Fortna demonstrates that peacekeeping is an extremely effective policy tool, dramatically reducing the risk that war will resume. Moreover, she explains that relatively small and militarily weak consent-based peacekeeping operations are often just as effective as larger, more robust enforcement missions. Fortna examines the causal mechanisms of peacekeeping, paying particular attention to the perspective of the peacekept--the belligerents themselves--on whose decisions the stability of peace depends. Based on interviews with government and rebel leaders in Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, Does Peacekeeping Work? demonstrates specific ways in which peacekeepers alter incentives, alleviate fear and mistrust, prevent accidental escalation to war, and shape political procedures to stabilize peace.
In Striking First, Doyle shows how the Bush Doctrine has consistently disregarded a vital distinction in international law between acts of preemption in the face of imminent threats and those of prevention in the face of the growing offensive capability of an enemy. Taking a close look at the Iraq war, the 1998 attack against al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, among other conflicts, he contends that international law must rely more completely on United Nations Charter procedures and develop clearer standards for dealing with lethal but not immediate threats.
After explaining how the UN can again play an important role in enforcing international law and strengthening international guidelines for responding to threats, he describes the rare circumstances when unilateral action is indeed necessary. Based on the 2006 Tanner Lectures at Princeton University, Striking First includes responses by distinguished political theorists Richard Tuck and Jeffrey McMahan and international law scholar Harold Koh, yielding a lively debate that will redefine how--and for what reasons--tomorrow's wars are fought.