Soldiers and Subordinates
Praetorianism is rule by or on the sufferance of the military. Praetorianism causes war by its jingoistic nationalism, its dysfunctional decision-making, its weak claim to legitimacy, its diffusion of power to imprudent subordinates, and its concentration of authority in the hands of men with strong yearnings for honor, glory and power but flawed judgment. This is demonstrated by investigations of four wars initiated by military dictatorships: Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941; Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir in 1965; Egypt’s mobilization against Israel in 1967; and Argentina’s seizure of the Malvinas Islands in 1982. All four of these actions ended badly, which confirms suspicions that the advisory process of these regimes does little to correct the miscalculations of their dictators.