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Jonathan Renshon, "Why Leaders Choose War: The Psychology of Prevention"
Praeger Security International General Interest-Cloth | 2006-05-30 | ISBN: 0275990850 | 240 pages | PDF | 1,6 MB

There have been preventive wars throughout history, but the motivations behind them have remained elusive, and many crucial questions remain unanswered. What exactly constitutes preventive action? What differentiates preventive action from pre-emptive action? Are there significant differences between preventive strikes and full-on preventive wars? What is the relationship of preventive action to traditional concepts of deterrence, compellence, and international law? Finally, why do states initiate preventive action? Renshon argues that the best avenue for understanding decisions to initiate preventive action is through a close examination of the individual leader responsible for such decisions. He examines five situations to pinpoint the factors that matter most in decisions to take preventive military action-or not.

British action in the Suez Canal Crisis, 1956 Israel's strike on Iraq's nuclear reactor, 1981 American preventive war planning, 1946-1954 Indian preventive war planning, 1982-2002 America's preventive war against Iraq, 2003 In each instance, preventive action was seriously considered, and yet it only occurred in three of the five cases. In the end, each case provides further evidence that individual leadership matters--nowhere more so than in decisions involving preventive war.

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