Accession Number:

ADA621119

Title:

The Impact of International and Domestic Factors on the Military Outcomes of National Unification: A Study of Four Historical Cases with Lessons for Korean Unification

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

201.0

Abstract:

When two culturally similar states or territories unify into one new state, one side usually dominates conversations about the image and identity of the state. This thesis explores how external and domestic factors influence the dominant side s use of its military during and after unification to build national image and identity in four cases Germany in 1990, Vietnam in 1975, Austria in 1955, and Hong Kong in 1997. The diversity of these cases within a broad unification framework is useful for establishing causal links between the external and domestic independent variables and two related dependent variables that measure the military outcome of unifications. These variables are the fate of the non-dominant or minor state s military, and the character of the unified state s armed forces. The cases show first that external powers can have a direct or indirect hand in making divided states whole again, and they may constrain a state s military choices. Second, cases show that the integration of the minor state s military during national unification can be a highly contentious issue, a shared assumption, or something that neither side considers. Even where it is a shared assumption, however, the conflicts that previously divided the unified state discourage a full-scale integration of forces. Nevertheless, the dominant state may assimilate a small percentage of the minor state s forces for a number of reasons. From these conclusions, it is possible to draw useful lessons for understanding the possible military outcomes of a future Korean unification in which South Korea is the dominant state, as well as for recommending US policy in influencing desirable military outcomes. This thesis argues that Germany s unification provides the most applicable lessons for a Korean unification after a North Korean reform or collapse. On the other hand, the unification of Vietnam offers lessons for South Korea if a war precedes unification.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE