The End of Alliance Theory?

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1 The End of Alliance Theory? Kajsa Ji Noe Oest Institut for Statskundskab Arbejdspapir 2007/03 1

2 Institut for Statskundskab Københavns Universitet Øster Farimagsgade 5 Postboks København K ISSN ISBN

3 The End of Alliance Theory? A Literature Review of Realist Alliance Theory By Kajsa Ji Noe Oest 1 Abstract This paper is a review of the central approaches in post-cold War realist alliance theory i.e. studies of security cooperation between states The aim is to map the major trends specifically in relation to the continued relevance and applicability of the theories. This review departs from the more empirical founded discussion on the end of alliances and tries to relate to which implications this discussion might have for alliance theories. Should there be a debate on the question of the end of alliance theory? 1 Kajsa Ji Noe Oest is a PhD Fellow at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. 3

4 CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION The End of Alliances? 7 2. THE CONCEPT OF ALLIANCES Alliance Definition Alliance Typology Intra-alliance Cooperation Coalitions vs. Alliances THE FIELD OF STUDY Pre-1991 Alliance Theory 26 Balance of Power 28 Balance of Threat ALLIANCE THEORY Balance of Power + 33 Offensive Realism 34 Underbalancing 36 The Alliance Security Dilemma 38 Game theory 41 A Trade-off Model 42 A Model of Unipolarity 44 Constellation Theory 47 Soft Balancing Balance of Threats + 52 External Threats 53 Internal Threats 55 Internal and External Threats STATUS Trends Main Critique CONCLUSION 66 REFERENCES 69 APPENDIX

5 1. Introduction This paper is a review of the central approaches in post-cold War realist alliance theory 2 i.e. studies of security cooperation between states. The aim is to map the major trends specifically in relation to the continued relevance and applicability of the theories. This review departs from the more empirical founded discussion on the end of alliances 3 and tries to relate to which implications this discussion might have for alliance theories. Should there be a debate on the question of the end of alliance theory? I support the stand in the end of alliances 4 debate that alliances are not dead but merely have changed and argue that from this change emerges new challenges and problems. I therefore review existing theories in order to evaluate to what extent the theories are still relevant. In this paper especially focuses on how eligible post-cold War alliances are in relation to explanations of one of the new puzzles which have emerged why have intra-alliance cooperation between the unipole and its allies on formation of ad hoc coalitions like e.g. in Afghanistan 2001 or Iraq 2003 been so heterogeneous from coalition to coalition and from state to state? Thus the overall central question to be answered in this paper is: - Which existing realist alliance theories bear the most potential for explaining intra-alliance cooperation on coalition formation during unipolarity? Two questions will structure the following discussion of the different approaches: 1) When and under which conditions do the theories expect alliances to form? I.e. which hypothesis of alliance formation can be derived from the theories, what is the argument behind and under which conditions? 2) What is the explanatory power of the theories in the current international system? 2 I adhere to a wide definition of theory as a causal law between a set of variables (see Van Evera 1997: 8) as opposed to e.g. Waltz more narrow definition of a theory as explaining laws, a set of variables connected by a internal logic (Waltz 1979: 6). 3 Not unlike the Francis Fukuyama (1989; 1992) end of history and the Daniel Bell (1990) end of ideology debates, though in a minor scale. For main contributors see Menon 2003, Campbell 2004, Tertrais 2004 or Neuman See more on this debate in section 1.1 The End of Alliances. 5

6 I.e. what are the main strengths and critics if wanting to apply the explanation to explanations of intra-alliance cooperation on coalition formation in a unipolar system? Thus the theories will be evaluated on how applicable the alliance hypothesis is in regard to intra-alliance cooperation on ad hoc coalition formation and during a unipolar international system and specifically their concept of power or threat and alliances. Seen in the light of the focus of this paper; identifying eligible theories for explaining intra-alliance cooperation during a unipolar international system, I have found it relevant to focus on theories of alliance formation why alliances form and how cohesive they are. I argue that alliance cohesion explanations can be used to lay out the general conditions for intra-alliance cooperation, while alliance formation explanations can be used to explain the dynamics in coalition formation between already allied states. The selection and discussions are based on a systematic reading of principal works and international journals. The main contributions and theoretical discussions from the last 15 years ( ) will be presented is chosen because there are a number of alliance literature reviews conducted before but extremely few after 7. Because a considerable amount of alliance theories have been developed since 1991 it is both relevant and interesting to study if there are any new trends or developments in recent alliance theories. A paper like this is of uttermost importance mainly of two reasons. First, the field of alliance theory is fragmented with no consensus as to how to study and understand alliances. 8 Further, there is a substantial lack of updated thorough and systematic reviews of the field after the end of the Cold War. Hence it is extremely difficult to get a general overview of the trends in post-cold War realist alliance theory. Second, after the end of the Cold War there is also a serious lack of a general overview of the discussions on the concept of alliances as such i.e. how to define an alliance and how to distinguish it from other related terms. There exist only a few very short descriptions. 9 In sum this paper in addition to studying the question of the end of alliance theory is conducted in 5 For a list of Journals and databases see appendix 1 6 For previous broad literature reviews see e.g. classical works by Fedder 1968, Holsti There are only a few very short and limited post-cold War reviews, which unfortunately each only covers a small part of the field, see Miller 2003, Weitsman 2004 or Krause & Sprecher 2004; Snyder 1997 and Weitsman Though Hansen 1993 is more thorough but her review is 14 years old. 8 There is not even concensus on whether to study alliances as independent, dependent or intermediary variables. 9 None of, which provide substantial or structured discussions see Krauser & Sprecher 2004; Kim 1992; Simon & Gartzke 1996; Miller 2003; Leeds, Ritter, Mitchell & Long 2002; Conybeare For overviews of traditional definitions see Holsti et.al. 1973; Singer & Small 1966; Rothstein 1968: 46-64; Dingman 1979:

