Defensive military alliances promote peace: Study

February 11th, 2011 - 3:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 11 (ANI): A Rice University study has suggested that countries that enter into defense pacts with other nations are less likely to be attacked and attack others.

The study, co-authored by Ashley Leeds of the Rice University and Jesse Johnson, a Rice graduate student in political science, analysed 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.

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

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,” he said.

The study, ‘Defense Pacts: A Prescription for Peace?’ was published in the journal Foreign Policy Analysis. (ANI)

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