War theories have rested on the assumption of rationality too much. This gives rational war theories difficulty to account for weak states war initiation against stronger states. It has been regarded as historical blunder or “error term.” This paper criticizes rational assumption and shows that there are systemic regularities in weak states’ war choice against stronger states. This study tries to explain Egyptian war precipitation against stronger Israel in 1973 with hybrid model of Game theory and Prospect theory. Sadat, the President of Egypt, was located in a loss frame in which decision makers prefer taking risky choice instead of safe choice. Delayed recovery of the Sinai and economic depression pushed him in a deep loss frame. Israeli deterrence gave Sadat only two choices: peace (cooperation) and war (defection). Under deterrence rational actor will choose peace (cooperation) as safe choice. However Sadat, who was located in a loss frame, sought a risky choice of war (defection) for a slim chance to win against stronger Israel.
Ⅱ. Expected Utility Theory and Prospect Theory
Ⅲ. Egypt in a Loss Frame
Ⅳ. Game Structure before the 1973 October War
Ⅴ. Sadat’s Risky Calculation
Ⅵ. Conclusion: Sadat’s Gamble