Military alliance

European military alliances prior to World War ITriple Entente and Triple Alliance
Two military alliances (NATO and Warsaw Pact) in Europe during the Cold War

A military alliance is a formal agreement between nations concerning national security. Nations in a military alliance agree to active participation and contribution to the defense of others in the alliance in the event of a crisis.[1] In the event a nation is attacked, members of the alliance are often obligated to come to their defense regardless if attacked directly. In the aftermath of the Second World War military alliances usually behave less aggressively and act more as a deterrent.[2] Military alliances differ from coalitions, which formed for a crisis that already exists.[1]

Military alliances can be classified into defense pacts, non-aggression pacts, and ententes.[3] Alliances may be covert (as was common from 1870 to 1916) or public.[4]

According to a 2002 dataset of military alliances, there have been 538 alliance treaties from 1815 to 2003.[5] The vast majority of the alliances involve commitments to come to the military support of one ally involved in war.[5] The vast majority are defensive in nature.[5]

  1. ^ a b Bergsmann, Stefan (2001). "The Concept of Military Alliance" (PDF). Small States and Alliances. pp. 25–37. ISBN 978-3-7908-2492-6. ISBN 978-3-662-13000-1 (Online)
  2. ^ Leeds, Brett Ashley (2003). "Do Alliances Deter Aggression? The Influence of Military Alliances on the Initiation of Militarized Interstate Disputes". American Journal of Political Science. 47 (3): 427–439. doi:10.2307/3186107. ISSN 0092-5853. JSTOR 3186107.
  3. ^ Krause, Volker; Singer, J. David (2001). "Minor Powers, Alliances, And Armed Conflict: Some Preliminary Patterns" (PDF). Small States and Alliances. pp. 15–23. ISBN 978-3-7908-2492-6. (ISBN 978-3-662-13000-1 (Online)
  4. ^ Kuo, Raymond (2019). "Secrecy among Friends: Covert Military Alliances and Portfolio Consistency". Journal of Conflict Resolution. 64: 63–89. doi:10.1177/0022002719849676. ISSN 0022-0027. S2CID 182507234.
  5. ^ a b c Frieden, Jeffry A. (2018). World Politics: Interests, Interactions, Institutions (4 ed.). W W NORTON. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-393-67510-8. OCLC 1197968459.

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