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Bombing and Mining in War: Evidence from Cambodia

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Title: Bombing and Mining in War: Evidence from Cambodia
Authors: Kohama, Shoko Browse this author
Ohtsuki, Kazuto Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Tominaga, Yasutaka Browse this author
Keywords: landmines
aerial bombing
civil war
economic rents
military strategy
Issue Date: Apr-2020
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Journal Title: Journal of Global Security Studies
Volume: 5
Issue: 2
Start Page: 319
End Page: 338
Publisher DOI: 10.1093/jogss/ogz046
Abstract: This study explores the political-economic determinants of military strategy during civil war to explain the intensity of suffering that certain conflict zones and their inhabitants suffer due to aerial bombing and landmines. Adversaries seeking post-war rents consider distinct consequences of weapons use in the target society: bombing causes instantaneous destruction, whereas landmines cause persistent but fading negative externalities on human activities, such as labor. Thus, it is expected that economic rents with different characteristics are associated with the use of different types of weapons because the benefits derived from these rents after the conflict vary. By focusing on the nature of economic rents available in conflict zones, this study demonstrates that aerial bombing is more likely when the targeted territory relies economically on renewable resources and industries such as agriculture, whereas landmines are more likely to be used in territories endowed with perishable resources such as gemstones. An empirical analysis utilizing newly compiled geo-coded data on the locations of US airstrikes and landmine contamination during the Cambodian Civil War finds strong positive associations between agricultural productivity and the number of airstrikes, and between the proximity to large gem deposits and landmine contamination, holding major tactical variables constant. The results suggest that societies' economic structures have a sizable effect on the manner in which adversaries fight a war and, therefore, affect how people suffer from it.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:公共政策学教育部・公共政策学連携研究部 (Graduate School of Public Policy / Faculty of Public Policy) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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