U.S. Military Aid and Troop Deployments: Third-Party Effects on Regional Levels of Terrorism
Smith, Nathan Alexander
The United States gives military aid to countries in order to bolster host nation security, improve diplomatic ties, and give the U.S. strategic access to locations of interest. The United States deploys troops in a number of countries to carry out Building Partnership Capacity missions and in response to terrorist violence. This article examines the third-party effects of U.S. military aid and troop deployments on incidents of terrorism in select regions. I use a cross-national panel dataset, focused on four regions, combining data on U.S. troop deployments, U.S. military aid, and country-level terrorist violence to create a series of empirical models using fixed-effects country and year analysis. In addition, I use one case study to examine potential mechanisms and situations where U.S. military aid is potentially used in perpetuating international terrorism (Pakistan). I find a statistically significant correlation between U.S. troop deployments to a target country and the number of terrorism events in countries surrounding the target country. In addition, I find a statistically significant correlation between U.S. military aid disbursements to a target country and the number of terrorism events in countries surrounding the target country. This suggests that U.S. security missions have third-party effects on neighboring countries. U.S. policymakers should further consider the larger region before engaging in troop deployments and military aid.
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