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By Theresa L Kraus; Center of Military History

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All states operate within this system. The distribution of capabilities, as measured by the number of great powers within the system, creates the order that defines the structure at any given time. Within such a system, states seek to survive by any means, for example, through war or isolation. States do so because of their capabilities; they have the power to do so. The system is permanent unless the system transforms from anarchy to hierarchy. , 116). Ultimately, Waltz sees world politics as the product of an overwhelming structure of anarchy.

Civil war inhibits a state from existing as a separate, unified political identity, especially when other states are involved. 12 These four cases enhance this study as it uncovers the circumstances where great powers deem weak states as vital to their survival. Further, it reveals two fundamental manifestations of great power behavior regarding weak states: providing aid (Armenia and St. Kitts and Nevis), and violent interference through proxies (Lebanon and Cambodia). Finally, the conclusion will address potential research areas and fit this work within the wide field and tradition of International Relations.

The “domino effect,” as it were, would result in the complete overturning of South East Asia to what was to be known as the Evil Empire. However, on its own, Vietnam did not pose any threat to the United States; it simply did not have the capability to strike the United States. As part of the great power game, however, Vietnam was imagined to be quite valuable, which explains the United States’ action against it. This book departs from such arguments to pursue a more specific theory of weak states.

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