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Five Questions

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At the Diplomat, I ruminate on some parallels…

In short order, the United States may go to war against Syria in order to send a message about the use of chemical munitions. I’ve written many times in this space about the difficulty of sending clear messages in international relations; there are always concerns about how to read notes delivered by artillery and cruise missile. I recently finished Stuart Goldman’s book on the Nomonhan incident, the decisive battle in the undeclared war between Japan and the Soviet Union in 1939. While the two incidents differ enormously in context and scope, there are some important parallels with regard to how states use military action to communicate.  I’ve broken these parallels down into five questions:

See also this on questions about the motivation for using chemical weapons.

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