How does shifting power cause war?
- Once a power shift has occurred, the states will reach a negotiated settlement. (War is costly.)
- But if states are experiencing a great power shift, that peaceful settlement may be highly disadvantageous for the declining state.
- Declining states therefore launch preventive wars if they prefer a costly but advantageous war today to an efficient but disadvantageous peace tomorrow.
- Preventive war is distinct from preemptive war. Do not confuse the two. Preemptive war deals with first strike advantages, which we will cover later on.
- To make life even more complicated, preventive war and preventative war are the same thing.