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War greatly affects not only social status of the country, but also its economic development. This is because the resources of the country end up being misused or destroyed while there is a decrease in human resources. Generals and chiefs of military forces outline strategies that would help them have the upper hand over their enemies while making plans that would enable them to win the war. In every war, a high cost has to be paid by society, which crushes the social structure of any community. Bargaining model views war as political action. Thus, economic or social motives of war do not prevail. Bargaining means that one party has to suffer loss while the other is offered a helpful hand, but in the end, they both end up benefiting. The model views war as undesirable to those who are involved in it. Therefore, for it to occur, specific conditions have to be created since it contributes to disagreement over the available resources. According to the bargaining hypothesis, war is part of the negotiation process that only comes to a certain decision once the war ends (Reiter 27) . This essay examines the bargaining hypothesis in order to reveal reasons for domestic commitment and elucidate it in relation to Russian strategy.


Bargaining Hypothesis and Domestic Commitment

The bargaining model highlights that uncertainty about your opponent’s strength leads to making the wrong decision as one party ends up exaggerating themselves, which eventually leads to war. A lack of commitment of participants, who yet seek a retaliation attack, contributes to the emergence of war. Therefore, in order for war to come to an end, both parties have to come to an agreement to stop military actions, not because they cannot keep up with the war, but because they do not see the need for further conflict; thus, war becomes part of the bargaining process.

The bargaining process sheds light on the fact that rulers have the ability to use the available resources to exercise their power. This hypothesis works because it is driven by the increase in warfare, which allows rulers to decide if their country will participate in the war despite the position of citizens. It allows rulers to show the benefits that their country will gain if it does participate in the war by bargaining it, guaranteeing security to its citizens and resources, and at the same time encouraging domestic commitment. They also allow a bargain with a legal institution, which works effectively in maintaining law and order in society. Since war can be viewed as a political process, leaders can, therefore, give power to those citizens that are considered greatly valuable representatives of high society. It is carried out by giving them titles and lands as a way of securing their acceptance and commitment in all war-related issues. Rulers use this opportunity to gain taxes that become compulsory for the citizens to pay while also encouraging volunteers, who would participate in the war, which usually creates a significant advantage.

Rulers also apply the bargaining hypothesis when they need to exchange political rights with the aim of gaining more resources as the war wears on. Political rights include civil rights that were viewed and are still viewed as important aspects of political position in society. Granting of incentive to the population encourages their commitment since it grants them an opportunity to improve their standards of living. However, bargains are timed according to the occurrence of changes that would affect the war success. Therefore, they prompt leaders to find ways that would encourage the commitment of the population. Diverting into new strategies tends to be very costly. Thus, a special scheme should be constructed to highlight war as a benefit instead of a burden.

War success greatly depends on the commitment of citizens towards the funding and sustainability of resources. This very scenario is considered a domestic commitment towards war. The mother country has to provide all the necessary resources that are usually used in the war, which includes the military personnel, who might be chosen through drafting or volunteer joining the military. Citizens are also responsible for providing funds, which will be regarded as financial support necessary to buy military equipment and sustain the armed forces. The logistics should be correctly organized for these resources to reach the military at the right time, in the right quantity and at the right destination. However, in cases of logistics failure, such as lack of backup support, the war is usually lost. Therefore, logistics success greatly depends on the domestic commitment, which, if withdrawn, leads to defeat in the war. In this case, the military will have to pull back.

Domestic commitment is important to understand the benefits that society derives from participating in a war since it helps in the evolution of many sectors of life; for example, it may lead to technological advancement. It also helps society understand the balance of power, which allows commitment in the war that the country expects to win. No country can subject itself to a war if they do not expect to obtain victory. Hence, they only go forward to participate in it after they are sure they have domestic commitment. Once commitment occurs, then the population braces itself for burdens, such as an increase in taxes and inflation in the country.

Domestic commitment is shown through tax payment, which is made mandatory by the government for citizens to pay. These taxes are then used to purchase weapons and equipment that are needed in the war. The bigger the military is, the more resources they need, which weighs heavily and becomes quite costly to the country’s economic system. Such taxes might be resisted by the citizens, who might feel that the burden is too heavy for them to continue supporting it. Thus, if the country is only reliant on its taxes to fund the war, then their distribution logistics will be disrupted, which eventually leads to losing.

Domestic commitment also occurs when citizens decide to volunteer or agree to join the military team. For a war to continue, there should be available human resources willing to be on the battlefield. In a society where the majority of population has lost their family members in the war, the number of participants increases since they are willing to commit to the same course and avenge their lost ones; this is also seen as domestic commitment. However, domestic resistance occurs when the public is unable to bear any more losses during the war. The domestic population decision will help in determining further development of the war since their resistance to joining the military will lead to a lack of strong armed forces personnel, and cause the eventual loss in the war.

