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The coding of the data

The third step was to make a content analysis of all the collected poll questions and code for the absence or presence of certain elements in each question. We coded each single question for the absence or presence of a reference for each of the following categories, depending on the wording used: the type of action required, the main goals of the action, the reference to humanitarian purposes, the reference (or lack of) to legitimacy, the reference to the multilateral or unilateral nature of the action taken, the kind of military force to be used (either air strikes or ground troops), the nature of the threat, and the explicit reference to casualties.14

The percentages reported here, to begin with Tables 6.4 and 6.5 below, represent the average support for the use of force for those questions that have been assigned to each category, covering all the different elements that were distinguished. They have been used to code all 3015 observations.

Table 6.4 Support of military action under different conditions, individual variables (all; average % support)

% yes

(N)

Type of action

Take action- unspecified

40,0

295

Military presence

59,7

20

Action with emphasis

54,8

197

Action not 'a mistake'

51,6

105

Invasion/attack/intervention

41,6

843

Reprisal action

59,4

62

Resume action

64,5

23

Continuation of military action

49,3

105

Peacekeeping

55,7

54

Escalation

53,7

264

Military assistance

46,0

45

Action worth the costs

54,0

92

Kind of forces

General military action, unspecified

51,6

1911

Air strikes/Bombing

54,9

337

Ground troops

50,8

584

Other military action, special forces, commandos

66,3

12

Use of nuclear forces

43,8

8

Use of biological chemical weapons

5,0

1.

Actors/participants

Reference to other countries' forces (mostly US)

38,8

876

Reference to (own) country's forces

53,1

2057

Goals/purpose of action Humanitarian (protection of civilians)

56,3

39

Peacekeeping or enforcement of peace

49,0

63

To coerce head of state (Milosevic, Saddam Hussein)

43,3

610

Name of head of state mentioned as target Milosevic

59,7

23

Saddam Hussein

54,0

530

Taliban/Osama bin Laden

58,8

39

Fight against terrorism/terrorists

56,0

485

Target believed to be involved in terrorism

57,0

230

If opponent (not) in compliance with request

49,1

126

Of US

40,0

3

Of NATO

44,3

4

Of UN

45,5

114

Relations with terrorists unclear

54,5

14

To counter/remove WMD

54,0

184

Positive legitimacy

With mandate and support of UN and/or NATO and/or allies

50,8

418

To support Americans

40,2

153

Action by NATO

46,9

432

(Continued)

Table 6.4 Continued

% yes

(N)

Action by international/allied force

44,4

255

Action by UN force

61,0

24

Reference to support of

Allies

50,1

124

NATO

54,6

112

UN

40,8

362

Other aspects of legitimacy

52,2

54

Negative legitimacy

Without mandate and support of UN and/or NATO

40,0

301

and/or allies

Leadership

Decisions by (name of leader)

Clinton

42,2

21

George W. Bush

60,3

63

US Congress/Parliament

50,8

5

Government decision

43,0

150

Other aspects

If WMD found

53,3

74

Last resort/if diplomacy fails

44,2

6

If air strikes insufficient

46,8

39

To counter danger of escalation

53,4

297

Retaliation/Self-defense

60,1

154

More time for diplomacy necessary

34,9

98

Costs

Duration

Short war

57,0

42

Long war

52,8

9

Other negative implications/opposition/retaliation

49,5

70

Trade-offs

50,1

39

Casualties

Military casualties

49

150

Civilian casualties

38

68

Average support

50

3015

The content analysis allows us to make three types of considerations. First, multivariate regression analysis allows us to explore the impact of specific societal or contextual conditions, keeping the impact of other factors constant. Here, the general hypothesis is that the effects of the societal variables is universal both in the sense of observable in all coun- tries/societies and to the effect that their direction can be assumed to be

Table 6.5 Support of military action under different conditions, aggregated variables (by groups of countries; average % support)]

All

diff*

(N)

US

diff*

(N)

EU

diff*

(N)

Oth

diff*

(N)

Overall support score

49,8

3015 59,3

1497 42,4

1103 35,0

415

All cases (N = 3015)

Type of action

Form of military action

50

2565

60

1

1188

42

974

35

403

mentioned

Troops (troops and

51

1

608

55

-4

394

44

2

184

43

8

70

special forces) Purpose of military

53

3

643

60

1

413

41

-1

170

38

3

70

action mentioned

Action by whom Unilateral action

53

3

2050

59

1284

44

2

563

37

2

203

Multilateral action/

43

-7

1316

54

-5

294

43

1

688

34

-1

334

allied force

Objectives/purposes National objectives

50

2747

60

1

1327

42

1013

35

407

mentioned

International goals:

46

-4

208

55

-4

136

35

-7

47

21

-14

25

Humanitarian

purpose/protection of civilians

Legitimacy Positive legitimacy/

53

3

561

57

-2

270

51

9

214

43

8

74

self-defense

Negative legitimacy/

40

-10

301

49

-10

166

29

-13

114

29

-6

21

no support

Risks of action Risky military action Low risk

56

6

286

59

136

54

12

129

40

5

71

High risk

51

1

608

55

-4

394

45

3

184

41

6

70

Prospects for success, benefits

Prospects for success

53

3

285

55

-4

199

48

6

77

32

-3

9

Perceived benefits

40

-10

330

57

-2

71

36

-6

203

33

-2

56

Costs

Expected costs

44

-6

264

51

-8

191

31

-11

50

19

-16

23

Anticipation of possible

54

4

555

60

1

363

45

3

152

37

2

70

threats

Duration

56

6

50

57

-2

43

52

10

6

41

6

1

Casualties Military casualties

49

-1

150

50

-9

128

46

4

72

Civilian casualties

38

-12

68

54

-5

17

18

-24

28

19

-16

23

Total deviations from average support in each group

80

63

114

98

difference with overall score within each regional group

NB No observations available for 'military casualties' for 'Other countries' identical in all cases. However, the size of the impact of each separate factor may differ among countries depending on the contextual specifics.

Second, we can also explore national differences between countries that cannot be explained by the model and its universal constituent parts. Last, in principle, because the issue is more complicated, we could also explore the impact of the evolution of time or the phase of the conflict concerned on the relative impact of particular factors, such as the incidence of casualties or the absence of success. As noted before, such an impact may increase or decrease as time passes by, or may be different in the early or later stages of an armed conflict.

 
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