Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East

  • September 01, 2009
  • Dr W Andrew Terrill

A central purpose of this monograph is to reexamine two earlier conflicts for insights that may be relevant for ongoing dangers during limited wars involving nations possessing chemical or biological weapons or emerging nuclear arsenals. These conflicts are the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the 1991 Gulf War. Both of these wars were fought at the conventional level, although the prospect of Israel using nuclear weapons (1973), Egypt using biological weapons (1973), or Iraq using chemical and biological weapons (1991) were of serious concern at various points during the fighting. This monograph will consider why efforts at escalation control and intrawar deterrence were successful in the two case studies and assess the points at which these efforts were under the most intensive stress that might have caused them to fail.