO,l'<'AFTA, ancl tbe EU is ro provide j:hat enhance s atisfas..tinn ,wirhin che . S-9alitig.o. ))l.'..-reiistriSD!ion oCbel1e6ts creates arrel mainJains high che dominanr nation's syste,m, nd attraccs leaomg coa[ition wl1Tle confICr. Trrbese ecollomic communities stirnulare growrh, then this dfart has 'rhe collateral benefit of adding to che power resources of che sacisfied campo This is aa importanr considerarion if a significant challengc;: appears. The record of NATO ane! the W<usaw Pact is l I;:sting testimony of how rhe United States used 'ics economic ane! military preponderance to soLidify ts position over a potential chaLlenge by rhe USSR. Support ror the European Union rl'ovided the economic backbone, while che commitment ro NATO yieldecl enduring security arrangement that could not be challenged by a Soviet-Ied coaLitioll, aside, terriroral disputes rema in ..2i _ confliq, 16 They have che potencial to crea te long-lasting polarizarion often characterized by inrractable posieions colored byideologcal 01' narionalist rheroric. FR.Ub,is reasan, dOTIllllilIlC q>untry t ensure Derso (rs OW.l1 alliance do noe enter ineo open conAict. The United States a.ndNAto have becn imemal conf1ict, with che arguable exception of Greece and Turkey's dispute over Cyprl1s. Although chat conflicr remains, cleady a cap has been imposed on che acceptable limits of Greek nnd Turkish policy actions. NATO efforts in rhe former Yugoslavia renect the sensiriviry of the alliance system to conflicr. Despite sorne voices of disapproval in rhe Congress, U.S.-NATO leadership was impera ti ve, nocjusr for human righes purposes but to reduce the ehrents to national borders in an are<l (lf potencial NATO expansiono That Russia, Turkey, Greece, arrd Iran have intereses in che Balkans makes it even more critical thar rbe United States managed che Kosovo crisis from the scandpoint oE irs own inrernational power interests. Using the NATO alliance ro limit rerritorial disputes among allies has distinct benefits fol' rhe United States. Wthin NATO, United Smtes preemi .. nence is an accepted valLH: and its le8dership .role is virtuaJly llnchallenged. Wichin che Unired Nations, however, rhe U.S. role is circumscrihed by che veto rights of rhe Securiry Council's permancnt members ane! the disparate pressures of rhe broader international community. Thus comioues ro serve its paramollnt pllrpose o unifyi.og srujsfied nations undcr r11e [eadership of the clominant naon, the most efficent tool }or rhe resolutian oE pocentially conllietual situatioQ.! Lastly, ir should be Gotee! that che Svicc Uma n was also successful in concrolling territorial disputes wirhin ltS coalition, the Warsa w Pacto




Uolike the Unitee! Srates in NATO, the Soviet Unon resorted to lirnirec\ conflict in order to retain Hungary, Poland, aod Czechoslovakia il1 its sphere o( in/1uence. The strength of the USSR's conHicr managemenc can only be appreciated by corfparison (O current' instabilities in rhe forrner Soviet Union. Disruptive territ.oria[ disputes !llay occur outside the dorninant COl1ntry 's coalition. T<liwan and China are relevant, if not potentially explo,ive, examples. The United Srates has moved to defuse this situation by the skillful application of rhe "One China" poliey ane! rhe "Three Communiqus." Had China been pan of rhe U.S. alliance syslem, this would be a much easier problem tO address. Because China rests Olltsicle the U.S. system and beca use ir has che potenrial ro be a chailenger, the Taiwan issue rakes on signincaIlce well beyond ies geographical comext. The United States cannoc afford to allow [he China-Taiwan dispute ro polarize U.S. -Chinese relaeions al' poison che relarionship to the extenC chat China becomes an aggl:essive, dissatisnecl power (see chapter 7). Th e sicuarion 011 the !(orcan peninsula presents another porentia[ applieatiol1 of Power Transition srrategy. The potencial foc eonflicc has now as Nortb ICorea is no longer a viable regional contender vis-ii-vis Souch Korea. Instability 011 the pennsula is driven by the isolation and dissatisfaction (Jf North Korea but it no \onger has rhe power to challenge {he SOllch. When parity existee! between North and -Sonrh Korea during the 19505, the United Srates prevented an invasion by rhe dissatisfiee! Nonh. Today wirh South K(Jrea being preJominant, rhe United Sta tes' role is ro brng both mHions inco a relarionship rhar resolves territorial ssues and encourages che long-rerrn prospecrs of a satisfied Korean pennsula . As seen before, one of the most imponant insghts derived frol1l Power . Transition is chat peace is preserved when naofls are satisned wirh the inrcrnatona[ order. The capal5lity' tO -:ltrac k ihe Unted States witn nucle::\l' weapons has diminished but remains signficant, even though its conventional cap<lbilties have been reduced dramatically. However, che United Sta tes nO longer considers such an attaek to be likely. This represents a drasric ch.ulge in expectations. The difference before and after 1991 s not so much the collapse of the Soviet Uniorr, bllt rhe change il1 -'f! ttitudes within thar country toware! ooperation wth che Wesr. The damenrai reforms o a dernocratic structure, an emerging !llarket economy, J and che exrension o civilliuerties tu Russan citizens has concl'ibuted mOJe I to stability than the reduction of arl1l<lments. lA

U '


,,' J
Managing Power

Wtn a mature economy growing at iower. .cates, a clominanc country JTlay filld a fast-growing chaHenger arisng from rhe ranks of the great powers. Being ar different stages of economic development, it is irnpossible for the

l ""




, \1





1 "J

.J", ".-.



',I i



ies growth (afe_ro cQmpensare fol' a chal, lenger t'6ca'ced 011 rhe sreep portio n o ts enclogenoLls growth erajccrory. eh,en does a The dominant pmver faces two realitics. Since substamial gaios in' rel <Lei ve no_1Q!.}gtr e,xternal resoulff S. Ir Q..ges 5.o...b_ y_expanding irs a.lliance system, by ,expanpUlLits ecol1WI1 if l:ea_ ch, ,_O .rJ2Qm.,37 Over time the dominam powerwill atrempt ro bring members into ies alliance inclllding, where possible, formerly dissatisfied powers. E(lch new acquisicioo adds co rhe power base o the alliance, the pool of reSOllrces that eould be called upon in ao emer' genc)'. This s)'srem is 1l9 t inrended ro "bala':,Se oH" power .:!Yi th alld thus ,deter war.Jrs overwhelm ., ng preponderaoce of power and rhe reSOUfces sufficient to head off any , g t allgment allian ce che fascgrowng challenger. When lookn jominant power could bring n m<llly smaller counrres, iJ availabIc, or more efficiently find one large nation whose addition 'Nou!d make a sizable difference. If thar narion \vas formerly dissatisned so 11l1lch rbe bener. This is exacdy the argllmem for why Rllssi a should now be incorporaree! into NATO. In sorne situations, formal a!liance acquisitions may llar be possible or even desired. Some acquisirions rnay be (00 cosdy fol' tbe dominant coun try or the other agoed great powers. \\'lith consua.im .ts,.the, do g:llml nc , l'0we,r Plll_then lo.ok"Jo,expanding alliaQces "as, <In alt,ernarive .1L:V:iG G ro Economic relationships are llseful devices snce ili'eY'Eypass the formal structmes reCllired of aIliance assoc:iario)1. COllntries may, ar leastinitiaJJy, disagree on sorne policy issues Ye( find comrnon ground in the cc(')l1om )c arena. The dominam counrry can reach out to a broader range of countries 'and pul! thel1l ihto ltS polie)' orbit through . . agJ'eemencs._These agreements crea te reciprocal centers Q J seLf-inrerest "in bo eh countris, and by themse!ves, without orher stimllli, may cause couotries . to resolve political differences. F ,9IJ his agreements are the most subtle and least appreciarcd cools of rhe dominant The poliey success in Ellrope following WorldWar n is a classic example of dfective po"ver management by a uominanr nation. Toda)', atcempts to align Russia al1long marlcet economy democracies could set che stage fo r an expanded Europea n Un ion. Similarly, manipulation oE economic incentives remains one oE the most powerful policy tOo!s he United States can \Nield in its relationship wirh China. which i5 the extensiOIl of ioternationallv accepted rub ---.y ' , , and norms through norHtate aetOrs, also is a powe.rful asset of the dOlllinant power. It 5 a subcle, indirecr means of sp.reading sarisfaction. [ve} of oa tioo.::s gci1J.aJi z.aJl, if..cherus the o:vcraU ,interests of the dominam


\ \"<-)"



, 1




. :,'" 'J

the cotl1m ercial ane! in large In some ways, globalizarion can be a more effective rool fm influencing dissatisfied srates, slIch as China, than direcr U.S. inltlatlves, In a similar fashion, information technology, with its ability to penetrate borclers, open new markets, discribute ces, and tie commOll interesrs, serves rhe purposes of a status quo clominam poweE. Wbil e information dominance may incre<lse the relleading mui Oll for a time, its more useful purpose flows from pf !ill.el cs1s, The infow1 ,tion age n1 1lY \yell he,JLllriw;,i,paL 'l.chi.de <lnd s(1tisfacrion, ,.2c 0!...e roblem; can 'be by elle fa vo "rable N ecoIlornic riliD.Ql1s. t'i1tractabi e difficulties occur when neirher the prospects for allianee nor economic a5sociaciol1 are attractive indLlcernents for key nacions. This ca n be seen in che Middle East, where the passlons of ideol ogy, religion, and culture ourweigh the promises of alliance and ecollomic in" regration. This is the reaSon rhat the Middle East always seems to be a "special case" in internacional poli'rics .


Man,lging Nuclear Weapons


_. I

\.. Q -'

/'f '



\ ys


Nuclear weapons ha ve changed che calclllus of waL Unlike previo Lls periods of tlme wheo domioanr powers could defeat 'ChaHengers while minimizing coses, nuclear weapons have raised the cose threshold dramatically, even fOl' che winner, The coses or severiry war 110W are inversely relare dJ_ o be .... - " - --- ... of - .... J)l'2,.babiU .tt2f,.JYar. Transirion VlCWS nuclear proliferation as che sin: gle mosr clangerous elemenr in rhe internacional sysrcm. Yet, that fact cloes noe liminate the possibility of very intense, if infrequent, war. When tbe concl ici ons of and dissatisfacrion are present, the pwbability of war is higb, nuclear weapoos nott t1Pismilmg. NlI.de..'u cle.retl eOcel!Uw uous. Tbe---" -nuclear weapons are Ilot absolure in the faee ........... of ,., . 11 LI t_el.imilJJU!!l, g .the possl)JJhty T1115 1$ partlculcrdy tnreateIl1l1g 111 rhe regIOnal hl erarchies wnere rhece co uld be numerons transitiollS in che re!ative!y near (mure. From a Powcr Transiton perspeccive, the proliferation oE nuclear weapons to a given regon, sucb as che Midd!e Easr, is particlllarly danger, ous since transitions frequently occur there among dissatisfied, risk-taking '!, ,.... '. (1 t'o .< l The Middle East is stable because Israel now is a preponderant nuclear power. lf lran 0 1' Iraq were to achieve lluclear parity, few doub [he region wOllId remaio srable, The proliferaron o nuclear warheads to India and Pakistao offers a different perspeerlve. Pakisran CilnllOt hope ro macch the relarive power potemial of India over rhe long termo There wiJl be no


b ' I A 1"

I t-Lf!.. l'





I .

l( 5


Ilf'l(C ( {

./! Ji


C tC for"f -





overraking here. Thus a major war is not likely ro OCC Ul", wich or wichour nuclear arsenals. However, in the long term India's nuclear capabiliry may increase rhat cou ntry's threar to China and an overraking could occur between these rwo adversaries. Tbis sbould give pause to ,hose bat J?klriry hetwee11 riva...ls som.ehq;w maT<eSl're world a sa fel J.?bce. Alehough proliferarion of nuclear weapons has noe been widcsp:eel as technology permirs, this could change over time. \Vith prolifer2rion aod the multiplicarion oE MADlikc condjions within hierarchies, dererrence becomcs increasingly unstable. Assuming that few nations will give up nuclear weapons, as diel SOllthAfrica, che Ul<raine, and Kazakhstan, the challenge for a dominan!" its _ coa.l.i-tiol1 is co guarantee rhat we;p;;,s-;[<ltesare do nar rlS!{" war.
_. _ ......



a dom inant should adopt a globalist perspective and avoid , ' be tempration ro maximize short-term narional sovereignty <lr rhe expense of longterm instability. The United Sra tes coneeriy focused on the USSR dUfing the Cold War and shou ld fOCllS eqllal attention on China's rerricorial concerns uver Taiwa n and its imernal economie developmenr patterns, If [hese siruations cannot be resolved so rhat the disputants aCCl'l1e positive political and economic gains hom the status qua - or <In)' polic)' solution close to rhe stal'llS qua - ir is in the dominant natiol1's interest ro create unilateral power preponderance over the disputants.
Advi!nce Warnings for Crisis Managemenf

Managing Local Crises

The Unired Sta tes cannot become rhe policeman of the \Vorle!, given its position as rhe dominant power and the leader of a great power coalition of historically unrivaled strength .. The UnitccLStates ,;1ud . has ooly Juarginal j nfluence .o.ver _the The World Bank or InternationalMonetary Fund (IMF) may. influence China, India, or Indonesia but only marginally. The histori,- cal growth patterns of these eounrries are rclatecl to I110l'e fLlndamemai pressures expressecl domestically from rheir resource base. growth lates,. overcaJsing5,challengers, eonflicr can be expecred in mn)' Tocal glbe. !The dominanr p 6 weJ ancl- ttscoalition wll Hor see value in inrervening in eaeh case. The costs may be too high relative to che gains, here may not be a galvanizing rationale for intervention, or atrention may be divened to other issucs. Whatcver rhe reason, the dominant power must concentra te ') ies attention on its kc)' responsibiliries, whieh are the maimcnance gregation of ts power ar the global level, the satisfaction of ies cqaJition member states, and (he management of possib le eha J[cngers. This rneans the United States shoulJ not attempt ro intervcne <lt will. Ir has more pressing responsibilities. Ir has to piek and ehoose which fore ign poliey crises its atte nrion, basecl l1pon the geostraregic vis ion that asks: actio ,l1S, aJZd allialu;es can provide relative lJower prelJonderance or creale satisfaction with the status quo within a regi(na l hierarchy? Potential confljcts in loca l and reg io nal hierarchies could be rninimized with the suggestions offered in the discussion of managing international or. ganizatons. If local dominanr and ehallenging powers in a local hierarchy are brought into the UN Secllrity Council for deliberations 0 11 iss l1es central to rheir regions, then rhe likelihood of a peaeeful solution incrrases and rhe necessity for intervention by rhe dominant power decreases . For this reason,


Power Transition is not only a llscful descriptioo of the structllce and dynamics politics, but more imprrantly it is a' powerful 'toOl foi the po lieymaker. lt 'p.owcr-relario}1ships as we.ll .. i!s regional fleritics. As a clynamic theory, ir eonstanrly adjusts to cbe changing realities of power fluctuations ancl [he rcsulting consequenees for peace and war. -lt.-tells, lls_Weiulati.OJ1sJQ. fQr b..Qstile ir,lteIH,. <lnel when rllat ment mau .ake. tb.e..J9J".1U .9J.actioo. Specif icall)', it aleres policymakers in adva nce when condirions favor the outbreak of war. Power Transtion theory describes an internacional system under which dominant coLlntres attempe to world staolty as well as regional \Vbile it gives highl)' llsefullong-term gLldance, ie does llOt provicle immediate poliey aclvice 00 specinc issues. Ir is, after all, a grand theory that ideneifies che preconditions fo1' cooilict. How to manip ulate euueO( polic)' to meee rhose eonditions is beyond the seope of sLlch , systemic thcor)'. HQ}Vever, Power Transition does idencify general principIes fOl" how to manage foreign polig.. wnar positions to a'dopt, and which foreign polic)' interests are crucial. . For example, Power Transition theory shows that nuclear proliferation in rhe regional contextis an espeeially dangerous prospeet because o,' the likelihood of future regional overtakings aoel the concomitant risk of war among (hen nuclear seates. But the theor)' does not give specific advice on polie}' implementa tion, nor on how to prevent the proliferation of nuclear or an}' other weapons of mass deseruceion in a specific case. This should not eave Power Transition pract.icioners wirh a feeling of helplessness. Widespread acceptance and use as one of tbe principIes of international relations will foster (he selection of approprjate poLicies rhat minimize che likelihood of - -: - - --'- , - -- - New tools are available co help che translaee Power Transition theory into specific poLicy recommendations. The theory irself has a rch flow of general policy reeommendations as diseussed a for specific poliey implementarion anel execution issues, iuvolv-




2 Power Transition Theory Tested in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

M. ore than an end to wm; we UJant an ene! to the beginnings o(

Since che dawn of rhe industrial revolurio n, population , economic prodllCtiviry, and politicl! orgallization have been che building blocks oI narional power. $ince [hese variables change over time, thefe ha ve been llllssi ve power shifts in rhe international system . As seen in chapter 1, grear pmvers are the few nations ae rhe apex of che globa l hierarchy capable of affecring the S[Cllcture and distriburion of power. Therefore, ehe srory ol rhe grear pawers is particularly important. Histo rlcolly, rhe great powers Iose...gr..Qllncl teJative ro newly emerging natip ns . When this infrequent yel important power ovcrtak ing is underway, dissa tisfied nari ons ar the bo[[orn of che great power hierareh)' mal' rise ro challenge the established leaders. 5uch cb allenges result in wars, which are ver)' costly in tcrms of political, economic, and human reSOllrces. cHe fo llowed by a major transference of rhe dominanr nation and ies sUPPol. tit;g coaIision power eo. the challenger and irL$.uPPQners. But not all challenges are slIccessful. In the lasr century we have seen German ambitio ns thvvartcd twice by a British-American al/iance. Likewise, in the las t decade we h:1Ve wjtnessed ehe Soviet threar to the U.S . inrerrwtional arder rlln oue of srealll. Looking ahead, rhe re are signs of ano cher poss ible chaJlenge, this time from Ch ina. [n order to answer the foreign policy rhreats thar policy rna ke rs are likely to face in the next cenr ury, we musc turn ro the evollltion of rhe internari onal system over the past two hundrcd y ears for Th ere we see the histor}' of greac power competitioll ami co nfl icr \-vritren in the Power Transition process: a dissarisfied challenger":"'- Genllany or RU5sia - attempts to overtake the defender - cb e Unitecl Kingdolll or che Unired StaCes - 311d vie 10r rhe mantle of internacional leaclershp. Whether char propel grear power competitian can sllccessful or llor, tI!.c _ be traced . tlwugh histoJY, demol1s tratng rhar pariry, overtaking, and rhe lransi.tio:J_p.wcess.Jrame...:th(} str.:lJct..w:al condrions fQLWa.c. Scho lars and poliey pracciri oners have learned l great clcal abou t reglllariries ane! ehange in re lations among che grC<le powers. Amo ng grea t
1 .L'

powers thar support rhe status quo, changes in the power srructure do not lea d ro confronratiolls. Indeed r.he srory of Europe following World War II is a peaceful one despice Germany 's overtaking of rhe Uniced Kingdom and franee. CpaJlges_ in_po:>.\'.eU 1f..llctur-es iJW.Q .Ue risin 2.e.e0ne llcs of tlK sta.ws .,q.U(),...'cu.r becomes likely. ln order co capture chese dynamics, we rel)' on extensive.. d.ae,a s.,e!ks.. of gross domeslf prod.1!ft.,S.,_per-capita prodtic rs, popufa7ion, and satisfaction the quo developed by political scienri!its, eco no misrs, and dernographers over recent decades. To capture satisfaction and djssatisfaction wieh tbe rules of che intemational order, we turn ro measures of eco nomic and securicy poliey alignment that rellecr che swelling tensions berween competing dyads as well as increasing cooperaton.\ The data offer for che clynamlcs oCthe the pase Power Transition perspecrjye with future . _ ._ ._ - -

Evolution of the International System sjnce 1815

The cl ynarnics esrablished by great powers' relations noc only generate the con dicions essenria l to stabjlity and peace, bur also set forth (he elements ior change and conflict. The narional power in thisc.baprer p .!"Qvides all evolmionary perspective oE che gtea t system J.J.l.L1!ing Transitiol1 rbeory. The GDP series pro vides a panoramic view of the explosive pacterns of growch anel collapse rhat have shaped the structure of {he nternacidhal sysrem as we ll as the dynamics rhat may sculpt its furure development. Fi{jUl"es 2.1 and 2.2 provide an overview of great power evo lution. Us.ing differences in gro).Y th .l!-crerion, we can co rnforrably divide rhe data into three distinct periods. 2 The first st recc!les from che end oE ehe Napoleonc Wars, when our series begins, te che end of rhe nineteenth century. The second period takes up che first half oE the twentieth cencllry. The thircl period begins with che Co ld War and continues to the present day. .

