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Secret Wars$
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Austin Carson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181769

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181769.001.0001

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The Emergence of Covert Warfare

The Emergence of Covert Warfare

(p.75) 3 The Emergence of Covert Warfare
Secret Wars

Austin Carson

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes the confluence of political, technological, and social changes that prompted the emergence of covert military intervention as an escalation-control technique. It lays the foundation for assessing how more recent political and technological changes, such as cyberwarfare and drones, influence the covert sphere. In particular, this chapter highlights the special role of World War I. It conceptualizes the Great War as a critical juncture that dramatized the dangers of large-scale war escalation and accelerated political, social, and technological developments that influenced escalation control. These changes sharpened the problem of escalation control by making leaders more vulnerable to hawkish domestic constraints and making intentions about limited war harder to discern. Yet it also made possible new ways of using military force anonymously through, for example, the development of airpower. World War I prompted major powers to experiment with ways of limiting war; this included manipulation of the form of external military intervention.

Keywords:   World War I, Great War, limiting war, escalation control, covert military intervention, cyberwarfare, drones, war escalation, military force, airpower

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