The Diversionary Effects of War Research Paper by Nicky

An in-depth research paper to explore how wars have been used as a diversionary force by US presidents.
# 145574 | 5,798 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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The paper explores the literature to determine whether diversionary war has been used by US presidents to distract the public opinion and the masses from other political issues. The paper first researches the key questions that scholars have attempted to answer in the past, then how the field's understanding of the issue has changed over time, and finally, the key disagreements on this topic. The paper shows how there is little agreement on the actual elements which define the notion of diversionary war. The paper reaches the conclusion that the topic must be the subject of further research.

From the Paper:

"Baker's framing of the notion of diversionary war reflects in fact the idea agreed by most of those who support the notion of diversionary war as a political tool by relating it to the public and the public approval as the most important aspect for the president in offices. It is easy to note that the three lines of thought, more or less, are related to the acceptance of the presidency, be it on the domestic scene (the first and partially the second case) or the international scene (the third case). Therefore, it can be said that one element which is defining for the idea of "diversionary war" is its strict connection with both the domestic policy and the international one."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baker, William D.. "The Dog That Won't Wag: Presidential Uses of Force and the Diversionary Theory of War" Strategic Insights, Volume III, Issue 5 (May 2004).
  • Clausewitz, Carl Von. On War.. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984
  • Hendrickson, Ryan. "Clinton's Military strikes in 1998: diversionary uses of force?" In Armed Forcea &Society, vol. 28, no. 2. Winter 2002, pp 309-332.
  • James, Patrick and John R. Oneal, "The Influence of Domestic and International Politics on the President's Use of Force," Journal of Conflict Resolution 35 (1991): 307-332.
  • Levy, Jack. "The Diversionary Theory of War: A Critique" in Handbook of War Studies, Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

The Diversionary Effects of War (2010, November 16) Retrieved February 05, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Diversionary Effects of War" 16 November 2010. Web. 05 February. 2023. <>