a war of nerves

a war of nerves

Psychological warfare used to wear down an adversary's resolve through fear tactics. The dictator's threats against the sovereign nation he was trying to conquer became a war of nerves as the citizens worried about the future of their country.
See also: nerve, of, war
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Shephard spent a decade compiling quotes from psychiatrists and veterans for his book A War of Nerves, on which he claims much of Motion's poem is based.
Accusing Motion of plagiarism, he added: "Of the 152 lines in An Equal Voice, all but 16 are taken directly from A War of Nerves.
Shephard's A War of Nerves contains the line: "War from behind the lines is a dizzying jumble.