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The term international crisis is widespread term without a single common definition. To some, it involves "a sequence of interactions between the governments of two or more sovereign states in severe conflict, short of actual war, but involving the perception of a dangerously high probability of war".
Lebow gives a breakdown of three types of international crises:
Justification of Hostilities. One of the nations decides, before the crisis starts, to go to war and constructs a crisis to justify it. The pattern of justification is almost always the same: Rouse public opinion, make impossible demands, try to legitimize the demands, deny your real intentions then employ the rejection of the demands as a reason for war. A recent example, commonly employed by critics of George W. Bush, is the Iraq disarmament crisis, which precipitated the Iraq War.
Spinoff Crisis. The nations are involved in a war or crisis with another nation or nations and this precipitates another crisis, e.g. the Lusitania incident in 1915.
With the exception of a justification of hostilities, the study of international crises assumes that neither side actually wants to go to war, but must be visibly prepared to do so. In the words of Groucho Marx, "Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it".
George's book presents an overview of the process and conflicting goals of crisis management as well as many examples. He discusses a number of strategies, including:
Conveying commitment and resolve to avoid miscalculation by the adversary
List of defused crises
International crises tend to result in war, almost by definition; they are then remembered best not as crises but as causes of wars. For information on international crises that resulted immediately in war, see List of wars.
Given the above, some of the crises that are best-known as crises were defused. The following crises did not immediately provoke large-scale violence, but set of anger in countries: