William Spaniel, author of Game Theory 101: The Complete Textbook, returns with a compelling exploration of the origins of war. Using the same crystal clear logic of the Game Theory 101 series, he investigates important questions about war, including:
- Can two perfectly intelligent, perfectly unbiased leaders still send their countries to war with each other?
- Why has Iran taken its nuclear program underground (literally)?
- Why did the United States--the clear victors of the Spanish-American War--nevertheless write a check for more than $500 million to make Spain surrender?
- Why do most interstate wars end in peaceful compromise and not the military defeat of one side?
- Why do virtually all civil wars end the opposite way, and what makes the few peacefully settled civil wars different from the rest?
- How do nuclear weapons--humanity's deadliest creations--paradoxically keep the peace?
- Why is war the worst possible outcome of a crisis negotiation?
- What is the difference between preventive and preemptive war, and why on earth does the media use these terms interchangeably?
- Why are states as trustworthy as poker players at the bargaining table?
- Why do states willingly pick fights with stronger opponents and yet pacify weaker opponents? William Spaniel answers these questions by constructing game theoretical models of crisis bargaining. Fully illustrated, with more than 100 images, The Rationality of War will make you rethink everything you "know" about political violence. As consumers and producers of war, it is a must read for any citizen of a liberal democracy.
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