By Yuen Foong Khong
From global battle I to Operation wasteland typhoon, American policymakers have time and again invoked the "lessons of heritage" as they meditated taking their state to conflict. Do those old analogies really form coverage, or are they essentially instruments of political justification? Yuen Foong Khong argues that leaders use analogies no longer purely to justify guidelines but in addition to accomplish particular cognitive and information-processing initiatives necessary to political decision-making. Khong identifies what those initiatives are and indicates how they are often used to give an explanation for the U.S. selection to intrude in Vietnam. hoping on interviews with senior officers and on lately declassified files, the writer demonstrates with a precision now not attained by means of prior reviews that the 3 most crucial analogies of the Vietnam era--Korea, Munich, and Dien Bien Phu--can account for America's Vietnam offerings. a unique contribution is the author's use of cognitive social psychology to help his argument approximately how people analogize and to give an explanation for why policymakers usually use analogies poorly.
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Extra resources for Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965
Indeed, in each case, I also document how detractors tried to point out the flaws of those analogies. I join these detractors only in part 3 of this work, where I point to differences between historical situations obscured by the analogies policymakers used and explain why those differences mattered. " To argue that the Munich analogy influenced the Vietnam decisions of 1965, one would need to show two things. First, that the analogy was very much on the minds of the central decision-makers and that it was used at important junctures in the policy process.
Beliefs, the investigator deduces what implications they have for decision. If the characteristics of the decision are consistent with the actor's beliefs, there is at least a presumption that the beliefs may have played a causal role in this particular instance of decision-making. 47 Establishing congruence is merely the first step toward showing that beliefs may have played a causal role. George worries about spurious consistency and overly causal imputation of cause and effect. " To this end, he performs a series of ingenious thought experiments and subjects "causal interpretations in single-case analysis" to these" series of hurdles ...
189; Kahin, Intervention, pp. 312-14. S. credibility, the United States rejected the nonintervention options in 1965 whereas it found the nonintervention options acceptable in 1954. I take up this issue in the next chapter. culation is able to explain why C' was chosen over D' or E'. In fact, if one takes the logic of containment or credibility seriously, one would expect options D' or E' to be chosen over C'. S. objectives. Obviously, some factor other than containment or credibility was at work.