The International Power Distribution: An Overview

Figure 2.1 ((2._4L cl;lli:S... rb.e [elad veJeveJs of . and 1.LmJ 995. The differences political power of the greae PQwe.rs ftOm 1 irl growch across members shape ilie clynamics oE the internacional powe r distribution. While che broade r disCllssion of comparing power between nations in eha pcer 1 considered the elements of_po 1iricaU,[.ll\cjty and delllographic base in to economic prodCr1vity, we...wjUJo.cl1S simp l}\.oll the size oJ ...J'he daca neecled to compare these.nacions along polirical alld clemographic lines for rhe broad sweeps of


. 1,


L ' 1AJ'<.

tM..:' (. .



var.ious .imenSi(jeS of influence and interests vve ing multiple must .s!l::.!l.. to theory fQf -m:.uriage between strucrural-dyn,amic -beories as Power Trandynarnic theories itluminate he conditions thar are dsiraHe ro ::\cheve in the internacional system, \'V'hile decison theory provides [he roadl1lap to specfic enciso From the poliey perspeciye, Power Transition provides rhe objective while. decision tl1eory rife Siins of We do not intend to describe deeision rheory here since ir is nor rhe fOCLlS of chis boa k: But we would be remiss nor to highlig,ht it as ,111 exwwrdinary tool for rhe policymaker lnterested in manipulating complex polieicaJ and economc variables.


sTt'ill "anClC!eisit.J n-ri'alftng -.

-,- .




Conclusions and Projections

The incernational system currently is composed aL large ters: the Unired States, Europe, Russia, aod China, India represents ,1 fifth potencia 1 center. Beyond these - fi no orher ' large countr) or regional allance currenrly appe:Hs ro llave the requisite resources, in terms of popularion-producrivity-political capaciey, to overtake the large power cenrers. Uncler these circulTIstances, we forecas, al.0:;ired n.!-.!.mpp Q .U:).lture p""Q.w..c:..r...!;falliLrlQ!ls, From roday's vantage- poiilt, there are only [WO possibilires !ooming 011 the horizon, The first is China overtaking d1e Uniree! Stares, anc! the second, in the las.t ha17 oi ebe tyenJ):=-first century ."is.JnJia::Y.-;;aking eicher China Ol" [he Unireel States. If China ,wd Inclia develop as satishecl great powers;rl'ien't heSe -transitions wil! Occur lInder peaceful eonditiol1s, I.f they develop wirh significanr grievances against che internacional systern, (hen these tmnsirions could resul.t in war. The timiflg of rhese transitions wilJ depend, of coursc, OH rhe growth rates, producrivity, and poJitica! !he United ane! China will be the nrst to overtake"tb.e: Oli te d Sta tes in rerms of GDP bU( it wil! take many more years before thar momentum can be channeled into actual power. Likewise, there are rnany pitfalls along this road. Chinese growth rates may slow; the central ernmel1t may weaken 01' even collapse in the faceof regional power bases; poltical mobilization may fragmenc with the dissolllrion of Comrmmisc Party controJs. A Chinese challenge s by no means assurecl , Moreover, there is sufficienr time for che Unitee! Sta tes to rnanage - throLlgf[he tx-teSin oE NATO ro lo-eluele Russia or India, for exampJe - an emergng transition so as t avod conflict. The transicion with China could be eithcr lti'ss ii-nply too early to rell. The deveiopmerlt oI pea-efl or India is much faHher in the fnture and equally uncertain. The iargest cleJ110cracy in the worle! has just adopcec! a limitee! market econor.ly and

. .'

behind China in economic deveJopment. However, rs population is expected (O sllIpass that of China around 2040 and thus could pose borh a regional and global tlueaL Transitions will cominue ro occ1)r withiI1 rhe IOGd hierarchies, perhaps higher mtes tha;; now. .There are a signi.ncanr 1l1ll11ber of potential the Middle East, and porrions of Asia. Ths will give rise to precondirions foi a continuing slIccessioI1 of eonflicrs - ar tbe regional leve!. The time and atremion of [he great powers will be gready srressed by this eruption ol' conflict frorn below. Because they rern ain great powers, even if they come into policy conflict wirh one anoche!", such as over supportng rival local hierarchica! combatanrs, they wil! resol'le ehese differences without reSOl"C ro conflier at che nrerl1atlonallevel. This wjll place a premium on rhe developmem and exeeution of peacekeeping and peacemaking skills, attributes we are jusr beginning (O learn now. While the prospect of war is unpleasanr, rbe corollary is quite oprmistic, perhaps even uropian, [f great powers do oor splinter like the USSR, .it ,he European Union remains llnitecl, <l od if econornic development patrcrns stay on course aItering the power rankings among great powers as predietecl, then the stage is set for ,1 remarkable, evcn unigue, period in hisrory. H rransition s involving China and [ndia materialize and are peacturIy, then che ftl1e inrer Meonal system would.. conwo lidbe likely to ratn d!ssarisfiecl rOHl below, -(herefore, the preconditions for great power contlict woulci be a bsent, \'(le would enter a new age: the Clge of great pou.!eL peace.

" ;) '. .


. -e.
(. l.

., : ',

'" t


.'f f

,"r. r'




( 1)\ 1.A.

S{' l

, .rl-

v <. $ 1\,) \..,

=i ? \Oc.( e



. ""..-f fi

- "

. ----------------'-,--------,"






----- ____ - - - .:.,


" \;>

... ::



_ /


di' '1 __ '



1 " ' -

----: _

.11' . ,.

- -------------- -

r..7 ,'?

- --------!


1[----- ,
/ ' --


./' . ___

/'IV",' ,/ '

, ,p,r ...../
(j 1.!1l







_ ' . ------------1r . . -- -----I!:. 1 ' . ",,'--

-y - - -

/ .../ '



nvs - r----...._

Grc( t P a Oll'crs



r ---1'lJ.K



1 /



P I' , '


I ...



Figure 2.1

Power Shifts, 1815-2000

' .,!

, "\'

history we discuss in rhis ehapter are simply llOt sllfficiem for the task. Since --." ilCe.focusing on grea,r po.weJ:S,...: lV,e, <;x p.eJ;:t should dosely app,roximijre of p_ owc r;.,Iil-i-sAJooi, $.uggests , The log GDPs, represeming power, capture rhe pereemage diHerenees in eomtant rates over tune, We have highlighted the three shorter periods that will be analyzed in Jetad la ter, bllr here we simply wisn to pro vide an overvlew af the general power rrends in rheinternaeional systern. .In tbe ninereemh cemury the eCQllomic exp.ansioll ,.oL alL1E.-llil,bers [)f the system is relarively indicated by rhe Rae GDP r['ajecrories. Al! al the great powers are relatively c10se in terms of economic magnitudes, The Unitcd States is che only anomaly in che otherwise consisrent pattern. The ecollornic and demographie growrh oE che Unired Sra tes, re. flecred in the expansioll of ics domesric product toward the end of che century, signals che shapc and directon of fllture system e1evelopment. In this relatively peaceful period, the rise of Prllssia and ts overtaking of Allstria-Hllngary aod rhen Franee stands out. Overall, however, svstemic stabiliry js guarameed by che absence oE major war between a dominam United Kngdom and any challengers OIl the continent. There are no significam shifts in the global power h.ierarchy. D,uring the second period, rates ane! levels oJ ecoJlomic expansion begin to ncrease fol' che group of grear powers as a whoJe. This proceS$ is rarher uneven, however:. Shorc perioels of growth are interruptecl by two world wars ane! a global depression, As suggesred by Power TransitiOfl cheory, massive internacional turmoil coupled with domestic political and eeonomic

;' !

difficulres Emir econornic gaills aIld threaren system stability, Two Geeman challenges ro Brirish leadership drastlcaJly alrer rhe landscape of rhe global power dstribution, Final/y, in the rhird period, economie gl'owth acce/erates rapidly. In tbe posrwar period all members in -our set experenee major (lnd susraineJ expansion of their economies , This nerease in the relacive performance of rhe grc3t powers' economies radically transforms rhe natnre of the syscem, yet does so withour conflict. The crearion 01 the European Community and rhe colbpse of rhe Soviet Unon occur n rhe absenee ot conflict despite IllultipIe overtakmgs, producing che enigma of peClCC, Using rhe Power Transirion perspective, however, we ean explain sysrcm srabiJity even in che presence of such large Aucruarions in power. Vast differences in rhe growrh races among great powers teU a arge ponian of rhe great powers competirion story, The sharp spasms in growth eausea by war Clnd depression in rhe imerwar period are apparent in our cl ata, Even more visible is the n:markable explosion of growth aflcr W'orld \XIar n and the differences in national power growth, This posrwar phenomenon is rhe result of rhe Phoenix Factor eHect. Gennany, Jap< ll1, Franee, and haly are nor permanenrly dCll11aged by the costs of wal'; rhe COI!ScqLlences of war are short-tenl1. \X'ithin eighteen to rwemy years, eaeh oE chese nations rerums ro rhe growth trajectory anticipared by rheir prewar performance, 'Che stories oI individual countries < re compelling, The most disrinctive ;lne! sready growch performance is char of tbe Unired Starcs, which expands wirh only one major falrering - t:he Great Depression, Japan, on the orhcr hand, experiences prorracrce! ecoTlornic growrh, acceleraring after World War n, T11i5 grmvth rate is sharper than chat of rhe Soviet Union Ol' Germany, thollgh ir decelerates roware! the ene! of om series, Japan is now enrcring he m3wcation phase of lower growrh rates on es ene!ogcnous growch trajectory. Also norable is the profound growtb of rhe Soviet Union fOI the deeade and a halE preceding Worlcl War n ane! rhe two anel halE clecades after. This growth in power propelled rhe C6lpledwirh Sovier dissarisfaerion, ir createel rhe Cold \'<lar. The decelerarion of the Soviet economy in rhe mid-1970s is also apparcJ1t,inclucling che free faH resuJtng from the implosiol1 of the So\'iet Unon. Toward rhe end of Out series we nncl the importanr aeeelerarion of Chinese growth, a harbinger of things ro come, The rare of Chtnese growth is rather fIar until the ilHerwar period, What is apparenc, however: is China's positon as an extremely large, ,yet lIncleveloped nacion prior to begio ning he modernizatioll- process J hiuignals itS_p-OtftlltiIlL Jwwer. a largc poplllarion and high rate oL grQyvtll, Cj1iQ-_ tua(po:;"er and be sysrem, Already China can be seen as on che high growch portion of its en-

. i:





dogenous growth crajcctor)'. Ler us now rurn to che intcractions arnong om powcr variables and conflicr wirhin each of the three periods.
The First Period: The Power Dynamics of Peace in the Nineteenth Century, 1815-99

" '.OOJ

- . '------- -. . __
n ",'t)' 'iS.-/lf"ti" '/PI'1
I't'I-f ...../.-

-- -l

<>lOO" .\.

. .. -------- - _. ----

In this period we ex plore che power clynamics following the Congress of Vienna and che evolution of great powers in the nineteenth cenwry. The J 1nite.9J<ingdo.ITL\\I.-L l2rec/.? mina'!.r throughoLlt the _century uncil the U.S. centttry) British dominanee on the continent ensured the Pax BritanniciI, a[lowing the United Kingclom ro impose rules ancl norms governing the European and global status quo. In the global hierarchy, most other Europenn powers are <lt similar levels of c1evelopment and national power dUrlng these early Sl:ages of industrializacon. Germany, FIance, and AustFia-Hungary '\ all vie for the posirion t chaUenge the Unitee! Kingdom throughout the nineteenth century. In order to understancl the srructure a!ld dynamics o this competiron, we wil! concentrare 011 key dyacls - che United Stares-United K ingdom and Germany-France - ro ascertain whether overtakngs are assocjarecl with major war and if power preponderance results in peaee. Figure 2.2 focuses on the global hierarehy by Jsplaying the relative (he United Kingdom, tbe Unitecl Sta tes, Gerclistribution of powcr many, and France'- the major actors cluring this period o Firsr, consider theU.K. power trajectory throughout the nineteenth eentnry. Our series indicare thar the U.K. power advanrage over evel'y majar Europcan naton provides a favorable circumstance for Britain to estabiish stabiliry on the Continent. British dominance is the first instance where tlle leader's power preponderance s derived from the modernization process. The new resources produeed by an industrial eeonomy are mobilized by a mgrf effeti.;e governme!Jl." Tne g:itishexperiencecl aecelerated-growth up to 6 pereent per anJlUIll compared t the 1.5 percem average for the res( of Europe. . The Brtish power advantage over Franee, the largest and most powerfui of the resu]t of an overtaking most likely iD. tI]e des aqes L lIsr before the Congl'ess of Vienna. 5 The overcaking of Franee by the United Kingdom insrigated an intense fol' control oi the great power system. This competiton was accompanied by a series of major power wani- over twenty years. As figure 2.2 demonstrarcs, English international dominanee over Franee beca me ev ident witb the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. Figure 2.2 shows the nature of power asymmetry betwecn rhe United Kingdom and Franee throughout che nineteenth century. As expected by the Power Transiton pcrspectve, this period is dcvoid oE wal' despite Brtish foreign poliey preoccllpation with a porential French rhreat. In retrospect,





---- - -- _. ---


: i
" ,i

- , IflO,OOO










!S S

1,' 90




Figure 2.2 Grellt Power Competition, 1815-1900

this is simlar to the Cold Wal' berween the United States and the USSR in terms oE preponderance, dissatisfacrion, and lacI< o war. We now rurtl to the U.S..: -U.K. dyad o grear poweIS. [n this period the growth of the United Sta tes is pronounced. The United Sta tes begins es modernizarion process cluring the 1840s, but progress is interrupted by rhe Civil Wal'. After rhe war, the United Sta tes recovers quck!y aud returns to che high growth portion oE ts growth trajectory. Fgure 2.2 displays the Unitecl States beng propelled past the United Kingdom and all other great powers n less rilan fifty years. But the relationship between the Unired StatC$ and United Kingdom was peaceful beca use both nations sup6 ported the status quo established under the fax Britannica. The United States continued expanding its prepot;lderance t the point that by the end tha_ n twice of the nineteenth century, ics power aclvantage was rarely le'ss_ !!lat o i. G.,:eat Brirain. The very large power asymmetry that the United Sra tes mantained throughout al! of the twentieth eentury is Iooted in les ninetecnth-century growth performance. The overtaking of the Unred Kingdom by the Unted Sta tes in 1879 eould have beeo expecred to induce system instablities. \'<lhy chen did rhe United Kingdom nor resise rhe overraking o the United states, as it was ro do so bitterly, and ar such cost, in the case of Germany thirty years later? Recal! that pariry and overtakings tions fol' confliet A.challenge t the sratuS quo is also req.uirfq. In

f \ \(?('J..c,V'I--('

L1 -\ l\Jl.


', n"l $- bu \

j.\JD rowm TllANSITION:

'j . /






rhe case of rhe U.S.-U . K. ovenaking, rhcre waSJ:LO coofluence bcrwcen t;hese two Scnola..Q do nor two eOlio tries as during this perlod, indicating rhey were borh saris!1e,.d. wirh tbestatus guo.: Ths satisfaction probably derived from I\ritish leadersbip, a common iristimtional hcritage, American poltical separarion from Eu... ropean affairs, and a pronrabJe marker fOI Brirish capi,tal in America . All . j. . undollbtedly helped reduce Brirish anxieries and sllspicions of American growrh. s The issue of satisti.!..<;,ti.. At the macro level, a national priorities and directions creatcd a state oE satisfaction in che ./. . Unircd Kingdom and Un red States. The ruling politicalleadership forged a compromise of self-inrerest among rhe coalitiolls rhal comprised their political power Tlle reason why che Unired Kingdom dedined to use or evcn rhrearen rhe use of force to head off the American overtaking was clerermined by economic A large <lt;.9. p..ow_ exJul sec! or .:'J ot the B. r iris.h bl1siness cQrrlrurtx...nad a srake in the U:S. ecouomy. Brirish ."; '- , machilc. It was in rhe capItal was crirical in fueling the " \. ) intcresl of t'he U.K. governing coalirion [har econornic ries between the lWO -1 1, nations be mainrained. : '1; ' . \\/,\ ln <lssociared Power Transition question is, why did rhe Unired Srates q , \ \ L, J ,,:' / , aceept the secone! spot far so long aher ir acruaHy passed rhe United Kingi' , dom in power? Why di.eI che Unired Sta.t.es..Jl.oc jnsist 011 its righ.t ro the ';d dominanr posirion ro which its power cleady entitled it? is impossible, bU( we offer [he following. expla.nation , .At rhe rime oE che overraking of rhe Unired Kingdam, rhe Unired Sta res was a de;.. . \ centralized politica! system. Business, labor, and regional interests had an .\"""n ( (j stake in ll1aintaining rhar decentralization. They were nO[ abour ro ceele control of resources uncler their control ro the cenrral governmenr. ji . This domestic hase of polit,ica. and a-dra!J1<lri;jm(, , paet on U.S. inrernariolla..LrelatioDs. While resources were maele availabJc in 1 , cases of external attack, the story oE rhe Untecl Sta tes in rhe firs( haif of rhe ;y"' L :' '" Jj r, v twencietb century is one of imbalance oE domestic 'power.. The reaSon why the United States did not press h; rder ro ootai' internacional leaclershp may have been that the central governmental elites were weak anft could not commancl acc.ess to the v.ase societal reSOllrces necessaryj or. trans.lacion oLe':O.lJQ.lTlc . , Timing may also have been critica!.. Tbe United Srates ovenook all European powers befo re it initiated systemaric involvemcnt in European . affairs. During chis period rbe Uniree! Kingclom also had reason ro be in.' creasingly concerned wirh che more chreatening pros[.leet of power growth.1\ Using .figure 2.2, let us now turn ro rhe second overtaking, that of a dissatisfied Prussia and France. This WaS the grearesr threat ro sysrem stabil,' :. ity in nineteenrh-century Europe. Prussia 's propcls i.r ro


t>ehind ro .pass Auscria in 1836 ,and France in W"I.P(\1sian an4 Ffench eaeh oJher. unril a.s _ h;ll:.p _as;celerarion o Erussian grQ.;b'th imrnediately before rhe f;anco-1?russian '\Yac The between Ger. rnan}' ancrF[ance for preeminence among Continental powers results from rhis ovenaking, coupled with Germany's destre ro rcsuucture che European snu quO . 12 Figure 2.2 bighlighrs rhe period of parit)' between these rivals us during rhe late 1860s. T.lli; lack o ..iGn...betw.een :iW .. by the_ the 13 Franco-Prussian \'/ar of 1870. In sunmary, despire che German challenge, peace prevails among Germany, he Unieed Sra tes, and rhe Unired Kingdom in rhe first periocl. The last decade of the nineteenth ccnrury shows Germany narrowing rhe power gap separating ie from rhe United Kingdom, ami, to a much lesser excent, rhat of che United Sta tes. The power asymmetry in the United Kingdom's favor preserves the st,lbiliry in Europe and in rhe internationa! sysrem as a whole. Wirh rbe narrowing gap berwecll itself :1nd rhe United Kingdoll1, Gennan progress begins ro appear menacing ro E,uropea n powers. Every advance heighrencd rhe realizarion of a future power alteration on the




hj ;::';\



. The Second Period: Conflict Dynamics in the First Half of the Twentietll Century/ 1900 -1949 The race on the Continenr dominates grear power relations during che secone! periodo Ir is a time characrel'ized by German attempts ro obrain systeroie leadership in Europe. Concenrraring on the main contenclers, figure 2.3 (p. 52') illustrares the rise of Germany and the parity periods prececling \VaL the United Kingdom in U!.Q'Z and The overtakings prceipirated the mose devasratng W<lrs in histor)', World Wars 1. and n. The prize oE such conflicr \Vas control of rhe international system. Each case of German overtaking is consistent wirh expectacions about conflict offered by che Power Transition perspective. That is, both pariry and dissaeisfaction were presento The Gerrnan overraking is an example of a more economically advanced society being passed in overall power by oae less economically advanced but possessing a larger population. Gennan population was a third larger rhat Errar of Great_Btitain whereas -Gennao p-eJ::.capira prodllct waS roughly a. third lower than,..tba[-01


(he "unired Kingdorn. 1'1 The seccmd condirion conducive (O conflicr, dissatisfaction wich che global sra tuS quo, also is present in rhis time periodo Figure 2,4 (p. 53) depicts the changes in U.K. and German satlsfacrion and dissatisbcrion. Up uncil 1910, alrhough Germany was dissatisfied and rhe Unieed Kingdom sarished, rheir cooperative and noncooperative relations were approximately equal.. The arms bllildups thar occurred becween Germany ane! the

, ,1.1





t.. t'<i --;;-"" ;"


; ,[/

, I ..: l "", .r

/ ce'1 I
1) J y{ I




Status Quo Evnluation
SAtisficriDiss,!isficd Diss.ti.\ficd-Diss.tisficd

JjO,(l(IO _
Sdli.r{MIJI'11 PI'rIl!(f.f

. ,




/Ji ,-fOli.!I:",;,,,, P"r;"'>;.lr

2(1U.VC() _

/ ;. .........''l\

o ,; ' J>.
150,llO _





.:,1 'c'


" .:::

[U.K.-Germany (19502000)


U. K. -Gerillany ( 1870-1910)

.ii Q


:- f
Otil!,\I .. \ NY



u .K. -GermanY (1910-1945,

50,uno _

Figure 2.4 German-U.K. Status Quo Evaluation, 1870-2000


0 ....-......

1.-_ _ _ , _

_ _<__;---


191 0





_ Figure 2.3 The Gennan ChalJenge, 1900-1950 United J(ingdom prior to borh world wars, one srarcing in 1906 aud the other in 1930, demonstrate che nOllcooperative nature of their relatons.'5 Both world Wars are classic eXl mples of rwo great powers, at parity and wirh Ol1e dissarisfied, waging Wal' for control oE the intcrnOltiOf131 system. Notiee chat Olftee \Vorlo War H, borh nations are satisfied witll the status quo and pursue cooperative relaeions to maximize absolLlte gains. As a result of rhese long periods of pariey and dissatisfaction rhroughout the beginning oE [he twenrieth cemur)', rhe durarion and severicy of oot11 wor/el wars were high. Remember that Power Transition theory postulares rhat the langer ;: dissarsfied challenger and dominam nation are in pariry, the higher the severity oE war-as \Vell as [hc longer the duration of conflicto Figure 2.3 shows that t.he U.K.-Germany dyad was in re1ative pariry for mosr oE rhis periodo The dominant role of the U.K.-Gcrmany dyad during rhis period accoums for the initiation of bot11 \Vorld wars. COI1C lIrren tI y, there were a number oE conflicts in regional hierarchies,including rhe RLlsso-]apanese War of 1905 and rhe invasion of China by Japan in 1932. These regional conflicts did nor escalate to ,he globallevel beca use they did not pose a direct rhreat ro [he dominam power in che global l1ierarchy. Regional wars do not cliffuse upward. Regonal conflicts can, however, become parr of wor/d conflagraran. Once war is waged at tbe global level, regional conflicts can


diffuse and escalate. The V.S.-Japanese Pacific rheater of World War n is a perfect example. Despite rhe importance o the conflcr wirh Japan, the resolurion of the world war was dependent upon clefeat o the major contender roe global supremacy, Germany. Global wars diffuse downw;rd. In rhe first half of che twenreth century, two things are apparent from rhe Power Transition perspectve. First, tbe Unitecl States had secllred preponclerance over al! other great powers. Second, and more important, is rh c10sing of the Britsh power gap with a dissatsfied Germany and other nations. Whether the assassination of an archdllke 01' the sinking of a ship ignited the conflct, rhe strtlctural precondieions far war - pariry and dissarisfaction - were present. 16 Europe truly was a "powcler keg" at the time of both wars, as Power Transition anticipares. The consequences of World War 1, though massvc, varied by nat.ion. The peice of war for Austria-Hungary was severe, leading to che dissolution oE rhe Hapsbllrg Empire in 1918 and Austria's dsappearance from the raster of greac powers. Russia emerged horn this conflct tora by rhe Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, campounding the enormous Iosses suffered ouring che war. At che global level, f1uctuations oE GDP in the late 1920s and early 1930s show the effects of the worldwide depression on all che great powers. The United States, eveh though spared the direct bllrden of war, experienced a sharp decline in growth rares foUawed by a slow recovery. After World War r, French power and economic performance sllffered greatly, and did so again after World \Var 1I. Violent, protracted world wars should have long-term costs. Counterintuitvely that s not the case. Frorn tbe asiles of destructiOI1 great powers rise anew. After World War 1, German power declined substantiaHy. Combined with teHicorial losses and the burden o reparations, Germany's devastation demonstrated exactly the high costs oE war. Nonetheless, Germall recovery began as early as 1924 aod contillued in a sustained fashion





J ,


ahcr ] 932 due to che Phoenix Factor. With Hider's accession, German power rapidly increased from 1932-39 so rhar by tbe ourbreak oL Worlcl \'('a[ 11 Germany ovcrtook the Unitecl Kingdorn for the seconcl time. Figure 2.3 demonsrrares how vietory or defca! in war does nor permanently alter the Iong-run evolution of power. Germany afrer World War l and Germany, ]apan, and haly after World War 11 shrugged off the heavy losses sl1ffered as a resulr of their dcfeaes. 17 Note thar Gcrman growch reaehed pre-Warld War 1 leve/s use prior t rhe outbreak of World War n. After German GDP was by one-ehird in World War 11, ir regained prewar levels in less than ren years. In retrospect, the losers have done mueh berrer than the winners . The performance of combaranrs befo re the war WaS a predictor of how narions woutd perform after the war. Ir was a better predictor than the actual outcOI-ne oi the war. \X'herher a nation chooses peace or war, ir cannot manipulare its underIying power dynarnics 01' those of irs competitors. Nations may lose grear power wars and rise to evcn higher levcls in the international sysrem. Great powers who win and hold on to their relari'le power preponderance do nO[ have ro fighr. 18 These observations have major implicaeions fol' policymakers and scholars alike by highlighting che cOllstraints ane! opporrunities that the international power disrriburion places on national foreign poliey goals.
The Third Period: The Dynamics and Pea ce, 1950-9.5

]---.-.------ -


'\ ,



-, ..


" e


! .ll}:l,i;') " .

.!>M,OO -l'


' '''_c'OO ____











Figure 2.5 Superpower Compctition, 1950-2000

of System


" '



: i r .
.: '1.
.1 ,

:' i -',' , ,;: ';\i;;




;1 1

. ;!!

The postwar erais charaeterized by the lack ofrnajor conniet among rhe grear powers. This period of peace is che resLllt of the power preponderance of che United Seates. Despire the challenge of a diss:1risfied USSR durillg che Cold War, peace was mainrained beca use rnere was no overtaking. Figure 2.5 shows che asymmetric power difference between the United Sta tes ane! the Soviet Union throughour tbe Cold War period, culminating weh the 1990 Soviet economic collapse. The logic of .Power Transieion suggests [hat the conditions associated with the successful maintenance of peaee were present throughout the postwar periodo The V<lst power asymmetry between the United States ane! [he Soviet Unian prevemed an oven challenge ro U.S. dominance. 19 This asymmetrical distribution of power was known ca borh si.des, anc! thar fact gave the Unired States usefulleverage. When eensions erupted berween the Unired Sta ces and the Soviet Unon in disputes like the Cuban Missile Crisis, rhe Soviet Union backed clown. The United SC3res chose nor te interfere with Soviet control in Eastern Europe, alJowing Soviet ncervention in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Easr Germany, and Poland beca use it did nor threaten the stability of the international arder. \'(ith he buildup of NATO in rhe 1970s, ,he U.S.-led coalirion developed overwhelming superioriry over an increasing[y weak ane! divided Warsa w Pacr coalicion.


The dynamic period of Soviet power growth began with the communist revolution in 1917 and lasted into che early 1970s, ar which poinr the Soviet economy began to stagnate. Evcn ar the height of Soviet power, howcver, there never was parity betwecn rhe Unired States and the USSR. In the second half of that period, the possession of nuclear weapons masked che Soviee's fundamental inferiority. But these weapons were powerless ro compensate for Soviet deficiencies in poltical, eeollomic, and social resourees. From che perspecrve of Power Transiton theory, it was this imbalance of power wirll the United States chat created the structural eonditions far peace. Given this imbalance of power, why did both the U.S. and the Soviet leadership believe explicitly and implicitlyin a rough balance of power?20 Why did many political analysls suggesr rbar American "hegemony" was coming to an end? It is a fascinating puzzle tiMe tbe leaders ol both the Soviet Unon and the United States maintained rhar there was power pariry between the two countries. As seen in figure 2.5, the power ratio berweerr the Unired States and the Soviet Unon hovered aIways around two ro one in favor of rhe Unired Sta res, and indeed, che interval between rhcm actually increased as the Cold War went on. The clairn to the contrary by borh governmems contains, in our view, the key to underslanding che dynamics of rhe Cold War.

, i,;

, :1 1 1


Joint Status QllO valnutiOIl
S:l\isficd-Sofisfied Sotl,,(\-Dissali,lied





:t .......


U.S.-Russia (1941-1945) 1 <------- -- U.S.-Russin (19905)

1 '



" ...... ,....




U.S.R,.;,(1946 1""


Figure 2.6 Superpowel' Status Quo Evaluation, 1941-2000






. '.

-11"i ' \1;

We hypothesize rhat sLlch a clairn served the purposes of the subsets oE elites leading the two narions. Tlle assertion oE power parity renc!ered eredible the leadership claim thac tbe adversary endangered its society, The power oE that clairn made it possible ro obtain the resources needed to buttress their counrry's position ami, concomicanrly, their own. Wirhout their claim of encirclement and the threat of aggression by che United Srates, the Soviet leadership would ha ve found it very difficult, if not impossible, to extraet ane! allocate suEficient resourees from its sociery to support its huge national seclIrity apparatllS - the party, rhe secrer poLice, the miltary, rhe governrnental burcaucracy, and the hea vy-industry sector. 011 the U.S. side, without a c1aim that the nation was in mortal dtlnger from Soviet military expansion, deterred only by U.S. military power, it would have been impossib!e rOl' the political leadership to obtain rile resources required to fight off isolationist forces and meet international challenges. The belef thar both nations were equal in power had its uses. Figure 2.6 depiets rile evolution oi U.S. and USSR re!ations since 1941. Dllring World War 11, the cooperative Allied relarionship was necessitated by Cerman and Axis aggression. Wirh the emergence of the Cold War and Russian dissatisfacrion wich American leadership of the international system, both the Soviers and the Americans pursued noncooperarive ami competitive poJicies across mosr issues. In the aftermath of the Cold War, rhe U.S.-Russian relationship eould move in either direcciono lf the Unted Sta tes allows Russia to slip away imo a state of dissarsfacrion in the futllre, ir wiU be a strategic miscalculation oE hisrorie proportions. Although serving domesrie elites' interests, the Cold War was grounded equally in traditional "power poliries" of foreign policy competiron. The Soviet Union headed a substancia! international order o eleven natiOIlS comprising fOllghly one-thire! of the people of the world wbile ae the same


time leading an international eommunist movement. I-Iad the Soviets actually overtaken the Unired Stares, their foreign policy goal of a Soviet-Ied internacional system wOlllcl have greatly increasee! the probability of global war. Being a dissatisfied challenger, the Soviet Union would have sought to dsmantle rhe existing internacional order and subsritute one oE its own. The U.S. poliey of meeting the Soviet chaHenge arollne! the world under the eootainmenr doctrine was 'consisrem with Power Transition rheorl'. Given U.S. straregic eoncerns regionally -in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America - the United States was willing ro expend significant 1I1ilitary ane! eeonomic resou.rces in order to mainrain or crea te a preponderance of satisEed minor powers in a regional hierarchy that would suPPOrt the U.S. global status quo. Since the Soviets could not ove re/y challenge the United Srates at rhe globa lleve! due to American preponclerance, rhey attempted ro destabilize theAmerican-led status quo in various regions . Moreover, by changing regional hierarchies around rhe globe rrom supporting the United Sta tes to a more pro-Soviet alignmenr, the Soviets might ultimarely abet an open challenge to the Uniree! States ar the global1evel. The Soviet-American confrontation officialll' came to an end with the dsinregration oE the Soviet empire, cosring the newly reconstructed Russia a loss of 100 mili ion citizeos and an economic collapse as seen in figure 2.5. The consequence fol' the global power distribution is Russia's decline from the oumber-two spot in che great power hierarchy to the middle of the paek. Whether it can survive as a geeat power in this ceIltury wil! depend on irs government facilirating economic recovery and rcnewed growth, Having dealt wirh the U.S.-Soviet eompetiton, let us now turn to regional hierarchical relationshps during the thire! periodo European anel Japanese satisfaetion with tbe status quo maintained the peace in regions . supervised by these states, Oveitakings oceurred rhrollghollt the postwar era aS most European nations were at similar levels oE nal'ional power. Cermany passed France ancl che United Kingdom again, emerging once more as a predominant power in Europe. This time however, the passage was entirely peaceful. The European powers no longer competed fol' leadership of the international order beca use they approved of the status quo. Within the region they created the European Union, ensuring the distriburion of sarisfaction and the resulting peace. . A telltale sign of the differences between the nrsr two periods :J.lld rhe posrwar era s the total absence oI arms buildups among key competitors in Europe. 21 Germany, che United Kingdom, and France no longer direct their military estab!ishments againsc each other. For che first time since the Congress of Vienna, al! of the European great powers are members of the same security alliance, NATO, while forging common economic ground in the European Un ion. This major system transformarion takes place as a consequenee of the emergence of rhe Pax Americana. Cumulative restructuring of rbe global hierarchy occurs in this last pe-





1 .'



riod. The shift from a European ro a global hierarchical strucrure \Vas linked ro (he ascendancy of the United Stares and Soviet Union over rhe relavely smaller nacions. Indeed, che Western Europcan nacions char had been lhe great powers in the ninereenth cemur)' were at the bottom of the great powers' ros ter by rhe middle of the Cold War. Coupled with che decline of rhe European great powers, che Pax Americana took form when the Uniced Seates claimed the leadership position afrer World War H. This was not only a tlln10ver in dominance, bur a sysremic restruccuring as wel!. The American interna(ional order e!iffers in importane respects from irs predecessor. Most prominently, great power control over rhe developing warld has changed radical/y. The rigid and increasingly costly structures of political colonialism were dismantled, and American clominance was exercisecl through a more flexible and {ar less invasive form of poLitical aIlcl economic controls. U.S. elite clecisions lO cJaim leadership and che Soviet collapse allowed fol' l'ealities and perceptions about interna tional rule [Q coincide at lasr. We have witnessed the passing of.the first American cenrury, with che second airead)' underway. U.S. leadership and arder is based on ,1 long-standing, stable, ane! large power advantage over all oeher great powers. The overwhelming stability of the American power asyrnmerry can be seen in the following staeisrics : Thc Uniced Stares passessed approximately 40 percent of che power of the entire greac power syscern in (he years 1913, 1938, and 1985. Its advantage over the main contenders in che twentieth centnry, Germany and Russia, rernained ullvaried ayer this long period of rime al' a ratio of almose (Wo-to-one. America n isolarionst policies masked rhe reality of American power preponderance uc the st,ll't of chis period. 22 The great difference after World War tI was the U.S. decision to move ro an inrernarionalist pos cure, cledicating enorrnOllS resources ro enforcingits leadersbip position.

Conclusions and Projectiolls

The major argument of this chapter focuses on differences in rhe size oE che reSOUl'ce pools rhat nations possess, consequenrly establishing not onl)' the distribmions of inrernaronal power, but J11oreover the strucrLlraLcondi t:0 ns fol' war and conflicto These thr:ee comp.o.nenrs;_p.2Pularion size lfod uctiviy, and political capacity. Cambined they denne the siie- or a nation's resource potencial <1vailable for exercising power. Oolv nation ha,:; a sured. DiHereoces in races of economic change among nationai resource pore"tials drive shi fts ii1 the rankings of great powers and contain che dynamics associated wirh conflicto [n the Power Transition perspective, rhe ovenaking challenger's satisfaction witn the global status quo strongiy affects the prospects for war 01' peace. These are the constraints of he


'- 1


" I




inrernational power dynamic. The aggregare measures of economic performance and rhe POVv-er Transition perspecrive allow social scientists <1nd policymakers alike ro iclencify and explain these important phenornena. Our overview of the developmenr of the internarional syseem since 18J 5 leads LI S to pose several essential quescions,,-First, whac is rhe potenrial for overtakings) Second, how peaceful wil! sllch- passages be! Finally, what can be done ro enhance rhe pxobability of peace? The reSE of lhis I)ook is dedicatee! t answering these qllesrions, bllr so me summar)' polie)' conclus ions can be foreshadowed here. In the nexr few deeades, China will overtnkc the Uniced Sta tes. The potencia l fol' al1 arms buildup berween the'se rwo cannot be dismissed. TE such an event occurs, past cxperience is mixed, Recal! rhat British anel Gerrnan dites chose wal repeatee!ly befare opring for cooperarion anc! peace, On rhe orher hand, the United Stares ovenook England withont conflict and accepeed the mande of leadership when its leadership was assured. The ceneral question then beco mes what can be done to ensure that China fol.lows rhe latter parh racher than (he fOfmer. It is incorrect to compare (he potential ov.ercaking by China with che Soviet challenge during tbe C9ld War. There are critica l diffe re-nces between cheses (wo challenges. The power as)'mmetry that secured U.S. hegernony from Soviet threats was basee! borh on productivity and pOplllat.loll. China has the poremial ro overtake the United Swtes becallse it only requires a level of productivity one-fifth haC of che United Sta tes due to es tremenclous population ae!vantage. Short of a carasrrophic nuclear \Val' 01' domestic disinregration, ane' cannot but anticipate the emergence oI China as che largesr and most productive nat io n in the interna cional sysrem. The historical experiences we have evaluated suggesr that ovenakings b)' themseJ.ves are nar sufhcient conditions fol' conflict. China might readf1y aceepe internatonal rules ancl a ccommodare irs nt'erests wirhin (har framewor k. lf such changes do occur, we do [lot anticipare the bu ildup of arms between tbe challenger and dominant nation. There wOllld be no alternarian in the status qua, and (he resulr would be a peaceflll overtaking. If China does m,odify ts current te5fnnnen U DWNd J i'S lleclu der rhe Pax j.mericana, rhe ca say, in.th e..Jl Uclear era slIch Chaprer 7 deals wirll rhe poremial China challeoge io depth. of hiswry does not Icave LIS helpless. The resolution of long-eerm conHicts in Europe suggescs possi ble changes lkely to help peace prevail. The crearion of th e Elll'0!2ean Unon sho ule! nor be seen only_ as an exe rci'iie in-ecollom ic integra (ion-. It ffius ca lso, viewed as che crearion or- a peaceful environment thar has replaced long-standing confrollratiolls. --;he Following the callapse oE the Soviet Unian, the United Sra(es and pean powers face very similar challcnges (O internacional stability. IfNATO is expanded to inelude [lOt onl)' Eastern Emope but Russia as wdl, the se-

' 1'







cLlriry threat rhat dominared the Cold War will be a distant memoq'. The expansion of the European Community into Eastern Europe, rhe forrner Soviet republies, and cventually Russia, would restructure thar communicy as much as the original EEC restructured Wescera Europe. Moreover, che possibiliry of a broader coalitioa, including che United States, grearerEurape, and Jap:W", eould becorne a bloc o such magnitude thar rhe int<::n:ptio nal stabifur. could bepreserved for_ <l signifieant periodo This "sllperblo<:" would stave off the imrninenr dominance f 01l11a, malntain system srability, and guarantte rhe pea ce irrespective oE Chinese dissatisfaction wirh rhe status guo. Chapter 6 aclclresses the foreign poJicy implieations of allianee fonnarion and managemenr with a specific focus on NATO and Russia. Out analysis has strategic implications for future international Jistributions of power. Cbina, India, 01' perhaps other members o the successful world eventllally must be invited to the company of rhe grear powers. Maintaining power asyrnmerry pro_ vids:s breathing spaee for th; ) \international comrnunicy ro reconcilc differences and forge acecptablc rul.?s hat al! members can suppon. China and other populous devdoping naiOllS cannot be excluded from tbe set of satisfiecl nations f we hope ro maintain peace and stability in tlle twentyfirst century. For surely the . and powcr clynamies that prope! che enrrent great powers will a1so thrllst the developing worlcl to preeminenee.

Part 1I




l:' J





' fij

Regional Applications: Multiple Hierarchies



l ;;



f .


