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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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(p.283) 8 Conclusion
Secret Wars

Austin Carson

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes the key empirical findings and address extension of the basic argument to cyberconflict and violence within states (i.e., civil wars, terrorism). A consistent theme of the book is that the backstage of war sometimes features direct combat encounters by outside powers that were publicly understood to have avoided such entanglements. The chapter then presents a brief case study of a post-Cold War conflict: the Iranian covert weapons supply program during the U.S. occupation of Iraq (2003–2011). The U.S. occupation of Iraq and the Iranian covert intervention that followed suggest the links between limited war, covertness, and collusion continue to be relevant. Though conclusions about the case are necessarily preliminary, the chapter reviews this conflict to illustrate how the claims of the theory travel to a more recent case. It also addresses questions about the initial choice to intervene, mistakes and exploitation, and the possible implications of social media and leaks in the contemporary era. It concludes by discussing the implications of secrecy's role in escalation control for policy and scholarship.

Keywords:   cyberconflict, violence, civil wars, terrorism, direct combat, Iranian covert intervention, Iraq occupation, social media, secrecy, covertness, post-Cold War conflict

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