Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Defensive military alliances enhance peace, study shows

Date:
February 10, 2011
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Countries that enter into defense pacts with other nations are less likely to be attacked, according to new research. And those countries are not more likely to attack others.

Countries that enter into defense pacts with other nations are less likely to be attacked, according to new research from Rice University. And those countries are not more likely to attack others.

Related Articles


The study, "Defense Pacts: A Prescription for Peace?," was published recently in the journal Foreign Policy Analysis. It was co-authored by Rice University Associate Professor of Political Science Ashley Leeds and Jesse Johnson, a Rice graduate student in political science.

For their research, Leeds and Johnson did exhaustive analysis of defense agreements from 1816 to 2001 that covered the whole world.

"We were interested in analyzing policy prescriptions that leaders of countries can adopt that might make war -- and also militarized conflicts short of war -- less likely," Leeds said. "War is costly, most importantly in terms of lives lost, but also in terms of financial resources, destruction of productive capacity and infrastructure, and disruption of trade. As a result, research aimed at discovering policies that can prevent war is valuable.

"We found that when a country enters into a defense pact, it is less likely to be attacked," Leeds said. "In addition, entering into defense pacts does not seem to make countries more likely to attack other states."

Leeds believes that this research has current policy relevance for the United States and other countries. "A current policy debate, for instance, is whether Georgia should be accepted as a new member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). If Georgia joins NATO, the U.S. and other NATO countries will be committing to assist Georgia if Georgia is attacked by another state, for instance, Russia. Some analysts are concerned about the U.S. making such a commitment, and some believe that having a commitment of assistance from the U.S. could encourage Georgia to behave aggressively toward Russia, making war more likely. The study suggests that this is not the most common general pattern. In fact, a defensive commitment to Georgia should, according to the study, make war between Russia and Georgia less likely."

Currently the United States has many defensive alliances, including with most of the Western Hemisphere states, NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan, among others. The study suggests that due to their alliance with the U.S., these states are less likely to be attacked by rivals, and U.S. allies are no more likely to behave aggressively than they would be without a U.S. alliance commitment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jesse C. Johnson, Brett Ashley Leeds. Defense Pacts: A Prescription for Peace? Foreign Policy Analysis, 2011; 7 (1): 45 DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-8594.2010.00122.x

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Defensive military alliances enhance peace, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210122937.htm>.
Rice University. (2011, February 10). Defensive military alliances enhance peace, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210122937.htm
Rice University. "Defensive military alliances enhance peace, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210122937.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins