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Coercion, Survival, and WarWhy Weak States Resist the United States$
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Phil Haun

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804792837

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804792837.001.0001

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The United States versus Iraq

The United States versus Iraq

The Gulf and Iraq Wars

(p.49) 4 The United States versus Iraq
Coercion, Survival, and War

Phil Haun

Stanford University Press

This chapter considers two crises between the United States and Iraq. In the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War, the United States adopted coercive strategies which threatened the survival of Saddam’s regime and the Iraqi state. These crises test the limits for what coercion can achieve and examine the tradeoffs between coercive and brute force strategies. In both crises, U.S. administrations chose coercive strategies they did not intend to have succeed in order to then implement the brute force strategies they preferred. These two crises thus provides insight into the key questions addressed by this book as to why the United States so often chooses coercion, why coercion so often fails as weak states resist, and, knowing this, why the U.S decision makers still prefer coercive strategies.

Keywords:   Gulf War, Iraq War, brute force, coercion, economic sanctions, war, casus bellum

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