Asymmetry of will : the effect of religious radicalism on state military doctrine
Author(s)Lewis, Patrick (Patrick Joseph)
Effect of religious radicalism on state military doctrine
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
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How is a state's military doctrine affected by the presence of radical religious ideology in its military? Using analysis of satellite imagery, recent military exercises, and a series of source interviews, I examine the evolution of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In particular I explore the effect of religious radicalism on Iran's acceptable casualty rates for its naval operations. A successful ideologically based strategy appears to have three necessary components: terrorism as a tool for pursuing political objectives, religious ideology as a generator of potential violence, and a regime which exercises tight control over the military. Combined, these factors allow a military to mobilize a large cadre of troops that are willing to sacrifice themselves in suicide operations. Ideology overcomes conventional acceptable casualty rates for sustained military sorties. Finally, I compare the Iranian case to similar militaries in the Sudan and Yugoslavia to determine how the presence and absence of each factor affects the military's development.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2012.DVD-ROM contains .mp4 video files, PDF and Word doc. files.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology