Friends indeed? : coalition burden sharing and the war in Iraq
Baltrusaitis, Daniel F.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2008.; Includes bibliographical references. Why do states contribute to ad hoc security coalitions and what factors influence their level and composition of support? What factors influence states' decisions to contribute and the type of contribution? What motivated countries such as South Korea to contribute significantly to the Iraq War "coalition of the willing" while steadfast partners such as Turkey and Germany resisted U.S. efforts to include them as coalition partners? Given the potential for coalition, rather than alliance military action, coalitions are understudied as a tool of grand strategy. This research examines the conditions that influence state burden sharing behavior for ad hoc security coalitions and examines the decision making model developed by Andrew Bennett, Joseph Lepgold, and Danny Unger. In an analysis of South Korean, Turkish, and German contributions to the current Iraq War coalition, this research tests an integrative model to explain the spectrum of constraints and opportunities defined by the dynamics of the international system, as well as the capabilities to account for domestic political constraints. The leaders of coalition nations must act within the spectrum of constraints and opportunities that are defined by each nation's domestic political structures. When domestic political considerations are not included in the study of foreign policy, researchers are limited to developing a set of necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for foreign policy decision making. Burden sharing is an integral part of foreign policy decision making and hence requires knowledge of the international environment in which states make decisions and the domestic environment where policy makers translate decisions into action. As is readily apparent in the foreign policy literature, but sometimes lacking in the greater international relations literature, states rarely act as unitary actors. State decisions to commit resources to a military coalition are influenced by the ability of the government to extract those resources from the society. Incorporating state-societal measures in theory-making allows one to gain a better appreciation of the size and composition of state resource expenditures. This study finds that domestic structure---in the form of the relationship between the state executive and legislature---significantly influences a given state's burden sharing behavior. Executive authority and parliamentary accountability appreciably affects the ability of a state to contribute military forces to an international coalition, especially in instances where threat or collective action pressures are low. States with strong executive power in the area of military oversight are less constrained in providing military forces, while states with considerable parliamentary freedom are likely to show a much lower level of commitment. This study fills a gap in the international relations literature in that it explains the influence of state structure on state coalition burden sharing decisions and formalizes the influence of domestic structure in the decision making model.
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