The Fungibility of Force

The Fungibility of Force - Reading 10 Poli 244 Fungibility...

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Fungibility of Force, Robert Art Wednesday, September 23, 2009 Introduction - There are two fundamental reasons why military power remains more essential to statecraft than is commonly thought - First , in an anarchic realm, force is integral to political interaction. Foreign policy cannot be divorced from military power - Second , force is fungible. It can be used for a wide variety of tasks and across different policy domains; it can be employed for both military and non-military purposes Power Assets: Comparisons and Confusions - Force is integral to statecraft because international politics in anarchic Comparing Power Assets - The power assets a state owns include: population, geography, governance, values, wealth, leadership, and military power - Of all these assets, wealth and political skill look to be the most versatile, geography and governance the least versatile, because both are more in the nature of givens that set the physical and political context within which the other assets operate; values and population are highly variable, depending on the content of the values and on the education and skill of the populace, and military power lies somewhere between wealth and skill on the one hand, and geography and governance on the other hand, but closer to the former than to the latter - The three most fungible power assets are wealth, political skill, and military power - Economic Wealth has the highest fungibility because it is the easiest to convert into money, which in turn can buy things. Wealth is also integral to military power - Political Skill is second. Skilled political operators are ones who can operate well in different policy realism because they have mastered the techniques of persuasion and influence. One who can lead in many different policy areas - Military Power is third. It possesses versatility because force is integral to politics, even when states are at peace. Greater amount of it increase its fungibility
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The Fungibility of Force - Reading 10 Poli 244 Fungibility...

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