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Stephen Holmes on Power - Dictionary of Arguments

Krastev I 113
Power/war/Krastev/Holmes: According to a remarkable Harvard study, the weaker side in asymmetric wars
waged between 1800 and 1849 achieved their strategic goals only 12 per cent of the time. (Researchers measure 'strength' by number of soldiers and magnitude of firepower.) In the wars that erupted between 1950 and 1998, by contrast, the weaker side prevailed a startling 55 per cent of the time.(1)
Explanation: The explanation most commonly given for this ascendancy of the weak is that, especially in the second half of the twentieth century, the less powerful side need not defeat or destroy its enemy but only hold out, usually on home turf. It need merely sabotage the gears of the enemy machine and wait for a nominally superior adversary to lose its appetite for the conflict. Not the conqueror, therefore, but the thwarter seems to be, for the moment, the signature figure of modern war. >Policy of Russia/Krastev.


1. Moisés Naim, The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be (Basic Books, 2013).


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

LawHolm I
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
The Common Law Mineola, NY 1991

Krastev I
Ivan Krastev
Stephen Holmes
The Light that Failed: A Reckoning London 2019


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