A general theory of intei-national polities is necessarily based on the great powers. The theory once UJrtten a/sa app/ies to lesser states that interact inso(ar as their nteractions are insulated (ram the intenJention o( th e great powers o( a system, whether by the relative indi((erence o/ the Jatter or by the difficulties o( communication cmd transportatan.


: :",'







"i ')


":{.r -





ji '

.'t, : ,



The discussion thus f<lf generally has focllsed on interacrions among (be great powers. This is a rime-honored tradirion in international politics re search. NonerheJess, power transirlons between the ver}' strongest sta tes are rare phenomena, whle .d1S in regional . This fact has a 'powerful politit"firnperative. In (he absence of a great power challenger, U.S. polcyi:nakers focLls on regional conflicts, be it warfare in lraq and Kosovo or rhe potential of confljcr in Norrh Korea. As is often the case in international polirics, che immediate displaces the long-termo For Power Transi(ion rheory, this change of venuc is not a handicap . The wealth of emprical suppon for Power Transition theory has crca teel a prelin1nary consenSllS al110ng many international relations re searchers (hat .oE a.!!. m,.ughIY ..E<91Lal 1 y d2.,re difterent in poy>,er. 1 Since many of the findings upon wh'[his consensus is based eva luare power relationships and conflict for al! pairs of states, tbere is a logical ex(ension rhat the relationship between fParity and war is applicable ro minar powers as well as great powe.rs, to 1 e;glonal subs)'stems as well as to rhe overall system. . Pawer Transirion theory posits rhat preponderance by che domnI power is pac if}'ing, while parity between rhe dorninant power and a dis satisfied challenger gready inCIeases the probability of war. Jf the conRicts described by Power Transirion (heory were boxing matches ins tead of nter S(3te wars, on ly heavyweight ti de fights won td be peninent to the theory. In this chaprer we argue rhat, proyided che great powers do nor intervene,


.! i


: -






Power Transition theory applies (O all divisions, frolD f1yweight to heavyweight. Tbe purpose of this chapter is to establish rhe existenee of a gerleral rdevance for Power Transition rheory beyond the great po\vers. A generalizarion of Power Transitiorl theory to regio naTConflicts increases _ eonfidenee in the aecuraey oI the overall theory in international relatiorls. This inereased confidence listines usi ng Power Transition theory to oHer guiclelines ro formulate foreign polie}" stra tegies.


'( :

Regional Herarchies

- --.T--_____


Global Hiera/'chy

Multiple Hierarchies in World Politics



.;'. l'

, '"
.; .

.', _

;:1 r ,;;,
" l





The multiple hierarehy model asserts that the international system is eomposed of regional hierarchies wirh parallel funetions.2 Power Transition tl1eory has focused on the overall global hierarchy; which is domirJaccd by the greac powers. Wars fought for control of tbe global hierarchy are fougbr for control o the global syscem. Such conflicts involve che of sta ces and are devastatingly desrructive . lvhat mast refer ro as the global sl'stem., . The multiple hierarchy modd extencls this approach to smallcr powers around the globe. Their regional hierarchies function identically to the overal! global hierarchy. 1n the rcgionarlUerarCi1ieStJiere is a regoal CfOitiilt -sTater Fiatestar;TI$hes and maintans a regional status qua. Other sra Ces in the regional hierarcby either are advalHaged by and satisfied with this regional status quo or disadvantaged by and dissatisfied wirh it. Should one _oLthes.e .QOgi<.?nal ly dissatisned sta tes pow ! r paEky-->viU1 d-0m1..1.I1LS.!:ate, a war wiflrii"'t'he regional hierarch y is likely. Thus, power pariry and negative evaIuations of the status quo are associated with wac in regionalhierarchies, jl1st as they are in Power Transition theory's over,dl global berarchy. Great powers atop the global herarchy probably could upset theoutcome of any confrontation at he regional level, but they seldom do so. Figure 1.1 (p. 7) diagrammatically represems the global international herarchy as a triangle \-vhere height represenrs greater power and width ref1ects the faet that there are more states ar lower levels of power than at higher leve!s. The strong are few whiJe the weak are many. lt might be easiest to conceve of che multiple hierarchy model's addition to Powcr Transition theory by vsualizing che triangular international system as a three-dimensional cone within whch smaller eones are nested. Eaeh cone represents a power hierarchy. The largest cone s the overall global hierarch)', exactly the same power hierarchy as tbar rcpresented by Power Transtion theory's original triangle. The sma!ler cones wirhin the overall eone are rhe regional hierarchies. of he !};iapgle as a cone adds a third dimens.ion Brazil and India, for example, m ay be siwl.larly powerful and would thus be placed at approxirnately the sarne height in


"f ';!



Figure 3.1 Regional Hierarchies in the lnternational System




"1 '.
,' ,

'J .':,




the triangle, but they do notinteract within rhe same regional herarchy. They are separated by many thousands of miles of oceans and continents. Therefore, India is an important actor in a regional hierarchy in Somh Asia, Brazil in a regional bierarchy in South America. Tbey would consequently be found in separa te smaller eones nested withia the overall cone. Figure 3.1 depices chis emendation to the original figure 1.1. Regional hierarchies function just lke the overall global hierarchy, but thece is at lease one important difference. The regional bieraq::,hie@ are pechierarc.hY"Jt is as che regional are...intematonal arenas over which external and more .powerfu[ spectate. Should tlie great powers wish to interfere with reltions among regional hierarchy members, they can do so. International history offers many examples of great power irlterfererlce in minor power affairs. Thus, when conceptualizing rhe wodd as a series of functionally similar power hierarchies, one,JPut mifld tbe regional t}erarcbies are subiect ro external interventiol1,- while the-. relations between great powers <\1. the peak Qf the overall g.lobal hieral'chy are noto Consequently, sorne cauton s required when determining the impact oE great power behavior on relations within regional .hierarchies. At the same time, it is important to bear this distinction in mind when concepcualing to

; 1, ,1





Status qua o uiven regional hierarcb1:..LQlg.b.u:cl! h We refel" ro rhese concerns ih more derail be/ow.


The Multiple Hierarchy Model

First we must have an operacional definiran 'o f regional hierarchies. A wealrh of scholarly eHon has been dedicateJ co he idem.ific:uion of "regions," "subordinare srate sysrems," "subordinare internacional s)'srtJ1lS," "internarional subsystems," "geogra phic "regimes, " "regional subsysrems," "polirically re!evant neighborhoods, " or "clusrers of nations. "J A wide range of em.pirical concerns an d dara 'soul'ces have been associated with these various efforts ro SlpSeJS .o he. syscem, The crireria by which the various subunirs have been cOllstl'L1cted CuJi.u.ral si.mi1cit.es,_t.fil.dqLtrQ:QS, cOI!2m 21l _l1,!embe[$.hip n 21J. .,teJnatiOai organizaroJ1s, alliance patrerns, and d:m.ogea.phic.sirnil-ai" JJis..tilling rhis .:.:::. disWf.'ortionacclY_J!.gSL ro define }!$iS lns: ll1 teractlOn . ., ......



Studies have shown rhar the presence of internacional borders plays an m. portanr role in subsequent wars berween cOllntries .4 Ir is nm the borders per se (hat cause wars, bur rarher that borders are symptomaric of pro ximity. Proximiry inereases interactions between coumries, forces cou nrries ro take each other serioltsly, and ineceases rhe potemial for disputes.5 Some scholars, noting [har territorialiry is an importanr charaeteristic of vjnually all animals, argue thar rerritoriality makes people sensieive regarding rhe space they inhabic and rhreats ro ir. 6 Since proxirnicy increascs interactions, and people are sensirive aboLlt interactions involving rerritory, the potemial for conflicr inereases with proximity. Sueh consider(\cions are important f01' evalllating the rnultipJe hierarchy moJel beca use in order to determine wherher minor powers fighr wars nnder the same circumstances as rhe great powers, we firsc have to know which minor 11 0 wers to eonsider. Anyone would know not ro evalu ate the internaeional relations of Paraguay wirh Thailand beca use ehe two COllntries lie so far apart there is virrually no cllance they will go ca wal' wich each oeher. We need to remove from consideration all pairs of srates such as Paraguay and Thailand and focus instead 011 srates thar consder each othcr when assessing poremial threars to cheie security. Sets oE minar power states thar couldplausibly assess each oeher as potenrial security threars comprise a regional hierarehy. With such variables in mind, regional hierarchies have been defined as existing where minor powers' "politically relevant neighborhoods" Over-




lap. The political!y relevanr neighborhood of any stace is thar pare of rhe earth's surfaee with whieh rhe state coneerns irself. More powerful sea tes will have larger area s of concern. Less powerful srares wil! be, necessarily, to rhink of internarional affairs in more regional terms since rhey do not have rhe resources ro affecr matters far from ther borders. The procedure by which regional hierarchies have been operarionally defined explicitly 'assumes rhat sta tes pay more arcencion ro chat pare of che globe wiehin which (hey can exert military inlluenee. This is Ilot to say ehat che leader of a minor power sta te would ignore the superpowers, but racher (hat when formlllaring his or her scate's foreign policies and making strategic plans, rhese wil! rcmain primarily regional. Given rhat a stare's politically re/evant neighborhood is defined as the area wichin which ie can exerr mi./irary influenee, it is possible ro measure this area by eo nsideration oE rhe logis res of military transito One way to do chis is (Q begin with l eOllnrry's power resourees (measlIred in ways described below), and rhen give consideracion ro how far chese can be clisparched. In calculating this, a "Ioss-of-srrength" formulais developed that rakes imo accoun t rhe actual terrain char would be faeed in any eEfort to move military reSO LlCces f1'ol11 point A ro poil1t B. This formula adjusrs nacional power by degrading it for the dsranee to be covered. 7 Adjusced power is chus the 3mOllnt ot original power left over when the impacr of distance is taken into The innova tion in the use oE this formula for multiple hierarchy model pllrposes eoncerns the "miles- per-da y" component of rhe exponent. This eomponenr is supposed ro represent rhe possible transe rangc allowed by available teehnology. PrC\'ous uses of the exponent had assigl1cd a transie range of 250 miles from 1816 to 1918,375 miles frorn '1919 ro 1945, and 500 miles per day after 1945. 9 While ie is el"ue thar advaoees in tl'ansporta. rion have dramaticaJly increa sed the transir ran ges of milirary forees, 500 miles per day is especially ovcroptilTlisrie for rhe miliracy forces of minor powers. JO ConsequentIy, rhe version oE the formula lIsed oere takes into accOllm obstacles thar lie betwcen potential minol" power adversaries such as mountains, jungles, 01' riversj as well as how fasr rhese obsrades can be overcome. Adjllsted power is designed to determine which minor powers are able ro intcract milcarily. Ir defines a stare's poltieally relevanr neighborhood as comprising al! those other sta res ro whch it can move 50 percent or more oE rs power ineo the other's national capital. This 50-pereent thresholdis justilied by rhe asslImption that if most of a stare's capabilities are Spcnt in transit, the disrance is probably too great ro warrane che expenditure of resources. In defining regional hierarchies, chis formula is applied ro each srate's capability share over che distances ro each orher state ro derermine the politically rele va nr neighborhood for each minor power srate. When two 01' more sta res' polirically relevanr rreigh borhoods overlap, those srates





very likely rhink of each orher wheo formulating foreigo policy or considering military activity. Politically relevant ncighborhoods are the central e1ement of regional hierarchies.
Patterns of Interaction






,' .

'o \
. ,\ ,' p


Regional hierarchies are funccionalJy similar to rhe overall global hierarchy. While the dominanr global power establishes a global status quo tilar bellehts itself, regional dominant stares establish regional status quos. What aspecrs oE internacional interacrions can the regional leaders "carve out" as their own? Although no de6nitive answer exists, rhe regional status quo concerns issues primarily oE regional concern. Access to straregic or orherwise valuable te'rrirory must play an imporrant parro Nany, iE not most, minor power wars have been fought for territorial gain. Who was to have access ro the mineral riches of the Arac3ma Desere jusrified the War oE rhe Pacitic pitting Chile versus Peru and Bolivia in the 18705. Who wiJl control the religious sites oE Judaism and Islam undergirds much of rhe Arab-Isra eli conflict. India and Pakistan are unable te agree abollt control of Kashmir. The overall dominant power is litde concerned with who specifically controls rhese variOllS parts of the globe, so long as the mineral (iches are exponed and the global status quo undisturbed . Thus, access te various territories must bc an impo rtanr part of the regional status guos. By rerritory we shotlld probably thiuk broadly in terms of navigable waterways, defensible borders, access to holy or cultllrally imponanr sites, as weU as arable lands ane! mineral cleposits, Thus, rhe territorial focus of regional status quos may also llave imporcant components aside from the intrinsic value of the land. That regional status quos are primarily territorial does not prederermine that they wil] be exclusively concerned wirh che posscssion of rerritory. It is quite possible rhar regional status quos ',Viii be characterizec! by ethnic, military, economic, or icleological disagreemems between regional dominant powers ane! regional challengers. Por example, one of rhe regional hierarchies identified in Africa comprises the ceneral African states of Rwanda anel Burundi. Any regional status quo between these two states wili ha ve a heavy erhnic quality. Although the horrific violence in these counrrics has been largely dorncstic racher than cross-border, rhere are substantial connections berween Rwanclan and Burundian HUtL1S and between Rwandan and Burunclian Tursis rhar indicate the leaders of either srate ."ould prder thar rheir ethnic confreres be dominant in the orher. An ideological regional status qUQ example can be dra wn from a regional hicrarchy in 50urheast Asia. With its vicrory over and absorprion of 50mh Vietnam in 1975, rhe Democrarie Republic of Vietnam beca me the strongesr state in Sourheast Asia and thus the regional dominanr power. For some time, North Vietnam's leadees had been encouraging a commu-


> .

':. {







;'" }




,1 1







., ,-
" "




nist insurgency in Laos, anel in 1975 rhey nvadeel Cambodia and instituted a similar regime in Phnom Penh. It seems clear thar the Vietnamese sratus quo in Soucheasr Asia, rhough limired in time, was primarily ideologicaL The character of the regional status quo gives srrong indications about potencial great power interference wirhin regional hierarchies. A regional status quo concerned with che disrribution of territory is unlikely to be of interese to external great powers for rhe simple reason thar so long as rhe reSOllrces of Chat territory are made available for expon, who specifically eontrols the territory is inconsequential to che great powers. However, when che regional sra tus quo concerns a mattee of interest to the great power, as was rhe case in Southeast Asia in rhe 19605 and 1970s, intererence is mucb more likely. Of course this does nor mean char grear powers will be toral ly uninteresred in regional hierarchies where the regional status quo is primarily territorial, rather it simply means thar rhere is a greater likelihood of great power interest and inrerference when rhe regional status quo is more sa lient externally. Such concerns are nor tri vial. A monkey wrench can be tbrown into regional hierarchy interactions jf great powers interfere. In contrast, leaders of rcglonal hierarchies cannot interfere wirb rhe hierarchy of che great powers. T!lere is no clear-cuc answer to questions of how much this inequality of interference affects wodd politics. BU( it seems clear thar che less interference [rom aboye, the more rhe regional hieraxchies parallel the overaH global hicrarchy. In fact, the basic hyporhesis of the rnultiple hierarchy model extension of Power Transition theory is chat absent such imerference, regional hierarehies will function in the same way as does the global pcwer hierarchy. Thus che main hypothesis of the multiple bierarchy model extension is operative only absenr grear power interference. This raises an interestng question of how often and to what degree great powers actuall)' do intervene in minor power relations. Here rhe surprising conclusion is rhat great powers rarely involve themselves overrly in minor power imerstate relations. lI To be sure, there are dramaric exampies ro the contrary offered by the cases of wars in Vietnam, Korea, and Afghanistan. Grear powers. sllch as the United States or Sovier Unon are more involved in minor power relations than are smaller members of the global hieral'chy. Bur when one considers rhe number of minor power interactions and the potentia l opportunties for interference compared ro rhe actual number of interventions, the startling conclusion is rhat rhe greac powers by and large ,ignore the weaker srates oE the world. Thcl'e is drarnatic evdence for this c1aim. The Militarized [nrerstace Dispute clata set ll lists all irrstances in which one state rhrea te ned, displayed, 01' useel force against another between (he yeaes 1816 and 1992. [n total, there are more rhan 2,000 slIch militarized inrersrare disputes in the data ser, lf we consieler only disputes rhat begin between minar powers and trear each minO!' power militarized intcrstare dispute as a porential in-

" ' "i






;1 { .


, , .


j' ,
" ,"


rervencion oppofCllniry for each of the grear powers,I;I there were more than 5,800 such opportunities. Of these near!y 6,000 opportuniries for eaeh of the great powers to intervene, tbefe are fewer rh:t11 seventy toral insrances of overt military partic.ipation and rhis includes threats, displays) and use oE force by the great powers. The grear powers have inrervened in minor power interstate conOicts in just over 1 percent of all opporrunires ro do so. Great powers usually ignore [he minor powel's.14 The previous two paragraphs are llot offered as proof rhat regional hierarchies are free of great po\ver interferenc . lnsteacl, they are offered as suggestive eviclenee rhat chere is more: independence of minor power relations fIom gIeat power interfcrence rhan an impressionistic perusal oE currenr evenes might convey. Again, the hypmhesis of the mulciple herarchy model s thar che regional hierarchies operace parallel co the overall hicrarchy, absent external interference. The resulcs below he parallel operation is aCCllrate. The valiclity of the results is enhan.:.:ed by consideration of the plausibiliry of cbe independence of regional rdations from great power inrerference. A final poinr we would make along chese lines is that logically there stiH are mplications from Power Transiton theory abollt when such rare interventons/inrerference might oecur and how great powers mighc ntervene effectively. Readers should Ilot assume great powers never intervene in minor power affairs oc rhat great powers ollght not imervene in such affairs. The observarion a boye of limired great power nrerfeIence is IlH)St likely rhe consequenee of a strategie interacrion between great power expectations and behavior wirh minor power expectatiollS and behavior. Specifically, whenever rhe stakes (the regional status quo) involved in a minor power dispute are conseqllential to great powers we shonJd anticipate great power interference. The leaders oE minor power stares, however, should expecr this interference roo. Consequently, they will probably be less likely to get involved in con(\icrs they expecr ro provoke great power imerference beca use doing so woulel largely remove control of their aHairs from their own hallds. Leaders of minar power stares are thus probabIy disproportionately likely to construcr their relations such rhar their disputes do .llar involve stakes consequcntial ro great powers or ro resolve disagreemems aboLlt such stakes in slIch a way as ro avoid grear power imerference. All of this sllggests that grear powers do interfere witll minor power relatiolls, but eirher ar the margins 01' via expecrations before conflicts aCtllalty erupt. Knowledge oI rhe likely narure of great power incerference oHers suggestions for prodllCtive ways in which grear powers, like rhe United States, might achieve objecrives in regional hierarchies . Making ir known ahead of time that the United States will involve i(8eH if SOrne regionai status quos become challenged (for example, there appears to be a reasonably strong precedenc ro rhis effecr with respect ro the terroria[ integrity oE



Kuwait), rnight be an intervemioll char \vOLlld prevellt sLlch a challenge in che first place. Sllch poliey relevane applicarions are raised.in the conclllding section of [his chapter and in chaprer 8.


Regional Analyses of the Multiple Hierarchy Model


:! X. L





In regional hierarehies, the 9sn'v'eSJ1 . .power and each regional are studied to determine whether or not power pariry and dissa cisfacrion wirh rhe regional status qua are associated with war wirhin che regional hierarchies. 1.l Simply pllt,we discern whether peIiodLill.. regiQnal is rOLlgJ1fx emLilio Rower wars Q.c_ CJ.lrr..ecl wirhin regional hierarchies. -----:'[ 0 apply the rnultiple hicrarchy model, regional hierarchies are delinee! for SOLlrh America, East, EmpiricaUy, Power Transition theol:y's expecrations abOllt pariry and status quo evaluariolls are sus rained. South America experienced two wars 17 during chis rime frame, rhe War of the Pacific anel che Chaco War. Both occurred lindel' conditions of power pariry anel sc<\rus CL10 dissarisfaction by che challenger. In che Middle fa sr there were four wars during the covered years (Six Day War, Yon KippUI War, Israeli-5yrian 1982 WaJ in sourhern Lebanon, and rhe Jran-lraq \'{lar), a1l bllt one of whicb (Israeli-Syrian) occurring under condirions anticipa red by rhe rheory. Easr Asia's five relevant wars (Tndia-Pakisran 1965, India-Pakistan 1971, Nonh -SourhKorea 1950, Norch-Sollth Vietnam 1965, alld Viernam-Cambodia 1975)were all fought under conditions of status quo dissa tisfaction, bur only (WO of them (Korea and Viet nam) were foughr whilc rhe principal belligerencs were at relcive The rwo waIS in Africa since 1960 (Ethiopia-Somalia 1977 and Ugancla-Tanza nia 1978) did nor occllr as anticipated by the theory, nether power parit)' nor dissatisfaction were observed (althollgh, power parir)' and status quo dissarisfaction do have importanr impacrs in Africa becallse they increase che probability of dispures and wars, as clescribed below). TUclies summarized in figure 3.2 (p. 72) evaluare the probability The S of observing a war within a regi onal hierarchy s'ven variation in rhe resregi onal challen er. 19 Figure 3.2 can be i!1terpreted intuirively. It represcnrs the pro a Ji icy otwar oeclIfl'ing under varying combinations of power distribmi ons and sa tisfaction. For example, che probabilcy oE a war occurring s far less likely when neirher pariry nor within Ah'ican regional dissacisfaction is present. Figure 3.2 ma kes slIch comparisons possible by providing the condicional probability of observin g a war given differenr combinations of power parie)' and/or status quo dissatisfaction. 20 rOL ail fiye regions, the probability of war n eed, war is five to cen times more likely





.S ti



N, p"," salis(acllo/l

" ,,"," No '" ffl'


Pllrity, .


