Proxy War



A proxy war is the war that results when two powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly.

While superpowers have sometimes used whole governments as proxies, terrorist groups, mercenaries, or other third parties are more often employed. It is hoped that these groups can strike an opponent without leading to full-scale war.


Proxy wars have also been fought alongside full-scale conflicts. For instance, during the Iran-Iraq War, both nations armed factions in the Lebanese Civil War and pitted them against each other.


It is almost impossible to have a pure proxy war, as the groups fighting for a certain superpower usually have their own interests, which are often divergent from those of their patron. For instance, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the groups that the United States had been backing later turned against the U.S. and became the nucleus of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Proxy war".




Popular IR Theorists

Popular Dictionary Terms