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More important, when sacrificing the current individual leaders is the only real domestic cost to concessions, even their strongest social and political allies may withdraw their support. Similarly, the rulers themselves may offer up the top leader as a sacrificial lamb if doing so will save the remainder of the government. For example, in 1943 the Italian government jettisoned Mussolini in an unsuccessful effort to persuade the Allies not to replace the nonfascist ruling cir- Explaining Military Coercion des in power.
Janis and Leon Mann say that such "defensive avoidance" is likely whenever people face choices between highly unpalatable options, such as between making concessions and military defeat. Janis and Mann, Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice, and Commitment (New York: Free Press, 1977). For examples of failure to recognize impending defeats, see Geoffrey Blainey, Causes of War (New York: Free Press, 1973); and Ikle, Every War Must End. 41 On sunk costs, see Ikle, Every War Must End.
453--99. Bombing to Win ceived as more serious, threatening the public support needed to mobilize resources against the opponent and possibly threatening the political survival of the regime. The reaction to criticism increases as the costs of state policy rise and as the likelihood of success falls. Accordingly, governments tolerate less dissent within their ranks, suppress leaks, and censor information that might tend to undermine support for state policy, such as civilian costs being suffered or risks of military defeat.