Conditiona! Probability of War by Regioos

(in percenlage)
FI/r East





2,2 4.2

. __

2.7 7,1
13.3 2,3




rlissa/is ae/iOIl Par/y,


4X ,6

O __._I 7,8 ,



Figure 3.2 Probability of Regional Wars







'1 ' .

.! ,'

: r;:.


.( i


$ r

ami dissasiaceion are joiml}' bi!ities of war iu. m.ino-LlJ.,Owp,,.U.e.glons_(]-.o.\l t 19.4 percetu Ls.tiU in.4ica.tes al]_ d War s such a ghascly business thae even seemingly min(Jr increases in ts probability are clangerOllS. A condieional probability of war of 19.4 percent might seem Iow, but this srill means that one in five Far Enstern dyacls characterized by pariey aod clissarisfacton go ro war. From our perspective, chis is substanciaL)1 The cell entries of figure 3.2 are conditional probabilities of war based on logisric regression analyses. To see how ml1ch going from preponderance ro parity increases the probability of wal' for a given great power dyad, one woulcl compare the second row of the first co[uml1 (14.8 pereenr) to the first row of rhe /irst column (7.9 pereent), Doing so provides tbe change in the probability of war for the average greac power clyad as it vares feom a situaeon of preponderance to one of parity. What we learo by making this eomparison is that the average great power dyad under parity is twice as Iikely to go ro 'war as is a great power clyad nO( characterized by p'arity. Similar comparisolls can be macle within eaeh oE the other regional contextSj al! lead to the conclusion that ,parity ancl dissatisfaction make war rnuch more lkely. In the case of the greac powers we observe that as we go from neither parity nor dissaeisfaction to situations in which there is parity alone or dissatisfaetion a[one to situacioIls in which there is borh parity and dissatisfaction, rhe estimated probability of war inereases froITl about 8 percent to aboue 15 percent, then to 32 percent, and fina[]y reaches rs peak at aImost 49 percent. Thcse are enormous substantive changes. Parity and dissatisfaction make war six times more Jikely than is the case when (hese (WO belligerent conclirions are not presento This is impressive support for Power Transirion theory, but ir is support we already anticipaeed based on the discussion of Power Transition's emprical validity in chapter 1 <1nd lhe









;' j'


graphic slIpporr addllced in ehapter 2. What lS perhaps mLlch more intcresting, ancl certainl)' l1nique to this chapter, is rhat the same sons of increases are observed within minor power regional settings as wel!. When we make comparisons aeross the ceUs of figl1re 3.2 fol' he minor power regions, we find rhat the-probability of war in African regional hierarchies increases almost tenfold (frorn 0.8 percent in he nrst row to 7.8 percent in the bottom row). Similarly, in Far Eastern regional hierarchies the probability of war when (he conclitions Power Transition theory sLlggests are tbe causes oE war inerease aimose ninefold (from 2.2 percent in the first row to 19.4 percem in the bottom row). In he Midclle East the probability of war in regiO!l<11 hierarchies increases almost tenfold (from 1.4 to 13.3 percent). and rhe same is true in SOllth American regional hierarchies (wh ere the corresponding increase as we go hom neither parity nor dissatisfaction to the joint presenee of rhese two dangerous conditions is frolll 1.2 to 11.6 percent). Parity and dissatsfaction make war, on average, ten times more likely in minor power regional settings. Th.is is strong empiIic::d validation of the multiple hicrarehy model's expectations . \X1hy shollld this be a surprise ro anyone? Why should we care about this finding ? The answers to borh qllesrions "re related. Over the years there has been a tendency in academic circles and in foreign polie)' organizations ro focus on whatis unique Ol' specific ro a. given country 01' place. The U.S. Depawnent of Sta te is organized by "countr)' desks," unirs specific to each foreign country with which the United Sta tes can'les 011 diplomatic relations. In acaclemic cireles ie is very common to train "arca specialists" who become experts in the polities and history of a given country or region. \Vhile cOllntry desks and arca specialists are important, even essenta! repositories for decailed descriptive informarion, rheir very existence sug- . gests the assumptioll that tbere is sornethng uoique abOlir rhe place in which they specialize. Similarly, popular opinion holds that rhere is "something dfferem" about Africans compared to Europeans, 01' about Middle Eastem interstate relations compared to relarjons between Canada aod the United States. We hear of intractable disagreements, irrational attachrnents to holy war, to tribe or caste affecting relations beeween minar powers. [n contrase, the sea tes of the developed world are presurnecl, if only implic4 , itly, te> be more rational, more calculating, and thus less emotional in ther interstare interactions . The findings reported in figure 3.2 sllggese that the factors associared with the occurrence of war are similar enough across minor power regions and across the minor-major power divide rhar we can use one theoretical structure to explain and thus anticipate when wars will occur aronnd the \Vorlcl. There may still be importam differences between Arab-lsraeli relatlons cornpared to British-German relations, but those differences are o degrce, not kind. Regardless of culture, level of development, or whatever orher variable allegedly makes sorne part of the world "different" from the


j' .,






J ;::


rest, tbe presence of power parity and clissatisfaction with rhe status quo has a substancial and consisrent!y posirive impact on th.e probability of war. This means (har we can have greac confidence in llsing Power Transicion theory co guide Qur expeccarions aboLlt futllrc internacional inceracrions within minar power regions as well as among rhe great powers ..


F _ .
" " o C; <; "

,:, ,.p,,:::-- -.

'4 i:


Dynamics of Regional Transitions

An addirional and perhaps .more' inruitiv way ro demonstra te rhe imporcance of Power Tr'1nsicion argulllnts tor analysis of minor power inreractions and cheir relationship with major powers can be achieved by consielering rhe dynarnics oE transitiol1s in imponanr regional conflicrs. Two cases were seleeted basee! on their high visibility and impact in the rwentierh centllry.
Norlh and SOllfh Vietnam



. -

- 1
----------------J .

.. .. .. - -

- -

Figure 3.3 shows the rdative power shares of North and South Vietnam."" When rhis rario is aboye pariry, the challcnging North is more poweJful rhan the defending 50mh. The COuntries face prolonged parir)' from 1954 until rhe defear of SOLlth Vietnam in 1975. Thcse are che classic conditions for a serious and prolonged war, speeified by Power Transition theory. FigL1re 3.2 is divided inro two perlocls. The early Wal" period refers to the initial confliet between North <lnd SOLlth Vietnam, roored in rhe regional hierarehy. Inrerference by the foreign actors is mnimal during this periodo The Freneh wirhdrew from Norch Vietnam following rheir cldeat at Dien Bien Phu and were onl)' minor parricipants during chis periodo Thc Unitee! Stares involvemenr was increasing bLlt stiH limited prior [Q rhe Gulf of Tonkin incident. During the U.S. -slIpporred \'lar periad, which begins in 1964, the coniliet shifts from a regionally focused war ro a conflicr involving global powers, who were critical in deterrnining the final OlltCome. Following rhe overtaking in 1955, short of external ntervention, one would anticipare tbac North Vietnam wOlJld have defeared the 50mh and uflified che COllntry. Thc extension of rhe war beyond 1964 is e/early the result of American interventiol1, which shifted rhe balance of forces in favor of rhe South. Despite massive U.S. support, pariry is maintained throughOllt the conflicto 23 The regional dyoamics f power and status quo eva[uations ac(ount fox the iniriation o this conflier. Both coumries Were dissarisfied with rh e exisring distribution o territory, which was che result of che French defeat. From the perspective o che Unieed Staces and orher major powers, this was a wac of limired scope. While U.S. fataliries exceedecl fifty chollsan d, rhe magnitude of loss was noc as substancial as io World Wars 1 and n.

_ t


.- + 1915


Figure 3.3 Relative Power 01" N01"th lllld SOllth Vietnam, 1955-75

' L

Fo!" the Viecnamese, (his was the regional equivalenc of the mos e dramatic wars ac che globalleveJ. [ndeed, as POWel" Transition anticipates, (he . mosr scvere wars (lccnr ar times of parity, both ae rhe regional and global leve!. Severe regional wars ca n be a{feeted by the inrerventon oE great powers, whichwill not accepe losses of the same magnitu de as wirh a global war. This is "Che difference between rhe global hierarchy, where war Outcomes are unaffected by the lnvo]veme nt of orher actors, and the regional hierarehies, where anticipa ted outcomes ca n be reversed by great powcr tnvolvement. Incleecl, ro full)' undersrancl region<ll wars, oue muse consider the patrern of inter ventio l1s and influence in the global hierarchy - enhancing .rhe levels of uncenairuy.
Iran and Iraq

. f:

The case of Iran and Iraq Ilustrares different dynamics in tbe regional transirion process. Figure 3.4 (p, 76) demollstrates rhar Iran was stronger rhan Traq consistently from 1962 rhrough ,he 1973 oil crisis. This rnajor clistllrbance of the Middle East regon did not cause a conflict. lran soon recovered from ,he eeonomic dislocarion chis engenclered aild returned ro a positioll of superioriry over lraq. However, in che late 1970s lran's power 1978 . share declined precipitoLlsly because of che lranianRevolurion This domestic scrife gurted Iran's sharc of power within che regional hierarchy. Afrer the installation of elle AyutoUah Khomeini, 1ran expcrienced


\ IJ.




n' "


-" -'1--r--'---_ ..._ .._.. . --._--A

\ RllIio

.. _




R. .

'_ " ""'




I' J" 5


o' "

I '

r t


j Ji' ]
' ,';

I - I . --_. , . . __ . \ . _ 0",'''',," , t------J


_+ _ I

' I 1, I



\, (


isfac rion with che regional status quo has a largee impact on the probabiliry of war than does parity. These figures demonsrrate the plausibiliey of the exrension 01 Power Transition theory to analysis of minor power relations and substantiare the importance of parity not only on war onser, bur also on war's likely severity ancl dur.ation. In SUI11, evaluation of minoe power inceractions within regional hierarchies in Somh America, the Micldle East, the Far Easr, and Africa demonstrates that minar powers fight w:us when expected to, based 011 che Jl1ultiple hierarchy model oE Power Tra nsition rheory. Thus, Power Transition theory provides a powerful explan<ltion of most minor power conflicrs, as well as oE the traditional major power wars.

, _ _

t I

,_ .. 19tH

lf-- - --


"" "

tJ h

-\1' -- ---- ---,1 I -, 1 1 ------t- 1, -1

The Diffusion of War

within Power Transition predudes rhe diffusion of a global 'nto In faet, one mighr antici pare slleh diffusion based on Power Transition rheory, Since (he global wars berween the dorninam power and c1issatisfied challenger are fought [or control of the international s)'stem, rhey are expected to be very large, ver}' widespread conflicts . Only ha ve che_ability..ML the great -Creat powers chus 'mght a confliccboulg remain_eoJJ.fins:d Transition suggestu hat direg chille.!lge.u.o....the .tatlls quo_aLe The original eonceptualization of these \Vars involved direct threats to the territorial integriry of the beLligerents. 14 The great powers can rhrearen the iU l.Q.t.t.u;,e. For exam ple, Wo.rld War n diffused from lhe original conflicr berween Germany and che Unireu Kingdom to encompass virtuall)' every hierarchy in the internalional sys re m wirh rhe excepton oE South America. Even that exception is debatab!e since several Somh American statcs were sllccessfully induced to ;oin che AlEes by declaring wal" on Germany, and there were naval skrmishes in SOLlth American waters, as when the German battleship Graf Spee was comered in Uruguay by rhe British navy. As Gcnnany failed in ts' bid to Ov.ercome the Unted Kingclorn in rhe Batde of Britain, Hitler chose to expand rhe scope of rhe con1icr to inelude Russia. The \Var between Japan and China, whicb had been waged in a regional conrcxt since 1936, escalared ro an :maek on the British. World War [[ rose to global proportions when Japan challenged the United Sta tes for control oE the Pacifico The United States placed primary emphasis on the international challenge by supportng the United Kingdom in rs war against Germany. Later it rea llocated force s for the Pacific theater. The Unitecl States chose this order o prioriry beca use ir ul1derstood rhar the European cfforc was for concrol oE the international system. Wars in the










Figure 3.4 Relative Powcr ofIran

J,: ,


Iraq, 1962-95

o '!


a swift reeovery, Faced wich el narrow windO\\I of opportunity, Iraq rook aJvantage of this new lrani;n weakness ami iniriared che lmn-Iraq War. figure 3.4 reveals that Iran and Irae remained in the parit)' regon for the duration of this very bJoody confliet. This is the likely reason che war endured so .long. The Gulf War, pitting United Narions forces against che Iraqi militar)' establishment, may ha ve precipitated a scrdemenc oE the Iran-IraqWar. That eadier conflict had dragged on wirhout clear reso!lItion oE the underlying claims. Although overt fighting had stOpped, its renewal was seen as !ikely by rnany. However, che wa!" over Kuwa it brought in the United Sta tes and othe!" international powers, which dramaric;!ly shifted power re!atiol1s within tbis regional hierareh y. Th.is lirnired war clestroyed the relative bal,mce in the regOIl, Iraq can no longer hope to chaUenge lran in the near future. Although Iraq cIear!y remains dissarisned with regional relations, Power Traasition theory does Ilot anrcipate a rcsumption of the conflict unless Iraq somchow regains parity with Iran. Given continuing sanctions againsr Irag, such a reeovery is nor amicpated anytime $Oon. These figures are only illustrative, but they demonstrate how .Power Transirion theoey anticipares wh en minor powers wage war against one another. Discllssion aboye abOllt rhe variOllS regions and a eomparison between rhe rhird and sccond rows of figure 3.2 (p. 72) suggests rhat dissat-


: ,,O



, '!
i;' q

,;i ,
< 'j


r .'



: ,;


global hierarcby that diffuse ro rhe regionallevel generate seriolls conflicrs beca use of rhis unclerlying imperarive. Regional confiicrs, on the other hand, are waged over regional concerns. When minor powers iniriare sllc h conOiets, rh'eir goa l is lO establish prominence withio the regiooal hierarehy.)iYclt.,.C.anflicrs.. do oor diffllse l!pward ro the ..v-Oh.e..d.-ill..sJlch_;JlaJ. rhe l2.illver rQ. And yet, the severty of conflier wirhin regions can be heighrened by che inrervention, even by rhe limited incerventions, of rhe great p()wers. Despite fears ro the contrar}', rhe Vietnam War did 1l0t escalare outside of Sourheast Asia beca use none o the minor power countries involved could challenge rhe interests of rhe grear powers. The same argument holds fol' rhe conflict in Korea, whieh was internationalzed but never escalared beyond rhar restricred region . rn Korea rhe threat of escalation ro other regions involved rile potential conRict between China and rhe Urred Sta res following rhe crossillg of the Ya lu River. However, che conflicr did not esca late since the Unired Sta tes could not be challcnged outside of Northeast Asia. Similar argumenrs apply tO rhe conflicr in Afghanisran and rhe recenr seqlle nce of wars in rhe Middle fase. In contrast, an apparen cly great invo lved and rheir lQteresrs World War powers aEe staned beca use of che minor conflict between Austria-I-lungaJ;J':.Jllld Serbia. Serbia's Russian sllPRon p{.p.v.jd:d... corllicr_heu'lt.e.l1 ,. to express itseH, thus sparking rhe broader\var. More recenrly, as imilar conflict in the Balkans did nat escalate because no great power's interests were ar stake - their goals were to limie rhe co nni ce. l ui ri,& e wa r o che_.d.omi nant goweJ Analysts frequently worry thar a conJlict in any part of rhe globc can escalate to a serious global conflagra rion. The multiple hierarehy perspecve $uggesrs thar such pereeptions are incorrecr. Major war$ starr beca use of , pazity con.clirionsio_thS!_&loballif.ats.,hy ll..!l4; }er..rdaced ..ilialk,Ilges..Jo "he Minor wars Stan beca use of similar conditions withiD regiona l hierarches. Diffusion from rbe global to the regional hierarchy is possible beca use che c6ul1tries involved can make such choices withollt direcdy affecring che primary tbreaCs they face, Members of the regional hierarchy are qependent in rhis se nse, beca use escaIaCiO- ;S-Umited withou r great power
' ..... .- _ _ N


H M ! J

the evidence. This is good news for those who would base polic)' prescriptions on Power Transition rheory, beca use ir Sllggests that in addicion to being internally logical and consistem, che theory also offers al1 accurare descrprion and persuasive explanarion of a wide range of inrerstare rebrions.

Conclusions and Policy Implications

A number of polie)' implicarions follow directly from the mulriple hierarchy model of Power Trans.io n rheory. The firsr is thar it may well be possio le ro anticipare when regional minor power wars wiU oec.ur. Power pariry between a regional elominant power anel a dissaris.fied regional challenger dramatically increase he probabiliry of war be[\'Veen minor powcrs. If a conten riou s pair of minor powers are nor roughly egual, or if neieher seems dissatisfied wirh the regional statuS guo, war is unJikely ro occur berween rl1m. This knowledge CQuld well help policymakers predice how serious con t1icts mighr beco me in VariOll$ "rrouble spors." For exarnple, Norrh Korea h lS drawn a great Jeal of American artention in rhe lase few years through irs effons to deveJop a nuclear arsenal, as well as ies repearcd daims rhar the Korean peninsula should be unired lInder Norrh Korean leadership. Whether North J(orea would act on such claims has been an importClIlC question. The multiple hierarchy model of Power Transilon rheory and rhe evidence summari zed aboye suggest rhat an)' arraek by Norrh Korea againsr South Korea is very llnlikely indeed. Figure 3.2 (p. 72) suggesrs that a dyad such as Nonh and Sourh Korea has .ince North Korea is clearly .d,Lssatisfied only a J O-pCcccenr cbanee of but is not at parity wirh south Korea). By gathering data on statusquo evalua rions and relative power within minor power regional systerns. , any analyst cOll.ld generate similar preclictions abour rhe potental for war in wharever area of (he world in which rhey ll1ight be interested, Such predictions do no\' mean thar no conflicr will occur, bllt they will indicate how likely it is rhat crises and/or disputes will escalare ro the serious leve! of open \Varfare. Acting upon sueh knowleclge, American foreign policy leaders could les s likely in variol1s minor power regions. take steps ro render wars Fo! example, faced wirll a persisrenr cont1ictual relationship berween adversaries sllch as Egypr ane! Israel, two dfferent ste ps could be taken. First, lhe United States (o uld ensure thar one side (presumabl)' the one wirh which ir hacl more common inreresrs) remained preponderanr over the other. such a polie)' wOllld likely be ver}' expensive sinee ir \Volitd entail massive resource transfers fl'Om the United Sra ces ro the recipient srate, bur, if earried oue ro che point where clear preponderance was achieved, ir should pacify the (elanonship. Such efforts arguably were undertaken by the United Sta res ancl Soviet






' :












d"o no! face drecr fWlJJ The multiple hierarchy modcl offers al1 extenson of Power 1ransirioll theory (hat can be llse.cl t analyze minor power international interaccions. Preliminary empirical evaluations suggesr rhe basic premise of the that minor powers fight wars when power pariry exisrs berween a regional domi nam power and a dissaeisfied regional challenger - is sllpported by



; :"; S'



t:.:.,' . :

l ,

' .





