Author's note: The author thanks John Mueller, Theresa Sabonis-Helf and Roy Stafford for comments, and Erica Prenzlow and Albert Bejo for research assistance. The views expressed here are those of the author and not the National Defense University, the National War College, or any other agency of the U.S. Government.
Explaining Wars of Choice: An Integrated Decision Model of NATO Policy in Kosovo
Version of Record online: 29 JUL 2004
International Studies Quarterly
Volume 48, Issue 3, pages 631–662, September 2004
How to Cite
Auerswald, D. P. (2004), Explaining Wars of Choice: An Integrated Decision Model of NATO Policy in Kosovo. International Studies Quarterly, 48: 631–662. doi: 10.1111/j.0020-8833.2004.00318.x
- Issue online: 29 JUL 2004
- Version of Record online: 29 JUL 2004
This study explains the behavior of democratic states during wars of choice using an integrated decision model. Integrated models are an attractive choice for explaining multifaceted decisions, particularly when simpler, existing theories have an uneven or only partial ability to explain conflict behavior. To illustrate these points, this study assesses the behavior of key NATO members during the 1999 intervention in Kosovo. I compare the behavior of France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and the U.S. with the expectations of theories of collective action, balance of threat neorealism, public opinion, and government institutional structures. As an alternative, I introduce a simple, integrated, decision-making model that incorporates the core concepts from the other explanations in a staged, conditional manner. The integrated model does a better job of explaining state behavior in Kosovo than do existing theories. The integrated model also is applicable to other conflicts. The results of this study, and the potential of integrated models, have implications for our thinking about foreign policy analysis, for behavior during military interventions and the fight against terrorism, and for future U.S. leadership of alliance and coalition war efforts.