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Pivotal Deterrence: Third-Party Statecraft and the Pursuit of Peace

By: Timothy W. Crawford;

2003 / Cornell University Press / 9780801440977


As the preponderant world power, the United States is a potential arbiter of war and peace between such feuding rivals as India and Pakistan, Turkey and Greece, China and Taiwan. How can it deter them from going to war and impel them to accept compromise without firmly choosing sides? This age-old strategic dilemma, which Timothy W. Crawford calls "pivotal deterrence," has become a central challenge of international security in today's unipolar world.Crawford explains the political dynamics of pivotal deterrence and the conditions under which it is likely to succeed, while examining some of its most impressive feats and failures. Bismarck's agile approach to the Eastern Crisis, which prevented war between Russia and Austria-Hungary, is contrasted with Britain's ambiguous and ill-fated maneuvers to deter Germany and France in July 1914. Shifting to the 1960s Cold War, Crawford explores the successes and setbacks in U.S. efforts to prevent NATO allies Greece and Turkey from fighting over Cyprus and to defuse the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan. Capping the analysis is a rich look at similar U.S. efforts in the 1990s in South Asia, the Aegean, the Balkans, and East Asia. Crawford concludes with an assessment of the prospects for American pivotal deterrence in the years ahead and its implications for international relations theory.


  • Frontmatter
  • Introduction
  • Ch 1: The Problem and Theory of Pivotal Deterrence
  • Ch 2: Power, Interests, and Alignment Options: Framing the Inquiry
  • Ch 3: Pivotal Deterrence In the Eastern Crisis, 1875–78: Why Bismarck Had It Easy
  • Ch 4: Pivotal Deterrence and the Chain Gang: Sir Edward Grey'S Ambiguous Policy and the July Crisis, 1914
  • Ch 5: Hurting the One Who Loves You Most: The United States and the Cyprus Crises, 1963–67
  • Ch 6: Playing the Pivot In A Crowded Market: The United States and the Kashmir Conflict, 1962–65
  • Ch 7: U.S. Pivotal Deterrence In the Unipolar Era, 1990–2002
  • Conclusion: The Prospects For Pivotal Deterrence In U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Abbreviations
  • Notes
  • Index
  • Cornell Studies In Security Affairs