By Dominic D. P. Johnson
Opponents infrequently visit battle with out pondering they could win--and in actual fact, one aspect has to be incorrect. This conundrum lies on the middle of the so-called "war puzzle": rational states should still agree on their adjustments in energy and hence now not struggle. yet as Dominic Johnson argues in Overconfidence and War, states are not any extra rational than humans, who're at risk of exaggerated principles in their personal advantage, in their skill to manage occasions, and of the long run. through this bias--called "positive illusions"--as it figures in evolutionary biology, psychology, and the politics of overseas clash, this e-book bargains compelling insights into why states salary war.
Johnson strains the consequences of confident illusions on 4 turning issues in twentieth-century background: that erupted into struggle (World warfare I and Vietnam); and that didn't (the Munich trouble and the Cuban missile crisis). studying the 2 wars, he exhibits how optimistic illusions have filtered into politics, inflicting leaders to overestimate themselves and underestimate their adversaries--and to hotel to violence to settle a clash opposed to unreasonable odds. within the Munich and Cuban missile crises, he exhibits how lessening confident illusions might let leaders to pursue peaceable solutions.
The human tendency towards overconfidence could have been favourite by way of typical choice all through our evolutionary heritage as a result of benefits it conferred--heightening wrestle functionality or enhancing one's skill to bluff an opponent. And but, as this booklet suggests--and because the fresh clash in Iraq bears out--in the trendy global the implications of this evolutionary legacy are almost certainly lethal.
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OVERCONFIDENCE AND WAR: The Havoc and Glory of Positive Illusions by Dominic D. P. Johnson