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When looking at interstate wars, conflict between groups may actually be more about internal group dynamics than about the actions of the other side. Thus, much as groups will fight back when threatened by others, if war is motived by a threat to individuals’ sense of belonging to a cohesive group, then they will fight to reestablish their own group’s cohesion. The same goes for leaders seeking to reinforce their internal status in their groups. If the group problems are not being adequately solved in a particular group, then war is about re-establishing coherence, or ‘order’, around the solutions—re-establishing the group’s internal cognitive clarity. In this argument, the enemy is, in fact, tangential to the motivating force of the war. I would like to highlight two current trends that further illustrate this argument.

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