Chapter 6: War and its Causes


Imagine you are the President of Peru and that you have been dealing with a troublesome Bolivia for some time now. The President of Bolivia seized power and dissolved Parliament six months ago, and has mobilized troops on your border. He has been posturing threateningly, and claims that approximately one-fourth of your national territory is rightfully part of Bolivia. He demands that you cede the territory to Bolivia and pay BOB 70 billion (~PEN 28 billion or USD 10 billion) in "reparations and compensation for illegally occupied territory of the State of Bolivia". What do you do?

Important background information

What do you do?

Submit to demandsPay the reparations and give Bolivia the territory. It is not worth risking a war with an unpredictable dictator. Peru might lose a lot more than that if Bolivia launched a war of conquest, and the war effort would likely cost significantly more than the sum Bolivia is demanding.
Refuse the demandsDo not cede the territory or pay the sum. Declare that Bolivia has absolutely no claim to the land in question, and warn Bolivia that Peru will not hesitate to use overwhelming force in case of a Bolivian invasion. The Bolivian President should know that he will lose a war, and will not risk escalating the conflict.
Raise the issue at the UNRequest economic sanctions or other punitive measures be levied against Bolivia. This is an undeniable encroachment on Peruvian sovereignty, and must be punished.
Refuse and mobilize troopsMove several thousand troops to the Bolivian border in case of an invasion, but ensure that they are under strict orders not to engage until further notice. Warn Bolivia that Peru is prepared to fight to protect its territory, and demand that Bolivia rescind its demands.
Pre-emptively strike BoliviaLaunch airstrikes against key government and military targets, and send troops to the border to protect against a counterattack. Declare that Bolivia's demands constituted a hostile act, and you were forced to respond militarily to pre-empt the threat and protect Peru's national interests.