Functions of Force

Functions of Force - .Art Thesis: ,andthepower/

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“The Four Functions of Force” by Robert J. Art Thesis: analyse the various forms under which force can be utilized. It’s important to note that the author is using a realist framework with which to build his case.  Assumptions he is making revolve around relative power versus absolute power, and the power/ glory/security-seeking behaviour of states. States are also the only actor spoken of in the text,  as the functions only relate to inter-state relations in an anarchic system. Defense The purpose of this function of force is to ward off or minimize the damage caused by a rival  state’s attack. It can either be reactive (retaliation against invading forces) or proactive. (first  strike to neutralize enemy’s capability to attack). - Preemptive first strike: Performed under the imminent threat of attack by a rival (days,  perhaps weeks before they attack), this attack may not be as well planned as other  offensives but is deemed unavoidable. - Preventative first strike: Seen under the context of inevitable conflict, (months, perhaps  even years before the danger) the state moves to attack before their rival can bring  about the capabilities to threaten them. The targets of defensive actions are generally the enemy’s military forces, with secondary  targets involving the industrial capacity necessary to wage war. Civilians are not targeted except  as collateral damage.
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