.: ;'



'. ', ;1

.1; i':

-': '

Union wirh respecr to the Egyptian-lsraeli dyad during the Cold Wa . Ho,...ever, in this C8se the two superpowers may have only offset each orher's comriburionsY In an eHorr to make their favored minor power belligcrem stronger, they may have suceeeded in making rhem equal, and thus prolonging the conHietual period (lf parirr. A JIlllch better way ro paeif)' Illinor powcr relationsis to help rhe minor powers come to 811 accGmmOd;Hion with each other over rhe regional starus quo. A seconcl area in which the nlultiple bierarehy model of Power Transirion theory can oHer policy implications concerns rhe condiolls likeIy ro (avor intervention into ongoing minor power conflicts. Pirst, if thefe is a dispute or crisis between tlVO unequnlminor power st:1tes, th8t dispute or crisis is unlikely tO escalare to waL In sllch circl.llllstances rhe Unitecl Sraces neccl nor neeessarily fear chat wal' will follow if ir does not aCt quickly. Two roughly equal minor powers involved in a dispute OI' crisis have a mlH:h greater probabilt)' of escalaring their nostilities to war, ami tllLlS the of urgency wOllld neeessarily be grearer. Faced with a nurnber of trises simultaneollsly, the United Srates could li(('rally prioritize rhcm based on their probability of escalating tri war ancl then deal with thern sequcntial!y. Building on tllcse minor power inrcl'srate crises, thcre is :1 final policy implicarion of the lTIulrip!e hierarchy model. The characterist:c of (he re gional status qLlO likely determines whether or !lot a pC:.lceful resolLICiorl uf minor power conflicts can be achieved. [f the regional status quo can be easily clrvided, then a peaceful sO!lIcion to minor power contlict wil! be much more [ikely. We memioned above rhe minar power comperition between Chile, Peru, and Bolivia over the AtacamJ regio n ,110ng rhe Pacific Coast 01 Soutb America. \Ve might also have drawn <lrtention ro the similar PdragLwY,1DBolivian comperitiol1 ove1' chc Cllaco Boreal in the 1920, amI 1930s. Aside irom rhe material value (Jf the nitrate deposits in che Atacama (anrJ the access ro rhe se,1 ir granted Bolivia) and sU5pected Di! riches in rhe Chaco, therc was norhing about either rerritory char cnuJd llot have becn divided. These cases of regional WaL" might well hnve been averted had the United Scates or another actor managcd to serve as rnccliators. Were the maintenance of peace in western South America in the 1870s and 1880s, or in central South j\merica in the 1.9205 ancl 1930s imporcanr enough, the Un.ited States ma y ha ve even. becn a b!e to provide sufficicnr linanci,ll incentives of ies OW/1 ro forestal! these rragic wars .26 Such territoIy-based regional status quos may be more arnenable ro negotiated scrtlemems than others. By cuntrast, many wouJd argue ,hat rhe teniraral dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashrnir is of a different nalure than that between Bolivia and Paraguay over the Chaco. Tbis mal' well be trlle, but rhe faec thar accoml11odation becween Eg)'pr and Lrad was found strong[y suggesrs thar efforts could and should be madc towarJ a similar goal in the subcontinent. Given that India and Pakistan ,lre nuw

'. i

borh nuclca [" stares, rhe incentive ro finu <1 way to keep both sacisfied lVith their regional quo has ncver been greater. This cbapter has described a transformation 01' Power Transition theory into a genera! theor)' of war iniriation. The ablJity to identrfy the condirions under which wars are most likcly to occur is critical for the optima.! COllstrucrjon of foreign poliey. An of regional hierarches should 1,lay ao important raje in the foreign policy oE the dominant world power, for chesc miniature international systems compIise a substantial pare of che internarional systcrn within which che preponderant country establishes intcrsti1tc J"clatiol1s.




J; h

\,\'0 t '


_ 1 lu:..



1 r









Security Applications:

Deterrence and Proliferation

The spliuing u( lhe atol11 has challged euerythillg Sill'L' o( t/;illkillg: l!JI/S, !Uf! dri(t tU/llards //I/IJar,dle/e.! catastrophe. - A!.!\ERT EINSTEIN
mall's moJe


11atio11s such ;15 India 01' Ir<ll1 join rhe nuclear dub anJ therc are rcgioil4i global transitions, the 11I'<obability u( nuclcar "",ar riscs. Thus, Power Transirioll's illsights 011 proliferarion are cOl1sistellC wirb currcnt U.S. poli,y, ,1il'hough {he lInderlyillg rarionale Ill<ly be diffcrent. Dererrc lKc allJ arllls control are rhe twin pillars upon which Ihe U.S. secll rity policy WaS bascd rhroughollt rhe ColJ War. Whle cleterrcncc has (;lded i11 importam:c, long <l seconda rv now has become a cenrr:t 1.10qls .<U'..lL$. , po licy.):;:Ire-fI"a 11 a dccaJe afrer ,he end of the Cold-W;;r, Jleither of hese COIlCeprs has been systcm:ltically chlllcngeu,l Tilis hpse uf interest could b;lve grave consequenccs. We ntcnd ro atldrcss 50l11C of the funJamental isslIcs here ..l

This chaprer explores the policy ill1plicatioJls dcrivcd trom the Powcr Tr;lllOll dist.ributiol1s uf pOIVCI" '\..:.,-<- as wcll <lS rhe spre<ld ot Iluclear cap:lhdlrles, the. Pmvcr TransltJoll ..::::.?:: S01lle aspccts !101icY-Jll 11I1de;r dClurellcc --<l -"".'-:' -bur gCl1craifYSupports curr6irp;;C" . "---", in assurcd de:', , srrucrion (MAD) associates srabilir)' \Vitil JlllC!c::;\r pariry, Powel' Trallsitioll SlIggests har Iluclear p;lriry.. gener:1te ills/a/iili/y.1 The r\lcor}' ccepts proposIcin thr nuclear Wcar(ms dimllllsh the likclihood ()f \V,1I' by rhe coses associared \Viril conflicto Incrclsillg the sizc of 1111dear arsrn,lls til1questionably magnifies the porential severit)' uf war. Bur PUWCrTI',\11SiliOll tells liS t,h'<lLdcte[(epec is not al1 "bsollltc. The (lffcrcd hy liuclc<H will nor ,1/1 Clrculllstanccs . Po\\'cr trall ' sitions in the nuclear era rel11,1il\ dangel'olls CVCIllS r\lar L:ln rcsult il\ \\';\1', \Veapons Ilotwithsranding. Undcr Iluclc,u' p,lI'ity the proh:lhili[v (JI' is luwcr rhan in a cOllventio'I;;il "prity is slill high- rhail ':li'-nlide' "-licsc-iilsighrs 011 Jeterrt:ncc' fllnd<llllent ;lll)' S()llIe ",cxisting bclids and Joctrine. Tl1is ch;l!l(cr e'lIltciIll:; rhal 11l1(iC'M dernrCIlCC is structur:11 unstablc lInrcliablc. n<lniclIlarl; ' \\Ibel' 15 achcve ,. ,:ullclllSiol1S <1 re ,1 t milis h Ihe IOllg-l;eid tenets of U.S. arms conrrul polie}' rhar ir is in (he Unircd Sta tcs' illterest ro maintain nuclear eql1 ;dity ;J/I101lg potenti,\ ,llld th ;lt securitv is cnslIrcu h,y redllcing nuclear arscnals sillluleaneulIsly. Wc lind h<1nos (if .a defender \Vho Sl;lIl1 S <\\)0 ensurej .p.cacc. NuLlc:1j""p:tmy 'r"prepolldcr:1 llct: hr .1 (h"l Icng.: r cad ro nuclea r ';v'r.-That c.lisrinclion "I(llle di srillgll;shcs Po\Vcr fr01l1 currcllt thc()rics 011 \kterrcllce. With rc).\ard ro prolil'er<lti011, !>()wer Tr,111sitioll rgllcs h;H Ihl' il)rc<lJ ()( nllLiC:1r WCPOIlS i5 panicu\;Hly Jangcrol1s. When rel ,11iv(.'i:'

ID S, l.
'"\1-;. .

The Costs of Nuclear War

Nuclear WC;lp()ns signilic<lnrly r"ise rhe uf intersraee conflicto Recognizil\g th,t there are l11al\)' tedllliques anJ cOl1troversies about calculating the coses (lf Iluclear W:l1', \Ve offer figure 4.1 (p. 84) as one designo Ir is bascd iln c,l\culalions for thIC Unitt:d Sta res anJ che USSR. The vertical axis oc chis figure represcnts rhe likcly percentage of poplllatioll that would be desrroyeo sixty days afrer a nuclear exchangc. The horizontal axis reprcsents the total nUlllber of JJleg:ltons lalln;hed during a war. Since we llave ohservcJ rhe effecrs of a nuclear war only once a( low magnituJc, \'IC mu sr rely 011 estimatcs of rhe likcly .costs ot sllch a dispute. The lowest estimate onl)' rhe effects of the impace per megaton rrol11 rhe blast radills:' This estimate suggests thar ae least 500 eqllivlent Il1cgatolls are nccessary ro dcstroy more-lIJan 20 cOllservativc estimare col1siders tbe rhat 1,000 cqu ivalcnt l1legatons \Viii dcstroy ,'Ioser ro .jO pcrccllt ({ rhe popularioll o(tllc -t,lr'gcfc<;irry.3 Finally, the gril11ll1est cstimate sllgges'rs' nuclear devices will cause ; winter oue 10 rhe dllst :1lld dehri s rhar will be fo rced into the lower This <ll1cillary destru..:tiol1, it is argllcd, will r,ise che levcl n{ desrrllctioll 1'0 Ilcarly rhe t:11tire \Viril just over 1,000 Iluclear warhe;Hls. Ir woulcl clestro )' wcll ov'?r 40 percent of rhe populaciull wirh .500 cqu ivalellt \mi s ,1grCl:l11emS reached al' he time nI this writing stilLp'<;J111ir the Uni(eJ .':lta(cs ami Rllssia cadl ro destroying the (aher coulHry. Such arsenals also woulJdesrw) China ami the Europcan Union hecallsc of he higher geographic concel1lratioll oi the poplIlatioll :1IlJ urhnn celltcrs. Regio.'al hierarchies pose ;1 II111eh Jif(crcllf picrure . 11\ the vlitldle E:lst, fm C;":,ll11p le, weapolls dcli\'erin; 'he cquivalcm uf 10 mt'gatolls \\'Iluld Illure rhall su{(ice ro dcstro}' ,111)' socicty ill rkit regioll . Likcwisc, (ll\ th\: Koreall pcninsuhl, rhe <lhiliry ro Jelil ' 5 equivalcnt

t:-; \' sitian perspecrive for tI.1e nuclear era . . r:m:using

> PCW)

life <1"'0.

-,.:l-..tYl fllXluy






..J <:

,-, ,-


.,'"dr/u 117",,., H..,",olt

. . ....



,t"/ "
... -,.". .
J '

N"Jituh,,, I:'flimdll'

:.i ()

:'::'60 .. oS " J







1111 '" fll i lffnlt'

'''1 J/\/
0' /

/ \, \X '" '\


/ /1

\ro. /




/ / \"






/ 4












'1-:" 0





Figure 4.1

Nuclc:lr W:l1' PU)lII(atiIlJl Losscs for Creat ('owel's

" ".,

""J"" /}'


There can be TlO doubt abour th!.: desrrucrive n<lrlll'C ()f Il\l clc.H \Veapons. Conrrast rhese estimares wirh those achie"ed by C()!1VClIriOIl;,1 cClI1t1icr. Convenrional conflicts ar thc l11agnitudc ()I WorlJ Wars I ami If desrroyed. ;lt their height, up tu J 5 percenr of [he tuf,,1 popu!atioTl alTlong comharanrs. In World \Var JI, rhe highest casualries as a pcrcelluge (lf rhe 1I.\[iOII\ poplllation were suffel'ed by Poland ar 19.6 percent, Yugoslavia ar (0.6 perccm, and Russia at 10.1 percent, while GCrIllany e!ldured losscs of about ') perccllt, Frailee 1.5 pcrcent, rhe Unircd Kingdom Iess than .07 p('l'(cl1r. and the Unitcd Sta tes Icss than .02 perccnr. 7 Such losse5 p;dc in (olllp.Hi son wirh the 40 percenr or grc<1ter for sel'ious !lllclc;! r exchangcs. or the spccter of a nuclear wimcr rhar (ould dccilll.ne ,I11Usr lifc (Jl1 rhe

Figure 4.2 Thc Strueturc of Dctcrrcllce :1 derivarivc oE the ha!an,-c of 1'()\lN tlllH.u:.y.s \Y,IccI')(ls tlccl:'\sslc,TefcrrciiCe )'ostiOrl, rather than ol1e 01' its \'arial1ts, hecl1u seir oiiers the l110st clear eOJlrnlSrS \Virh Po\Vcr Trj1Jl sitiOJl tlicory. Ohviuusly rhere are Illany c1arific;ltiolls and exrensiol1s 01 class ic deterrel1ce rhcory rhar would l1lodif)' the comparisolls in rhe following thrcc scctiol1s. ilur rhe srark conrr.lsts serve Ollr purpose of encollragil1g ()[hcrs ro ehallengc doglll.l. \'l/e exnmine (he srruerure (lf detcrrel1ce as dc(ncL! h)' rhe inrcracriol1 ---tigure 4.2 marches Basedol1 rhe rhc cxpecr;niol1s of cosr to rheorerical arglllnents ahour dcrerrence. In fig1II"l' 4.2, (he righr axi s portrays rhe total populatiol1 loss rhe challellger can inflicr 011 rhe defender in rhe evcnr of al1 all-out l1uclear conllict. whilc rhe lefr axis repn:senrs the toL11 porulariol1 IOS5 chilt rhe defender can nfliet ClIl the c1dlcngcr. bch of these aXC$ dil11inishes in inrcnsiry. Ar the hot[CJ1ll 01 rhe Hgure, l1111fU.J aSSllrcJ Jcstruction represcnts rhe almost complete eradieariol1 of eaeh popul<1tion in an all-out Iluclear exchange. This rorcrays the nuclear relationship hetwcen rhe Unitcd States alld rhe Suviet Unioll {()w;lrd the end (lf rhe CCJlcI W,1I'. l'v!Utll<1I assured dcstl'ucri()ll ilSSUIl1CS that hotil 1)()Id a sccure t:apability aii(t!?(J'S"S"cs massivc

1m clllllpal' ltive purposes ,

Nu(lear wcapOlls are as Jcstru(tive as advocltcs ()f derl'rrell<.:e (()l1rcIlJ. Tl1e)' increase rhe (osr of \Var. Hur Jo rhey oft the penn ;1I1C " . 'it)" ni PC;CC Jcrcrrence? 1)(1 rhe 10m) c (O$r s Illake \Y;11' \'A' rhink IH-;'-Powcr Transiriun warm J;oliC\"llla"kers noTtO )ut ultimare fairh in !ludcar detcrrc,Ilcc. We will prcsent our C(lnc lISIOI1S 011 rhis rJC'orelicall y anJthell in policy rerllls.

The Structure of Deterrcl1ce

Ler liS rcv icw rhe main thcoreri(<\1 perspecri"cs on Jcterrencl' ;Ind rhe jlolicies rhat follolY fmm thelll. Classi<.:al lIurlcar dcrcrrellce, ()ur h.1SC casc





tha! MAD is ullrastahlc.




lhe defender \Ve

record massivc preserves pea ce. Massivc stable.

show thm fmm the . conditiOl;S. }\s thc historknl de(clldcl' h;ll1d:; s [.\1' less

, a ttcsts ro the Both c1assical dClcrrcllcc alld Power' Transion he S(Tw.:tun:d within thc Darl1Icters esta blishcd bv fitturc 4,2. t ceh pcrspcetivc descrlhe ;\l1d then cvu to !l udc, a








preemptlve WM Ye! if UltiOll doc!> 11m initiate war WhCll hen why shoulJ the reintroductioll thilt is worth lludc<H war? Thc rml\;ticul imnlicattolls of ths



" ::.
argull1cnr Cnllllot


red IlUde,lr wcapol1$

C"CIl in <1 cOllVemiOllal not lItilizc ,1 rirst-strikc


h,Hl Ir,1 q

ro he

WUl1ld slIch
Inll/c! U


govcl'll1nellt uf !lot h:lve hCCH cvcn if 01 Iminl! a cOIlVClIlional COllflict? Much o he classlcal d-

4,3 Classical De!cn'cncc ami tllc

uf Nuclear War

massive rttnl a tion eall th"t Is dcfilled as or goverl1ll1ct1t rules ,HH{ llOfll1S. That 5, Jo !lot Jetcr and therdorc cllOose \Var over pelcc !S dd in World \\lars 1 II.I! Yct lInder nuclear nrenonder<1l1ce;t is bandoned sllce war will not be as 11lldcar \\lea pOIlS ha ve !lO use other han tu de ter war, 1\ 011 he otllCr is reilltroduccd ;1$ cach sitie sccurcd ami arsellals mus!

trallstions. Tllete

qua 10 war since it

behavior to l1uclear detcrrcnce introduces tions ;111<.1 Ilot for



powers. Wilen c!assic;1 deterrcllce cOllsidcrs









.tA 11on'cr Tl'Illlstion :md fbe

of Nuclear War

PQwer Tr,JnsitiOIl



ncc preserve the starus


4.-S ih


ISlA.: t




is prcponJcram, chough this is <111 un/ikcly evenL hllal/y, war Illltkr i\;ll\ [) is likcly [() cscalate to massivc Icvels whifc W(1I' 111lJcr 1ll.lssivc rC(;lliarioll IeJ by the challenger is likcly ro rem.lin lilllitt:d hecause (lf rhe dcfclldcr's inabiliry to rcsponJ in knd. Unlike dasscaJ uctcrrence, Power Transition '\IHiciparcs rl1 ;lI inc re,1:; ed coses redilee rbe prQbabiliry of fonllict but are insufficient to prcvC1J t COII avcre escalatclIl. IncreaseJ costs make nuclear conflicr ullder css likely, bur f wagcJ, br more severc. Nucle:lf arsenals Jo 1I0r, therefore, o{(er che cold comfon of stability through fear promised by lI\utual assl1red destrucrion. lnsread, i( war breaks our lInder pariry rhe hugc Iluclear arsenills he!el by nuclear contenders allow thern ro escabte lhe Cl)sts of war to !cvels as yet unseen. Consider first the MAD conditions hrokcll dowll :1lol1g ;dhcrcnce ,1Ild oppositon to rhe status <jUO. The effccts of Me disturhing. \ dssatisficd natian that marches rhe nudc :l r capacity uf lhe defender i.'; e:\rected to use its c:lpability ro aJvance c!c mands (JI' a Ill'W otatlls (jllCl. FI'OIll rhis perspecrive, che Cold Wal' rCIl1<lined cokl hCC:lllse the Ullit cd St:ltcs W;1S prcponderant, allJ rhe USSR could 110t credibly challenge the Unitcd Sla tes o[ its NATO alles. The on!y question,blc lse is the abscnee of i1IIC!c;1r W;\I' bctween China anJ RlIssia irnll1ecliJ tely (ollowing rhe collapse 01' lhe USSR. To act JlIring rhis ovcrtaking, China had ro ll ave l1uclear parit y. which i( did noto Still, conditions CklSC ro rhose desc rihcd by Powcr TI',1nsition \Vcrc present for a very shorc period, alld a conflict <.lid not uke pl 'ICC." When convencional pariry is presellt "long witil di ssa tisfactioll, the probability rhat disputes \Viii he resolved wilh ,1 Iluclear attack rises sh;lrp l\,. Fo'r (his reaSOIl, rhe fllture relatiOlls bt: twet:11 tht: Ullitnl Starl'S :lnd Chil; are seen ;]$ far more dangerous rhan the previolls Iela tioll s hcrwccn rht: Unitcd Statcs and (he USSR. When China re;lChcs conventional pariry .11)(1 threat\!l1s ro overtakc he United Sratcs s0 1llctime in th is celltul'y, Ih!.: pllssihility of el nuclear war should rise thest: two Il ar ions tTCCJIlCik thcir di ffcrcnces. Nuclear cOlll1icts in regional hi era rchies also are possihle. 111 the ivliddle EJst, tor e:<;ll11p\c, 5evcraln<ltiOIlS ,Ire attelllpting ro chal\cllge he Isr;lc!i 11\1clear lllollopoly thar ha s ensured rhe peaee. As the ecollomics 01' diss,lti . . ned I\rah nalions grow, the potencial fol' Ilude\)" \Var ex pected ro inCl"e;lse sillcc pcace will nO longer be ensured by rhe Illlclear prepondcl',lIKe of the rclarively satisned of these nari(lns .He attelllptillg ro dl'vclop nuclear wcapons, andth'"Cr"e is a rcalisti_ potcncial (or a powcr trallsirioll wirh Israel. Ir is worth noting that the Illdear cap,lbiliry required fm hese l1ariolls (O achicve lIucl ea r parity \Virh is (;.r Icss dl'IIl:lIlding rh;ln rh ;lt achicveJ hy rhe Illaior powers. Rcgion:11 nu clear wal's of devastaring mago wheJl nuclear 'lr,e n'lh ,He ver' sllla)1. Lcss rll ;1I1 ;1 dozell o ne-megatot1 \Var sor t leir equ v<llellt, rnollllted (JI sho rt -r;lll.!C missilcs or .,rfrJnlcs are surricient ro ;Issure the destruclioll ()f ally 1l.1I iO I1

