Changing the character of proxy warfare and its consequences for geopolitical relationships
Zoran Ivanov 1  
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TOBB Economics and Technology University, Turkey
Zoran Ivanov   

TOBB Economics and Technology University, Söğütözü Caddesi No:43, Söğütözü,, 06560, Ankara, Turkey
Submission date: 2020-09-15
Final revision date: 2020-10-26
Acceptance date: 2020-11-26
Online publication date: 2020-12-19
Publication date: 2020-12-30
Security and Defence Quarterly 2020;31(4):37–51
The main purpose of the article is to examine the causal relationship between key elements of the geostrategic environment (i.e. political, military, and technological) and the changes in the characteristics of proxy force. Qualitative data analysis is used to identify the geopolitical environment conditions, actors, and their relationship. The causal analysis between key elements of the geopolitical environment, such as politics, military, and technological, therefore influences how proxy forces change character. The findings imply that the contemporary geopolitical environment is changing the character of the proxies. They can be used as multipurpose forces depending on the desired strategic outcome. The results advocate that proxies have a global reach beyond the traditional battlefield. These capabilities allow proxies to be used in a wide range of political, economic, and military activities, especially in peacetime, and, therefore, influencing, changing, and damaging the state’s mutual relationships. Despite differences between several theoretical perspectives of security theories, many concur on the low desirability of proxy force. The changing characteristics of proxy war allow state and non-state actors to wage war with a minimal use of force, or none at all, beyond the traditional battlefield. Political violence demonstrated through proxy force to fulfil foreign policy goals has become even more violent. In such action, disregarding the sustainable strategic goal can easily damage the state’s international relations and threaten international and regional stability. The overall findings show the urgency for a more holistic approach in the analysis of proxy warfare as part of security studies and military operations.
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