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Domestic commitment is also demonstrated through the provision of food, water, and any other essential physical resources that the military might need during the time of war. Since these resources might be expensive to the citizens, the government has to gain the approval of the population during the distribution of these resources in order to ensure that the assets reach the military on time. If this does not occur, then the military is bound to lose due to starvation and natural aspects.

Bargaining Hypothesis and Russian Strategy

The cost of living might end up being too high for society to bear, which may significantly reduce the domestic commitment that originally existed before the war began. In 1914, Russia had the needed military personnel to help it participate in the war due to the domestic commitment that helped to increase its army. Additionally, France was also willing to participate in the war despite the fact that all the countries in Europe, such as Germany and Austria, had the similar data and information to base their strategy on, making it a paradox because every nation participated in the war that year. Russian government decided to fight during that year because of increased tensions between alliances with Germany and Austria; therefore, the war was a forgone action that had to happen in the near future (Snyder 71-94) .

Russia went ahead to increase the size of its army from the domestic population, who were willing to participate. This provided them with a more competitive advantage, which helped them to bargain for a high political power position in Europe. Cohesion rule was also used to enable the success of the Russian rule during the war. The government went ahead to implement rules according to which actions would be undertaken, and the population had to comply with the rules. This was done by implementing reforms in the military sector that aimed at establishing military district systems around Russia, ensuring that everyone in the country went through military training. A cohesive government has little support in any country. Therefore, in most cases, its strength is usually an illusion that conceals weaknesses of the country. This factor greatly contributed to the collapse of the Russian military. The commitment of the Russian population was purely based on the benefits the country would derive from participating in the war. However, victory would only be achieved based on timing and bargaining would ensure that the country was successful. Having a large trained military gave Russia bargaining power that would have given it an advantage.

Russia established alliances with countries such as France despite being surrounded by hostile territories. The alliances were seen as a basis for providing political and economic support and a form of bargaining power. The alliance was based on providing military support to each other in case they were attacked by Germany. Russia also used the strategy of having good knowledge about its enemies, such as Germany and Austria, which enabled it to organize its military during the war and help it to gain a more competitive advantage in its strategy. Resources, such as oil, which was used to power machinery, such as oil tankers, had to be distributed effectively to the military personnel. This led to the creation of modern logistics that ensured that the resources were collected, transported and distributed efficiently to those who were in need of it. This bargain enabled Russia to gain economic potential and development without necessarily relying on the European markets. Economic development means that the population is comprised of healthy and readily available citizens (Sergeev) . This, in turn, translates to a military team that was in the right frame of mind to participate in the war.

Despite having the advantage of a large armed force, Russia was unable to win the war. This is because the population was unwilling to continue to bear the cost of the war. The increase in death rates reduced the mobilization of the population, as less people were eager to participate in the war. There was high population resistance since domestic commitment had reduced, which led to the reduction in military personnel. Russia’s strategy also failed to secure a victory over Germany and Austria due to poor military governance and management of the troops. They were also unable to carry out their strategies over tough geographical terrain, which contributed to many deaths of the military forces. It can be asserted that the collapse of Russia is greatly connected to the lack of commitment of its citizens, which disrupted the logistics paths.

War has to be supported by participating countries, which increase the costs that each one of them has to incur. Costs might be economic, which includes loss of property and resources. Economic costs also manifest in terms of inflation, which predetermines the increase in prices of goods and services as well as in taxes. Income that would be used in the economic development of the country, such as building transport infrastructure, is in turn allocated to military activities. The price society pays may also include loss of lives of the military personnel killed during the war, which leads to dysfunctional family structures. Such costs and consequences might be too high for society to continue to incur, which contributes to commitment resistance. Leaders have the responsibility to ensure that the benefits that the country derives from the war are higher compared to the costs. Having an efficient logistics channel, which includes production, transportation and distribution, ensures that resources reach the needed places in the expected time frame, which contributes to the success of the military system. Therefore, the government should ensure that the public remains committed and does not interrupt the logistics channel. Governments may also borrow credit monetary funds in more stable countries with law taxes.


Bargaining hypothesis is viewed as a political strategy that aims at ensuring the success of a particular country by using the available resources in order to gain political advantage. However, for the system to be successful, there should be efficient social commitment. Russia applied the bargaining model by establishing an alliance with France before 1914, which boosted the economic and political power of Russia. The country also bargained with its large trained military personnel, trying to provide them with a competitive advantage over their enemies. However, lack of commitment from the public due to high costs and great losses involved led to the collapse of the great empire that was privileged enough to have a big and powerful military system.


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