What Makes a Reliable Ally? Strategic Culture Matters
53 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2018
Date Written: December 12, 2017
Questions of fairness and free-riding continue to plague the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as it seeks to achieve its three core objectives of collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security in an evolving geopolitical environment. While every NATO head of state pledged to spend 2% of national gross domestic product (GDP) on defense within a decade at the Wales Summit in 2014, the precise connection between defense inputs, intermediate outputs, and desired alliance outcomes remains elusive to scholars and policymakers. My research will focus on factors that may predict allies’ propensity to participate in alliance operations, a tangible outcome of intra-alliance burden sharing. Using logistic regression modeling, I will explore the correlation between “Atlanticism”—the preference for the United States to have a central role in European security—and participation in alliance operations. I anticipate that a state’s Atlanticism will positively correlate to decisions to deploy in support of the alliance. I will also test sub-hypotheses that Atlanticism matters most as risk increases for particularly risky types of missions: those that entail primarily combat, and those that involve substantial numbers of ground troops. My findings will add to a growing body of literature that considers alternative burden sharing measures beyond the “2% pledge”, and may help alliance leaders to anticipate which allies are more likely to provide tangible support to declared alliance operations in the future.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation