Rising Conflicts: An Analysis Of Cold War Proxy Wars And Their Modern Application




Venkatraj, Karna

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Since the end of World War II, regional and super powers alike have increasingly engaged in proxy conflicts. The Cold War represented a period of conflict characterized by a bipolar world and stark ideological differences. This environment resulted in ubiquitous proxy conflicts across the world. With the costs of direct warfare increasing because of economic interdependence and the rise of regional powers, the United States, once again, faces an environment conducive to the spread of proxy conflicts. This thesis aims to case study the Greek Civil War and The Congo Crisis to understand the strategic objectives of proxy wars and derive historical strategic lessons. Then, with those strategic considerations in mind, the thesis will propose a prescriptive matrix based on how the United States has engaged in previous proxy wars and future strategic objectives. Finally, the thesis will apply this matrix to current proxy war in Yemen to assess the utility of a catch-all strategic matrix. The aim of the thesis lies in whether or not proxy conflicts can have a normalized, streamlined response from the United States.



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