in [ht: \;liJJk [;1:;1, "lid t!VeJl fewt:r would he rcqllired ro dcstf(l:' [he Korean pennsula. roI' this reaSOJl, attempts by Ir<lll, Iraq, .1Jld othcrs in the regio ... to aCt)uire lilllited nuclear arsc llals could produce regional n\lclear parity altllos! overnight. lf' 1\1\ the preco11(liriol1s cOllducjvc ro Jluclear (011nict (power tr,lnstioll, di ssatisfacrion, lnJ I1\lC1ear arity) :1re t:lTlerging in (his regioll. ,severa l ya s are at r1S , inclllding tlle 11I05t o!Jviolls uf Israel! Iraq anJ Iraq/lrall, If [>ower Transirion theory is correct, the stabiliry 01 dcterrence will he sorely testcJ over the Jlext two dccades in these regional hier;Hehies. These Middk Eas( scenarios sqll<lrely challengc the Jogie of de(errcl1ec. 17 Similflr Jistincrions appe:1r with regard tO the cffecrs f nuclear prolifcr,Hioll. Powcr Transition jlosits d1at stability is assured linder parir}' whcn horh sities ;1pprove ()f (he status quo, hut Ilot orherwise. prolifcration is rhe po\icy (JI Iluclear Ilat ions. f()r this rcasoll the UnitcJ St:!es lIntlsh 'lcqulslrioll of nuclear weapOIlS, prohabl y eovenl)" assisted rhc !sl"lelis. :1lld offcrt:d only token resisrallcc ro rhe illdigl?lloUS developmcllC of Iluclear CJp;lhilitics by Frailee. Thesc c()untrit:s all SlIpportcd ht: glohal status qllO. The Un ited Srates opposed (he acquisition uf Illlclear capabilitics by Ru ssi a and China beca use bOtll were Jissatisfied with rhe -Iob I sr:ltlls lIO. Ir also ohjected to the acqulsltloll o weapons by India and Pakistan. So Jid China, albeit s0111cwhat ,(ter rhe faet. The United 5tates is working very hard to prevellt Iluclear prolifer,lrion ro (ron, lroq , and NortiJ Korea. Consistent with Power Transiton, val'iations in response to nllcle"r proliferatiol1 gcncr:dlr are directly rcl;JteJ ro rhe degree of dissarisf;lcrioll ,1111(11); lIari ollS. They ,Ire lIot dircct lO rhe 'l((llIisirioll (lf lIuc!car weapom pel' se. Let LIS ncxt cOlIsidet lIlassivc retaliarioll . \'\IiJell rhe 11<11,\lICC (JI' IllIclear .Hsenals favors the dOllllllalH ami s,ltsricd powcr ill " hierarchy, Power Tr,lllsitioll ami clJssical Jt:tL'ITencc cOlllelll1 th,1l the likclihood uf collilict milIillw/. Tht: Uni(cd Statcs did \lO! initiate World War' 1I1 aga1l1st hc USSR [olJowll1g events as the Berlin Crisis (Jr the Hl1llgarian Rcvolution be(Iuse its .:\),d \Vas 'lO the St:1tus quo . The UnitcJ Sta tes Jid l10t lIse l1uclear weapol1s against China ro resolve the war ill Korca for preciscly rhe SJ me rcasol1s. The Soviet Union did not use nuclear weapons against Chilla dllring rhe Sino-Soviet split bec:1\ise Chilla couJd llOt challengt: the USSR's cOllvt:lltiollal c<1p;'lbility at the time. Illlwer Transitioll differs fUlld'llI1elltally trolll cJassical dererrem:e regarding (he illlplicatiol1s nI' Illassi\'e rctaliatioll whell IlllrlCH m:p.w.u.I.cr.ancc (avors the 1\ prepol1dcr:l1lr ch;dlcllgn wOllld initiate rohes to ,llter ,ht: sta tus qUil. h1cillg ;J prepolltleranr, dissaristied na(ion, rhe 11011IlUlle;1r defellder would mosr likely givc in, hur mighr tight ,1 ,,110rt dcfclIsivc \Var. This (olldirion is vyry lI11ljkel)' <lBs! DO! lIl ;llcrialized b.us raro f\ diss;ltisried 1l,ltioll is lIIust likcly tIl score low 011 tcchlllllogy ;lIId protlllc5ivit)',






thus ir is unlikely rhar rhis nation wuuld leaJ in rhe Jeployll1clH ot nu clear wcapol1s within its hierarchy. Yer if slIch wntliciol1s Jo emerge, rilen che Jissacisficd nac ia n shoulcl ;ttcmpt to challcngc che sta tus q\lo bcca\l sc ir is disadvanragcd by ie. Unlike c1assica l deterrence, the powcr Transiriol1 .Rcrspecrive postulates rhar massjve in che h,llld s uf a dissatisfieu chalkngcr is very dangerous ro peace. [-bJ Hirler, Staiil1 , or Hussein nequircd nuclear weapo ns first, rhcysurcly would havc ll sed thcll1 to ,ltlv,lIlce a ncw Status quo (or the globe or region. The policy implicatiol1s offerecl by c1assical Jetcrrence anJ I'ower Trallsirion coultl not be mOfe differcnt. Given rhe likcly I.:onsellllcnces of a fallure, knowing which perspecrive is more ;tCClIrate beco llles cxtrell1el)' inlporranr. As JiscLlssed later in rhis chaprer, rhere is inuircct cvidclICC, horh logic;tl and emprical, ro suggest thar the implications drawn rom PDwer Transitioll theory are more consistent with rcalit}" th a ll ,He hose froll1 classical deterrence.

slllhle IIlId",. Imritr

I'owcr Tra nsitioll:

Xlilhl" /IIrder 1)/'('PrI'"'''I"O!lI'''

Ccnera) Dcterrcllcc
N,, /




!Jm:k D01>'11

SII/h/" 1111<1,,1' Ilrepollllen/llc('

I I mmcdiatc Dcterrcncc
Pwcr Transition:
_ _


lJack D",m

The Dynamics of Dctcrrencc

Extcnsio ns o( Powcr Transition 5UggCSt, in their Ilcwesr formrtl Ill odl'b, tl1,H spccific dynamics underlie So f<lr, studics of W<lr illiti<1l io ll have resemblcd a static photograph. Thc ncw jJower Transition dynamic rnoJels, in contrasr, resemble al1 <1nimareo lllov ic whcre sitllari olls evolve ano uecisions develop over time. Our theorcti ca l argulllcnt, which is consistenc wirll policy insights, srates tllat Jeadershi lrcferenccs alld narional chal1ge over til!le and thar sLlc h changes att.cct the tillling () W;H. Thc inrroductioll of time prodllces il1lpo rtallt insighr s. h U IlI Power Tr;lnsirion's pcrspccrive, the relarivc srrcngt h nI (lnc n,Hio ll ro that of its opponent increases avcr time Juring the trall sitio l1. During the as til1le <llld a b,der W<lits IIlltil rransitioll, a nticip:lted gains the chances of victory :lre m:lxim iz cd beforc initiating " hght. I\r rile sallle time, 1catlers disco llllt rhe v;tllle for vctor)' over time. l ') Thc derisioll ro nght lI nde r Po\Vc r Tmnsirion oceurs hecH!se of thc c()l'IIhillataoll of all inueasc in power a rcductioll in llrility ol' con/liet O\'el" rime. Thc oprimal poi llt is r(De bed initiator 'lIlticip,1tes rbar rherc I'clative gains in powcr, anu cOllcurrenrly, lhe anticipl(cd gaillS frolll conflid expelteJ ro decline. Dllring :\ powcr transirioll, a llar io l1 is e;-;pcctcd ro wai( hcfon: ing war lIllfil rhe ga.l1s it foresccs (wm .1 contlict ;Irl' maximi7.cd . Silllil,lr il1 ;t 111 o:c-stalic );011argulllents can be 11l,HJe 1bout text, bec:llIse hllallcc is rhe conditiol1 ((l!' pcacc <1lld growlh partCt"IlS do lI()t affect rhe expecred outcomes. Figure 4. 5 shows rhe Jiffcnt dni v:Hions ohrained frorn these clJlnpeting rerspccri ves. Figure 4.5 charrs rhe sequcnce of ( hoiccs (acillg ,1 II1 rhe I) 'l\ver Tn:1I1sition uynamic, Icatlcrs o dissatisfied nariom \ViII re(r.lill fr()ln rl;ll;ng


/l/u/el' pn'l'rlllderl/J/('e

Figure 4.5 The Dyn:unics of Dctcrrcncc

ot (:)lfL'd!ight,
..""_ "'_ -I;;;;:.__


threar whcl1 che OOmil13nt powcr is overwhelmingly preponderant beClIlSe rhe prob;1bility ()f succeS5 is minimal. Such concltions are overcarne during 3 power rransitiol1. Then wal' iniriarian is reacheJ after two srages. In rhe Mrst stage, chreats are made, ano in the seconu stage, these thrcar s are cxccuted. [n otiler worus, a narion IirSI threatcns (o fight, and thcll, if irs opponen t rcsists, ir wherher or l10t to go to war. 21 Pea ce is prcservctl when l:('lIetll/ ,!('terrell(C is whicJ is the cOl1uitiol1 wh en 110 threats are matle . Peacc is .,Iso preservetl whcl1 immediate deterrell(C is slIccessful, which is the cOl1ditiol1 when rhe clwllcnger threatcns to sl'nding a hostilc siglla l, hut rhen backs dowll . Ceneral t!eterrcncc is hard to illustratc bec<lllsc when it succeeus..!Jothil1g 1!":l.PPSIIS. rhe of w;r in Europe illustrares this conditiol1, but ir is vcr)' difficulr ro attribute it ro the cxistence of nuclear weapons since otlter prospccrive "causcs" of peace coincidemallyhavebecnpresent.lmIIIcdi;tc detcrrcTlce, 011 rhe other halld, can be illustrated easily. U.S , actions in [krlin, in Korca, alld lIlost notably in Cuba illustrare serious erises tlLlt were I-csn lved, or flot resolved, hy the expIicir hrear ro use nuclear wea pllllS. 111 this Cllnlext, classical J ercrrencl' and Powcr Transition draw very diUcrcllt cOllclusiolls regarding the stability of thcse (Wo stages o( dctcrrence. Froll1 rhe cbss ical deterrencc pcrspec t ve, when two nations :1 re equa I ill powcr, gelleral deterrellec is lIlorc likcly ro SlIccced becausc tbe chal-






dcm:mds that do !lQe war tu scttlc. GCl1cnl! makes a tbrear unly


tWCCIl war prcvcnts nuclear war. As


I1llebH weapons cnsurc a more .MiJdle an ustriltion







o.. " U

/ .I"q Ir;'t11
N. KO,c,l. __
l!lmC'l Chilli\



_-..-- ....

........ Cun- Ih.'lcrnmct"



Fr.l nrc/

.'" .:;;

" " v " z .


" gl ..,
i5 o


Lib y.










\ \

S. 1\ r,iC3






"" ,," ;,

Me, ;o




Norw .)'

, 1Ir/l 1 1

S. Km.,







\ \

Gcrnl;ln\' 131 1



" ;;


- -r--------:

... c


l .tlW I



Lag 1 IInc RC,!Ulrcd (ll





.. _


) h." rtJ\lrr'I.



Nlllllhl'r uf Na'""s ,,III Nuclear Weapons

Dcplllycd Nuclear Capahility

Figure 4.7 Classical Oe(crrCllce, Proliferation, alld Nuclear War

Figure 4.6 Shifts in Nuclcar Capabilitics, 1990-2000

To sbow rhe mast immeJiate ot rhe prolikration process, we ccntcr on the limited nlll11ber of natons th;llll111krvvclH rn,1jor chailgcs during this Jceade. Four nations have givcn up their nuclear deviccs durillg time perioJ: the Ukraine, SOllth AfricJ, J3e!;rlls, and Ka7.akhs[011l. InJia h,\ s cnhanced irs capability. I)akist<l n 11l3tched chis dcvelopll1ellt. Nonh /(ore:1 ano lran ha ve nuclear rescarch prograll15 llnder\Vay. raq's cfforts cO lltillllC but have suftered a l11ajor sctback bec<1use of sallct i() lls and hOll1hing rilar fol1ow eJ the Gulf War. (()lIlltries Glpahk (}f prodllcFigure 4.6 shows rhat the vasr l11<1jority ing nuclear weapons have clloscll nor ro du so. Classical dercITc1KC il11plies that, clriven by anarchy ,wd seeking technicllly ca able narions should tr' to <1(( \lire nuclea r GlpalITities. '{ct "iTiSigufe \ clearly illustrares thar rechn olog ical capahi iry IS nut rile' dcterlllillal1t of Illl\Iear Thc c1oi!1l rhar proli (e ration is inevitahle is fa lse. 0111)' ,1 few narions choosc ro proliferare. A largcr ser h<1 S dlmen ro hyp;ss thi s C:I' pability. This is a key cOllsiclcratioll sincc in rhc Il e,li (uturc th e cchllology now readily <lvailable tu developeJ Il<l{i o ns \Viii heLlllm: 1ll()I'e accessih/c {() clcveloping nations. Classical dererrcnce alHicipates widc-rangipg nuclear Power Transition, in (Olltrast, argucs rh8r IlU e!c:1 r prolifer,ltillll will I)e


limtc<1 majlllv ro tlle Jissatisfied Ilations. The d<;lminalH natian dcvelops, ellhallccs, and cxp ands rs Iluclear arsellal whell ir sees a challengcr on the horizoll. This wa s he case in the global hierarchy with the competition het\v cc n rhc Ullitcd Sta tes .1ud the USSR during rhe ColJ War. Despire U.S. s,1tisfactiol1, rhe 110tCIltia l Chi nese eh,lllenge cOlHillUCS ro clrive Illlclc,\I' ll1odcrni z;rjol1 . TliC fe\V s,ltisficd n:Hi ons rhar choose chis optioll Me within their regioll. Israel, (01' eX<l l11ple , SlIpports rhe gloh;tl stat\lS lJlIO bllt 11lICIc:H Wl.':lpOIlS lO rcgioll:d prepOi1tIer'lncc. I\rnil ;l lld Argentin a, which IlIlW support rhe status q\lO, gave up nuclear programs <lt rh e regiona l ,1IlJ global level whcn regiol1'11 competitiol1 Jilllilli shcd. The French acquired nuclear we:lpons following the Cubal1 ,\lissil t: Crisis bec<1use th e)' fc .1red rhe USSR, anJ pcrhaps the United States, <Ind eould <let ul1i1atcrally in ElIrope. Such we:lpons may eventually be tral1sferrcd to rhe tU. wlost lll crn hers of N\TO <He able ro dcvelop such wcapolls hllt h ,lVC nO( )'er t'lkel1 this step. The I110St illlport<ll1t p()licy inconsisrellcy hetween classic;ll dcrcrrcllce ,\lId ['nIVel' Tral1sitioll is is cllhanccd or JimjnjshcJ by Illlpwlifcr:uioJl . COllsidl.'l' trsr rhe argurncllts (ro ll1 classical c1ercrrellcc, ITpreSell {cd i;figure 4.7: C1assical detcrreJlce suggesrs rhar nuclear proliferation enhall ccs pea ce hculIse (he nI \Val' rise, <lnd cunsequently the probability of war declines. Two 1lIajor v:Hi,lllts emerge: The extended dcrcrrcncc argulIlelH proji()$es that il onl)" Olll' natioll h,1s Iluclear weapol1S, nuclear \Var is





likcly,ll When (\Vo or more n:lrions acquire chis abiliry, rhcy deter rhe original nuclear nacion and provide a Iluclear urnbrclla to their allies, Thus rhe probabilicy uf war Jrups Jramarically, This argulIlcnt was lIlade (rcquclltly during che ColJ War; borh rhe UniteJ Sates alld rhc Soviet Union \Vcre expecfeJ tu defcnd rheir respecrivc allies against lluclear ;ttack. Note that here is a rise in the probability o( wal' as rhe l1ul11hcr (lf n<ltions hecollles vcry large dile ro the possibility of acciJcllt;.1 nuclear war. Thc eore dercrrence argUlllcllt is similar, Il.1tiOIlS onJy dcfend rhemsclves againsr llucle3r Hacle The probabiliry oT [lUCle'lr war illirially rises wirh rhe acquisirioll (lf nuclenr weapOllS sincc e,eh ncw comperiror can atraek wirh impunity all orhers. When rh e Illllnhcr of 11 ;1tiollS \Vilh rhe potential ro ho ld nuclear arse llals exceeds OI1C -h,l lf of rhc maximul11, rhe probabiliry of nuclcar \Val' declines, with this potenrial have nuclear weapns and .Issured seend-strikc capahilities, the likclihood of nuclear war reaches its lowesr [evels. u, Power Transjcioll suggescs :l ver)' diffcrellt -:JY;lamic ,esultill!:, fWI1l Illlclear prolifer.Hioll. ]1e prohahilii,. of is assoe iatcd 110! wirh the level of dcstrllcrio!l bur \Viril rhe IeYe! <lf dissJtjS(;f.riol1 (sce ligure ,-uq. As che l1urnber of Jissaris neJ nuclear natio ns illcrc:lses, the proh:lhility o( nuclear war also inereases, The prolifcratioll of ll\lcleH \Vcapolls is Il<)t lS dangerolls if rhey are held by satisficd llatiollS, as the pro!1ahilit y (Jf nuclear war will Ilor be changeJ, Howcvcr, sarisfIetion \Virh rhe qun mal' change as che dOl1linanr power ehanges, rhe srabiliry ()f rhe international sysrelll. Of J])()sr eOllccrn are rh ose narions rilar arc vcry di ss ati slied wirh the S!,lt llS quo. Givcll nuclear capabiliry, rhese nJt io ns uJnflier CH'JI ir J.Uc (Oses are C[]Orlllc)tls, Nuclear wea;olls reduce rhe likciihood of greal gi":;SJl lhc Cllofl1iiius casll<1irics il1\"()lved , bllt rhey do llor hy thcir Illcre lieter \!:ar. As the numhcr of Iluclear ll iHion s incrc:lses, rlte 11mhahiliry ()f ll11elc<H \Var .llso riscs. Terror crcates fcar but is nm suHiciellt ro prevent \Var <1mOllg Ilation s that desperatcly wi sh to changc thc quo , Intlccd , few dOllbt that if Israel were ro faee the possihiliry of Insing COIl venrionJI war, nucleM wca polls wOllld he ro dc/leet rhe CIICllly. Th l' mosr dangerolls sitliation occurs whcll such wcapolls .HC illtrodllccd illto highly elllltested arenas, Thus, if Irall lIld Irlll had h.ld ",eeess ro nuclear weapons during rbcir conllicr in rhe 19S0s, Pmver allti(iparcs rhar such weapollS wOllld ha ve beell useJ ro res olve the eontlict (see ligu rt., 3.4, p, 7I). If Hitler had had Iluclear wcapOIlS, Ihe)' likcly w()lIld h:lvc bCl'n used even if rhe Unitcd Stares haJ disclosed similar cap'lhilities. Thc diifcrence berwecn the classieal \'iew anJ rhe Power Tra nsit iol l ()f deterrence can bese be seen ullller eonditiol1S ()f lllutlJ asslII"cJ desrruetion. If this structural condirioll is 1Iltrast.lhlc. :1$ classiral dClerrcnL'c anJ halancc ()f !10wer eonrenJ , tltcn prolifer:u ion :leross hice.lrchies s holllJ rCSlIle in srahilii)'. ,\s a 1ll.1tter ()f poliey, lI11rlc:lf prol it a tiClIl

" :::: ...




.:. ,., .:.



L:.- ______ ______________ __

- -- - ---f )I\\,."

