Essay: Nuclear Revolution and Causes of World War I As Indicated by Van Evera

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¶ … cause of WW1 was, "The Cult Of The Offensive." This was a very popular phenomenon all over Europe in the years before the outbreak of WW1, and Van Evera defined this phenomenon as the tendency of the militaries to give the offensive a glorified status and take on more offensive military tactics, which goes hand in hand with the assumptions of the elites that there is an added advantage that goes with the offense in warfare. In the words of Van (2001), five main dangers are likely to develop whenever the offense is very strong. All these played very relevant roles in the crisis of 1914:

More hostile foreign policies are adopted by states to avert new dangers that appear whenever the offense becomes very strong and exploit new opportunities.

The magnitude of the advantage the side that mobilizes or strikes first enjoys grows, thereby increasing the risks of defensive war. This means states either mobilize or attack to take advantage of the initiative or deny its adversaries the chance to seize or take advantage of the initiative.

3) All windows and doors of opportunities and vulnerabilities become more open, this forces faster diplomacy and increases the risk of preemptive war.

4) More competitive diplomatic styles are adopted by states since the benefits of adopting such strategies always justify the risks that accompany them.

5) Tighter military and political secrecy are enforced by states, since allowing the enemies to win the competition for information threatens national security directly (Van, 2001).

Consequently, WW1 was partly a preemptive war instigated by the major Central Powers based on their beliefs that it would help save them from a more devastating fate. The arms race that began prior to 1914 was in part caused by The Cult Of The Offensive and this brought about the irregular rates at which the military grew giving rise to what is known as the visions of the windows. In conclusion, Van Evera reemphasized the major underlying role The Cult Of The Offensive played in the war of 1914. This was built on different secondary dangers and resulted in the participation of a number of world powers during the war (Van,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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