Decision-Making During International Crisis: The Role of National Security Institutions

Date

2024

Authors

Islamoglu, Mustafa

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Abstract

Drawing from Tyler Jost's framework on national security institutions (NSI), this paper explores how the United States is susceptible to miscalculation in international crises. Utilizing a process-tracing methodology, I analyze the institutional relationship between leaders and their bureaucracies, focusing on two critical dimensions: the capacity for information search and inter-bureaucratic information sharing. Through the examination of six international crises, representing integrated, fragmented, and siloed NSI types, including cases culminating in both accurate assessments and miscalculations, I aim to empirically examine theoretical propositions. Case studies including the Berlin Blockade (1948), Korean War (1950), Bay of Pigs Invasion, Cuban Missile Crisis, 9/11 - Afghanistan War, and Iraq WMD highlight how NSIs influence the likelihood of miscalculation in crises. Our findings contribute to the literature by examining how the ideal integrated type of NSI can paradoxically lead to miscalculation, while flawed siloed and fragmented types can lead to accurate assessments of international crises.

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Keywords

bureacracies, foreing policy, information aggregation, information flow, institutional relationship, miscalculation

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Department

Political Science and Geography