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date: 22 February 2024

proxy war 

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations
Andrew MumfordAndrew Mumford

Proxy wars are conflicts in which a third party intervenes indirectly in a pre-existing war in order to influence the strategic outcome in favour of its preferred faction. Proxy wars are the product of a relationship between a benefactor who is a state or non-state actor external to the dynamic of the existing conflict (for example, a civil war) and the chosen proxies who are the conduit for the benefactor’s weapons, training, and funding. In short, proxy wars are the replacement for states and non-state actors seeking to further their own strategic goals yet at the same time avoid engaging in direct, costly, and bloody warfare. Such responses are based on an intrinsic perception of risk, specifically that direct intervention in a conflict would be either unjustifiable, too costly (whether politically, financially, or materially), avoidable, illegitimate, or unfeasible. The recourse to proxy war was particularly prevalent during the ... ...

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