Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Testing the Theory of Imperial Overstretch: A Hybrid comparison of the United States and Soviet Union Interventions into Afghanistan
by Avard, Kurt, M.A., Webster University, 2013, 77; 1525123
Abstract (Summary)

This study tests two interventions conducted in Afghanistan: The USSR's between 1979 and 1989, and that of the United States from 2001 to the present day. Using Paul Kennedy's hypothesis of Imperial Overstretch as a guideline, an analytical understanding of the hypothesis has been applied to locate similarities between the interventions from political and economic avenues to determine the possibility of similar long term consequences in those fields.

Research into political avenues of Imperial Overstretch focuses on dyadic treaty interaction between intervening states and other states, Data has been further analysed to locate trends in dyadic interactions on a decade by decade basis within a single country. Supporting vectors are also considered, utilizing political statements as well as polling data where available to assess external perceptions of the intervening state in each of the two cases.

Economic avenues of Imperial Overstretch have been studied in a manner related to Layla Dawood's system for assessing Imperial Overstretch; intervening states are compared to a cross section of other state militaries with an emphasis placed on the absolute amount of money spent on military avenues. Additional vectors include studying the growth of military expenditure to total GDP by percentage, which is then also subjected to a similar cross sectional comparison. Synthesized data suggests that Soviet and United States interventions, while sharing moderately related historical trends, do not share the same political and economic stresses revealed by this study. However, further research is needed before a definitive conclusion can be reached in relation to this topic.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bordonaro, Frederico
School: Webster University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, International law, Russian history
Keywords: Afghanistan, Cold War, Hegemony, Overstretch
Publication Number: 1525123
ISBN: 978-1-303-82628-3
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