A Theory of Battlefield Performance in Modern War
This chapter argues for a causal connection between (rising) military inequality and (declining) battlefield performance. It does so by first exploring the nature and severity of ethnic inequalities within political communities before detailing how exposure to state policies can affect soldier beliefs and actions. Next, the chapter considers how military commanders, aware of possible issues arising from inequality, adopt a mixture of four strategies to manage soldiers from suspect populations. The chapter then examines how these strategies induce trade-offs between combat power and cohesion that actually undermine battlefield performance. Finally, the chapter considers how enemy actions can intensify these internal contradictions and trade-offs before concluding with a discussion of how several of the arguments' core assumptions can be relaxed.
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