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INTL4260_Jan29 - Tuesday Fieron If actors were entirely...

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 Fieron If actors were entirely rational, there would be few wars because the actors would agree upon the ending results. o Then why do we see conflict/war if actors do not compromise? Rational leaders will fight wars even when compromise is possible. (Gains of winning) +/- (gains of losing) - costs [resolve] o $100 ( .5 x 100 ) + ( .5 x 0 ) – 20 = 30 (expected value) o On average, if both sides fight, they will only get $30 o Is it rational for them to try to negotiate? Yes (31 , 69) (69 , 31) Fieron argues that it’s rational to go to war and not compromise o One or both actors don’t have perfect information expected values mess up Mistakes about relative power Probability of winning o Overestimating how strong you are Ex: Saddam Hussein thought they could defend against U.S. Ex: Bush believed Rumsfeld’s “Shock and Awe” would work, the civilians would become new Iraqis, and want democracy If both sides overestimate: ( .8 x 100 ) + ( 0 – 20 ) = 60 (expected value)
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