Suffering What They Must: The Shifting Alliances of Romania and Finland in World War II
Technical Report,01 Jul 2014,01 May 2015
US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
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Operational level planners of major powers consider small nation political developments in devising operational approaches and detailed plans, taking into account differences in national objectives and the potential for a small nation to switch sides during a conflict. Romania and Finland in World War II provide examples of small nations caught in conflict between major powers, driving alliances and actions to survive. International relations theories forwarded by Kenneth Waltz and Stephen Walt, describing calculations of balance of power and a resulting tendency to balance against or bandwagon with a threat, help explain small nation behavior. Understanding the agent-structure dynamic within governments is essential for understanding how small nations make such decisions.