---- - \\'capoJls

- - -


:\'''1111>", uf N:llUI1' \\"illl

Figure 4.1:1


Trattsiliorl, [>rolifcratiorl, alld Nuclear War

shuuld pl'oceed tju ickly - ;ll1gmcntctl by tcellllologieal transfers - to assure rh :lt :1 scellrc second srrike is achicved promptly and universaJly. Speedy aeti Oll would :lvoid rhe insrahiliry assoei ated \Virh rhe balance uf terror and rhe tr'lllsitions rrolll IT1.l ssive rcrali,ltiol) ro Illurual assurcd Jesrrllctilln ,llld converscly. If (lile thc iUgUIllCIlt of elassical Jeterrenec, one mus! "I so logicall)' ;lrecpt universal prolifel':tr io ll uf lltKlc]f wearons ro ilchic ve FelV poliCYlll ilkc rs l1d agn:c\ble. \Ve hdieve (hac arc good r!tcoretieal rcaSUllS fu)' thcir skepricislll . In srrikillg eOllt rast, ['(\Ver Transition sees rhe proliferation of lluclear lVe:lpOIlS :lS j 1otc lllial tbllgn IJlldcr :111 cirClllllstalKes, alld as ;tn actuill d,lnger when diss,Hislied llatiollS <lcquirc surh eapahiliries anJ thrcatcll to ()ver(ake :1 sltished rival. I'owcr Transitioll :Hglles titar Iluclear dClcrrcllcc is ar bcst rC/lllOUS. Ilwlear :JsyIllIllCry, srabiflty C11I he IllillnraincJ hy iSt:HIIS Ullder nuclcar parir)', convenrional overrakillg by:l diss:i't1Shcd dl,dlengcr e,111 Ic\d tu warY Ulllike rhe elassieal de rcrrc llCc .lrgurnem Ihat eOllncCIS pC;lce wirh a scellrc sC)lld-srrikc capah iliry, I\jwcr Trallsirioll ,lsscrrs Ihar lludcar WC;lpons sylllmetry, rOlllbillcd \Virh pariry of eOllvenliOllal IVC:lpons, grC:1r1y illCfcaSl'S rhe probahility (lf \Var, 1'-H->lif,,["Irioll hy is ex In fan, ;111 prolifera!ioll is dcsI;ll>ilil.ing. !:Vl'll:lllvOl::W)' '-01' selecrivc prolit'cr.ltiOIl to sarisf-ied lS IIrit:lin, Fr:lIKl', (Ir Is-


l'owr;R TllANSIfIONS



staWS quo. Ir rllat its .


shlc:hJ shoulJ be

$ \


8 The World to Come

We shall see strange things befare ,ve die. Dare ,ve guess al what they will be? - A.F.K. ORGANSKI
The State of the World Power Transition theory is one the mesr powerful intellectual tools for policymakers to understand the dynamics of world politics in this century. Unlike other rheories, ie captures both che strucmre and the dynamcs of rhe internacional system. This characrerstie permits policymakers to anticipate events that muse be managed in world polities. This theory has chree lInique characteristies. It has a strong empirical base that has been sllbjeceed to rigorous testing against twO centuries' \\'orth oE data . lts theoretical description of the world is eonsiseent with real political events and policies. And it provides insighrs ineo rhe future rhat can guide polieymakers in their international management roles. With brcadth and versatilicy, Power Transition accounts equally well for borh World Wars, the Cold War, and the posc-Cold War era. It is applicable ro the prenuclear and nuclear ages. It merges economic and securiry facrors imo one argumento Ir is a general rheory of world politics that forms rhe basis of a grand stracegy. Power Transition theory describes rhe. international system as a hierarehy based on power. Atop chis hierarchy sics the domin ant power, which organizes the global status quo. This status quo is the combined pattern of economic, military, and orher interactions by which rhe members of the international sysrem come ineo contac t wirh one another. Wthin the global hierarchy so me sta tes associate with and are benefited by their relations hip to rhe d011linant power. Others, diss<lrisfied wirh their role and share of benefirs in rhe system, seek ro alter the status quo. The power hierarchy of the international system is dynamic. Sta tes grow ae different rates, thereby altering their relative positions in rhe hierarc hy. Th e relationship berween the dominant power and other COllntries, satisfied and dissatisfied, is in flux. From time to time a challenger manages ro ove rtake the dominant power. If this challenger emerges from the ranks of che dissatisfied, che probability of war rises sharply. SlIch wars are likely ro be both severe and long, but rhey are rare events. If the challen ge r emerges victorioLls, the international system is altered t ts benehr.

In rhe alternativc, if rhe challenger emerges from the ranks of rhe satisfied, cooperation prevails and rhe status quo is maintained without conflicto The argllrnents we ha ve made in chis book demonstrate rhe versatility of Power Transition rheory to address not only global bllt also regional eoneerns. Ar rhe global level, ir offered an effective guide, in retrospect, for the management of relations between the Uriited Srates and USSR in the Cold War era. Today ir is a useful rool for undecstanding rhe cornplexty of fucure U.S.-Chinese interactions, as well as those nvolving NATO, Europe, and India. After the collapse of rhe Soviet Unjon, policymakers refocused attention on and elevated the ill1ponance of regional politics. In chis environll1ent of heightened sensirivity ro regi onal concerns, Power Transition theory outlines when and where regional conflicts are likely ro oecur, offers ill1plicarions abour the interaction between great and regional powers, and addresses questions of interventioll, resolution of confliet, and the diffusion of war. International economics has assumed a more important role in relation to securty concerns. Some analysts even argue that eeo nomics have become rhe coin of national security.1 Power Transirion cheory provides tools to understand interaction between stares competing over economic concerns or security concerns or both . The rheory outlines the conditions conducive to economic and security integration while establishing the predicate for continuity oE the prevailing intern ational regill1e. While the reduetion in tensions between the United States and Russia has diminished concerns about deterrence, the problems raised by nuclear proliferation have been elevated. Power Transition argues rhar deterrence is unstable. It also te!ls us that proliferarion is extraordinarily dangerous beca use during an overtak ing by a dissatisfied state, nuclear weapons may be used. That is why the theory recommends rhat so much emphasis be placed 011 blocking the proliferarion of nuclear weapons. Turnng from what the theory says to how we can use it, we see that the United States, as the dominant power, continlles ro manage the international sysrem. Therefore, we musr understand what strategies wil! ensure peace and stabiliry in this century. The United Srates has followed a suecessfu I strategy in Europe by eneouraging dem ocraey and integrarion. Power Transition theory views ElIrther NATO and EU integration into Eastern Europe as a beneficial achievement, provided it does not preclude Russia from also joining this system. A long-term extension of this strategy includes the incorporation of China, an d rhen India, into the U.S.-Ied alliance system. The consequence oE rhat wOllld be the crearon of an ultrastable superbloc of sa tisfied sta tes holding a vast preponderance of power. An all-encompassing superbloc may be impossble ro achieve. China oc India could very we!1 decide 011 l more independent course of action. [n this circumst:1IlCl". thp I fn,r",1 .. .. C.. II .




permanenr members of the Secllrit}' Coul1cil wil! be changed ro more closely approximate the size of their poplllations, making for a sort of "one person, one voce" system with procected rights and a satisfied internacional community. Ths would resemble a democraric system predicated upon great powe r peace where all nations wou:d share cammon goals and values. Until thar lItopian period, international politics will continue to unfold as in the past. Although drama tic change in the international system is possible, itis premarure to assume an "end of histor)''' 01' a fundamental redefinirion o the nature of power. Natio ns wi11 continue to grow and contract, continually changing their powe r relationships ro oue another. International insticutions should reflect these changing realities of power.

it can attempr ro manage sarisfacron by encouraging China to identify with ex istlng internacional norms. The management of satisfaction requres che reducti on of territorial flashpoints, che adoption of marker eeonomies, and the expansion of democracy. If chis strategy fails, America should attempt ro realgn che international power discrbucion into the U.S.-EuropeanRU$sian superbloc varianc described in chaprer 6. This would increase its pool of resources and ensure sufficiem preponderance to postpone a future Asin n challenger.

World Institutional Structures Though imperfect in many respeccs, cbe United Nations is the best approximarion a vai lable of an institution chat can help manage rhe global status quo. Te was created to reflect che power hierarchy in place at the end of World War TI. The permanent members of the Security Council were, as chey should have been, the nacions wieh the most power in the global hierarchy. The dissatsfied, defeated narions were exc1uded. The postwar perod was dominated by supporters of the s(atus quo, wirh the exception of the USSR, which des pite its dissacisfaction had a voice and a veto in the Security Council. The institution has evolved modestly over time, reflecting some of che changes in the global hierarchy driven by endogenous growth. China 's replacement of Taiwan as a permanent member o the Securty Council was a long overdue recogniron of the power herarchy, To be effective, however, the Security Council permanent membership should represent the changing power hierarchy rather rhan a mirror on che pase. The composition of the Security Coul1cil should reflect actual power distributions. This wOllld help create widespread acceptance of SeCOlIlKil C\ctiollS. American preponderance over decision making in the Security Coul1cil accurately reflects che current hierarchy of power, with the U.S. coalition represented by the United Sta tes, Unired Kingdom, <llld Fr.\nct' . But chis arrallgemenr canl10t lasr. The continued exclllsion of Germany and Japan weakens the institution. Given che current global hierarchy, eirher Germany or the EU should be represenred. So shollld Japan. As India alld, in the disrant fmure, afher narions such as Brazil gain power, these tOO should be represented in che Security Counei!. Expansion, hwever, has its limits. Britain and France are likely candidates for exclusion as the EU gains direct representation,l An even bolder and more speculative conclusion would follow if democracy spreads to a11 che major regions of the world a t the sarue time that nacional economies converge. Then the types of policies selected by the dominant naton will be lInivers all y accepted by the international systemo Endogenolls grO\vth implies convergence in rhe per-capita economic groweh rate of countries. As chis convergence becomes global, somewhere far in(O the furure, it i5 possible to speculate that rhe yotng power of the

Global and Regional Hierarchies

Interactons within and between che global and regio nal hierarchies will determine che level of international conflict in the future . Once Asian states such as China or India establish cheir preponderance, che probability of further power transitions at the global level wi11 diminish dramatcally. The reason is that these Asian states have slIch enormous popu lations chat no contenders will be able to overrake them. The only chance for power transitions after Chinese or lnclian dominance is established will be if integrat ion creates new "super" cOllntries 01' if che Chinese or Indian states suffer disintegration along che lines oE rhe collapse of th Soviet Union. In the meantime, transitions within regional hierarchies are inevitable. Conflicc will shifr, we believe, from the global to the regional arena, If this assumption proves correet, then grear powerwar participarion will be characterized mainly by ntervention in regional conflicts. An important issue for consickration is how rhc ClIrrcnt dominant powcr can seabilize regions in order to a vod great po\ver nrerventon . Whar can a dominant nation do ro increase regional stabili ty? Power Transition slIggests thar che dominanr nation's central concern is rhe promotion of stabliry and sarisfaction at the global leve!. This will be cOlllplemenred by stability within l'egions. A globally dominant nation interested in regional stability should see k the suppo rr of the local dominant nation and continue that relarions hip for as long as the local power's preponderance is assured. By such action, the dominanr nacion reinforces regional peace and stabliry. Assllming the new local dominant nation is not an opponent of the global status quo, when a regional power cransition rakes place, the global dominanr nation should consider a shift in strategy and support the rising ehallenger after the overtaking has been completed. Such aCtiOIl willlimit the probability rhar war would agan be waged within the regional hierarchy. A concurrent goal of the globally domnant nacion is ro actan support fl'om the regional dominant nation for rhe global status qua. The findings




United Kingdom


regarding the democratic pea ce suggest thar nations with similar regimes sharply reduce rheir willingness ro wage war,J Authoritarian regimes are also less likely ro fight each other than are mixed dyads. 4 Power Transi,ion Sllggests that domestc regime coordinaron leads ro rhe emergence of similar attitudes towards che glohal status quo ,.\ The fundamental point is ,har to preserve sCilbility, che global dominilnt nation shollld seek out potemial alIies the domil1< 1nt states of each l'egol1, and work ro o'eate common COllcerns wirh each,

11'1 1

Future Hierarchies
The global hierarchy o rhe fmure may look startlingly different. New dominant powers will emerge, and they may refashion rhe international system in unfamiliar ways, The loclls of power is moving tO Asia, the land of new challengers. We cannot sal' for sure if the transfer of power wil! be peaeeful 01' violent, but we can see rhe outlines, the shadows, of che primar)' events through the lens of Powel' Transition theary. Figure 8.1 traces the international syscem from the year 1900 and projeets ir through rhe end of this century. Thefigure iIlustrates how hierarchies change over time. The eansequenees of these changes account far che most signifieant events in international polities.

United States Russia/USSR

" 1 '1

I i

Figure 8.2 The Global Hierarchy in the World Wars Period



World Wars Period

,1 r:


Cold War Period,



Post-Cold War Period



'j i

Alternative A: U,S, Superbloc Chma



ti ,;,1

Figure 8.1 Evolution of the Global Hierarchy

The century began with a period of intense competirion where global wars dominated international interactions. In the second period, the Cold War threatened humanity, but American preponderance precluded the cacastrophes associated wirh the two previous World Wars. We eurrently stand at the beginning of the post-Cold War era, a period of time striking in that ir has nor yet been given its own name. Sorne have suggested the Informaton Age, others the Second American Century.Whatever name is attached ro this time, American preponderance continues ro ensure rhe absence of global war. But this period will not last forever. If a dissatisfied China threatens to overtake the United Staees, we can expect ro see precursor eonditions similar to rhe Cold War. With a successful challenge, a dissatisfied China would undoubtedly estabJish a new world order. Looking ae the evolution of che global hierarchy in more derai!, the World Wars period depictedin figure 8.2 was dominated by the United Kingdam. But the British-Ied global hierarchy was not managed effectiveJy. The failure to create a sarisf1ed Germany or to construct a eohesive prewar alliance to derer Germany led ro World Wars 1 and JI. Perhaps che most serious mistake was rhe failure ro integrate ehe Unired Sta tes ineo active defense of rhe status qua prior to the ourbreak oE hosrilicies. British exhaustion cOllpled with the tremendous growth in American relative power





United States

Unied States





USSR k'/ /

Figure 8.3 The Global Hierarchy in the Cold Wal' Period


Figure 8.4 The Global Hierarchy in the Post-Cold War Period

Icd ro the emcrgence of the United States as che dominant power of the internarional system in che nexr periodo In contrnst with Greac Bricain's failure following World War 1, the Unired Sr:Hes transformed Germany and Japan ineo democracies after \XIorld War Il, removing potemial challengers from che system described in figure 8.3. China and the USSR remained outside of the satisfied intern::Hional coalirion, resulting in a prorracted Cold War. The United Sta tes responded ro che Sino-Soviet rift by taking the firsr steps eo engage China and thereby attempt to reduce its dissatisfaction. Similar initiatives were directed roward the Soviet Union during dtente. The preponderance of NATO, combined with these U.S. initiatives to engage potential opponents, stabilized the internarional system. The Cold War period ended abruptly as che pressures of competition with the U.S.-NATO alliance exposed the weaknesses of the Soviet s)'stem and revealed the hielden reality of American preponderance. Thc collapse of the Soviet Union rescructured the U.S.-led international system (figure 8.4) bllt, unlike che case of the British-Ied system at century's dawn, did not reduce its srability. Given ics enormous relarive ncrease in power leading to rhe establishment of preponderance, the United Sta tes now should move to integrate Russia into the internacional economic cornmunity and nto NATO. This is nor b.lsed on Russa's current GDP, rhe size of a small European narion,

but on the expectation that Russia, des pite a diminished populaton, wil! resume its place on rhe growrh curve within a decade or two. The United States also should expand its program oE external constructive engagement and "internal realgnmcnt" with China . If these initiatives succeed, the srabiliry of the cllrrent system \Viii be ensured within chis hierarchy for che fiest halE oE this cenru ry and perha ps beyond .

The Next International Period

The future srructure of che global hierarchy will be determined largely by the conrinued economic expansion of rhe great powers. As endogenous growth fosters convergence in the growth oE per-capita economic output, rhe size of a nation 's population will ultimately ser tbe lim on the size oE its econorny. Each of the nexr tluee figures adjust rhe size oE each continenr based 011 the share of rhe particular resource foclIsed on. Figure 8.5 (p. 190) displays each continent's share oE world dernographic resources.6 Asia is clearly preponderant in terrns of popularion. The dcamatic difference in rhe demographic bases of each conrinenr sers the foundaron for the next global hierarchy. As per-capira growth rates converge, Asia wilJ ha ve no rivals for its preeminence in world poltics. Despice rhe wide disparity in popularions, the global distriburion of wealth favors the West. Figure 8.6 (p. 190) illustrates the current world shares of GDP for each continent.7 Today, the Western alliance of Eucope

--;. ,..


Figure 8.5 Currcnt WOl'ld Population Sharcs Figure 8.7 Mid-Century World GDP Shares

Figurc 8.6 Currcnt World GDP Sharcs

and North America is economically preponderant over che Asian region . Because of this preponderance, the Uniced States is the unrivaled global leader. It is not surprising to find rhat ir has assembled the most powerful coalition in SlIpport of che scatus quo. According to che model of endogcnous growth, che distribution of the world's economic resources will shifc over time. The majority of the world's wealth will shift to Asia as per-capita GDP converges. Figure 8.7 forecasts the world shares of CDP in che middle of chis cenrury.8 Given ts dramacic advantage in popularion resources, Asia shollId hold a larger share of GDP ,han boch Europe and Noreh America combined. The global hierarchy needs to aceommodate (hese changes in the diseribution of power. The issue is not wherher a eransition will occur, bue

wherher ir wil! be peaceful or conflicruaL The goal of U.S. policymakers should be ro foster a peaceful power transieion rhat incorporares the Asian power center into the exiscing status quo. If such cfforrs fail, rhe probabiliry of a global war increases dramarically. A number oE srructural arrangements are possible in che twenry-first century. Speeifically, [WO ideal types represent opposire ends of the spectrum of possible hierarchies, the U.S.-led superbloc in figure 8.8 (p. 192) and Creater China in figure 8.9. There are many possible types in between, but these [WO define rhe range. The first scenario, wherein the United Sta tes can gready .ncrease ies power by expanding NATO into a superbloc via incorporarion of Russia, China, and India, is iJlusrrared in figure 8.8. In a U.S.-led superbloc, aH members of che hierarchy have been persuaded to be part of a common international eoalition, where democracy and the markerplace are rhe distinguishing features. These are central because they are the goals of rhe current dominant power. Consrrucring a superbloc in which bloc members are encouraged or peacefully persuaded to adopr these goals wiIl produce a sysrem in which aIl are satisfied. This distinguishes this scenario from the strategy of hostiliry and appeasemenr followed by the previous dominant power in rhe 1930s. In rhar case, rhe British failed to bring the German chaJlengers into agreement wirh ther goals. The greatest tragedy may be thar che British simulraneously failed to coostruer a superbloc with rhe United states, a country available because ir generally shared Brirish goals and preferences. The prepooderant superbloc system io figure 8.8 is ultrasrable. American leadership of this superbloc would be expecred for decades to come. However, given demographic trends, che mosr powerful member of che superbloc late in this century is likely to be either China or India. This





u.s. Superbloc

India Russia

Figure 8.8 Alternative A: The Global Hierarchy under a U.S.-Ied Superbloc

will make the superbloc an Asian-Ied alliance, but one chat has been conditioned ro be consistent with American interests. At rhe opposite end of the spectrum, illuscrared in figure 8.9, we find a dissatisfied China imposing a very different internacional order. [n this scenario, China ovenakes rhe United 5rares as its coalition proves stronger rhan that of the s3tisfied sta tes. This raises che prospecrs for global war. China can establish chis new hierarchical order, but in so doing it has to supplant the U.S.-escablished global status quo. Power Transition theory implies rhar rhe mcans by which a dissacisfied China would impose a new starus quo is through war against the United States and ies allies. SuccessfuJly besting che United 5tares would establish China as the dominant power. The threat ro China rhen would be an eventual challenge by India, perhaps in alignmenr wirh another emerging power, for argument's sake, a resurgent Russia. The fundamental resulr of rhis hierarchical analysis is rhar in war or peace Asia eventually emerges as the center of the international system with an Asian srare as rhe dominant power. While rhe ultimare outcome of Asia's emergence is inevitable, the alternate paths ro that future are very distinct. Which course is followed is, t a substantial degree, in the hands of U.5. decision makers today. Every dominant power eventually passes rhe mande of leadership co anorher. The prudenrial dominant power makes sure that this transition occurs on its own terms.


lslamic Bloc

Resurgent Russia
Figure 8.9 Alternative B: The Global Hierarchy under China

_ _ _ _ . _