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Preventive Attack and Offense-Defense Theory: A Study on the Role of Military Strategy and Technology

Park,Jun-hyuk 1

1육군본부

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Most theories of war have paid too much attention to preventive attack cases between major powers, but paid too little attention to ones between major and minor powers and ones between minor powers.Taking this problem into account, the purpose of this paper is to offer a better theory,a complementary theory, than other theories of war, such as power transition theory and the existing version of offense-defense theory, in order to explain not only the probabilities of victory and deterrence related to preventive attack cases between great powers and minor powers but ones between minor powers. This paper argues that offense-defense theory of military strategy and technology is a better theory to explain effectively than the probabilities of victory and deterrence by preventive attack. In particular, this revised version of offense-defense theory suggested in this paper provides military strategy as another important factor because understanding offensive and defensive action and probabilities of victory and deterrence between opponents is not possible by looking only at offensive or defensive military technology, that is, the offensive or defensive character of particular weapons systems; it should be comprehensively analyzed by taking into account the combination of military strategy and military technology. As a new variable supplementing the existing version of offense-defense theory, military strategy is important especially in a weaker target state's defense because an effective defensive strategy can offset the target state's weaker defensive capability, which has inferior military technologies,compared to those of a stronger potential attacking state; it increases the probabilities of deterrence of preventive attack. On the other hand, an effective offensive strategy can increase a potential attacking state's ability to successfully executea preventive attack on a target state, even though it lacks advanced offensive military technologies; it increases the probabilities of preventive attack, including its possibilities of victory.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.