From the thesis abstract: "The end of the Cold War greatly reduced the risk that a limited, peripheral conflict would escalate to a major war between the great powers. It would seem, with this constraint removed, that the United States should be freer to intervene militarily in the affairs of other peoples. Indeed, in the last decade of the twentieth century, the United States intervened militarily as many times as it had during the full forty years of the Cold War. Alternatively, the decision to intervene had always been based on the best interest of America. With the fall of the Soviet Union, America's most vital national interest, its security, was assured. Logic would dictate a less-interventionist foreign policy, as the need to intervene was drastically reduced. This study examines the paradox by investigating the presidential decision making process that leads to military intervention, determining the relative weight for intervention before and after the Cold War, and assessing the importance of technology - in this case the maturity of the combination of stealth aircraft and precision guided weapons - that made the president's decision to intervene after 1990 easier."
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