7 order to be able to avoid the problem of testing of apples vs. oranges 10 and try to establish coherence among the fragmented field, thus promote more focused future discussions on alliances. I proceed as follows. After this introduction, the paper is divided into two parts. Part one provides a discussion of the concept of alliances and coalitions which is essential in order to evaluate alliance theories but widely lacking from the more recent alliance literature. In part two alliance theory as a field of study will be defined and the main pre-1991 alliance theories will be introduced shortly. Hereafter the review of alliance formation theory is conducted. Finally a status of the major trends is given and a conclusion is drawn up. Before starting, a couple of caveats should be made. Most importantly, the study is limited to realist alliance formation and cohesion theory. Second, the selected theories are chosen based on a criterion that they should cover a wide selection of the main tendencies. Though while providing a general overview of realist alliance theory I focus the discussions on the dominating hypotheses and their explanatory power. Third, it is also important to emphasize the limits of the narrow focus of the paper on applicability of the explanations in relation to intra-alliance cooperation in ad hoc coalitions in the current international system. Thus, even though I present an extensive overview of the field of realist alliance formation and cohesion theories in general, the theories explanatory power will be reviewed in relation to the very specific given focus of this paper. 1.1 The End of Alliances? After these introductory remarks the following section will elaborate on the point of departure of the paper; the end of alliances debate and the related question of the end of alliance theories. The dynamics of cooperation and conflict have changed considerably and thereby also the conditions for alliance theory after the end of the Cold War. The main arguments from the empirical focused end of alliances debate on the continued relevance and change of alliances posits mainly seven issues 10 This is a problem, which several scholars have pointed to as being a source of divergent results in trying to establish relations between alliances and e.g. trade (Long 2003) or war and peace (Gibler & Vasquez 1998; Liska 1962; Singer & Small 1976) etc. Gibler and Vasquez (1998) have argued that the lack of a conceptualization of alliances lead to academic debates on divergent terms as the subjects they are studying vary so does the ways they are studying it and the result they end up with e.g. Gibler and Vasquez argue further that the use of various different not always clearly defined concepts of alliances are the reason why it has not yet been possible to establish a consistent relation between alliances and war (Gibler & Vasquez 1998). 7

8 on different levels. 11 First, it is argued that the end of bipolarity has changed the alliance cooperation pattern of two relative stabile alliance blocs in a not yet clearly defined way (Campbell 2004: 162, Tertrais 2004: , and Menon 2003: 2). 12 Second, the use of international ad hoc coalitions is argued to have become much more prevalent (Campbell 2004: 151, , Tertrais 2004: 138; Menon 2003: 4, Weitsman 2003: 80). 13 Third, the increase in international terror is argued to have a negative impact on the alliance cooperation (Tertrais 2004: 137, Campbell 2004: 158, 161). Fourth, proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction is argued to influence the alliance needs of states (Tertrais 2004: 138, ). Fifth, an increasing globalization is argued to increase the relevance of alliances and allied effort (Neuman 2001: 310). Sixth, a changed threat scenario and a lower perceived threat are argued to have a negative effect on alliance needs (Tertrais 2004: 142; Shen 2004:165). Seventh, decreases in national defence budgets are argued to have a positive effect on alliance cooperation (Sandler 1993: 448). In the end of alliances debate the scholars do not distinguish between the different levels of the changes or what changes can be argued to be a function of each other as it is a very empirical based debate. The seven issues can be argued to be interlinked to different degrees e.g. it can be argued that a change in polarity from bipolarity to unipolarity lead to a raise in the use of ad hoc coalitions, is an extensive use of ad hoc coalitions is a condition in a unipolar international system. This debate is an interesting discussion it is however outside the main focus of this paper. The seven issues can be divided on three different levels 1) structural, 2) actor behavioral and 3) outcome: For discussions on the changed conditions see Menon 2003, Campbell 2004, Tertrais 2004, Norris 2003, Sandler 1993, Weitsman 2003 or Neuman The Warsaw Treaty no longer exists and it is difficult to find empirical data that supports the idea that a new counter balancing alliance has replaced the old one. During the Cold War alliances where mainly stabile and permanente alliancer, formed facing a common enemy or threat and alliance strategies where seen as a central foreign policy instrument (Menon 2003: 1-2). For instance did the United States during the Cold War succeed in creating a network of about 50 alliances, which in spite of some differences where stable (Tertrais 2004: 136). See Kurt Campbell (2004: 156) for categorisation of U.S. Cold War alliances , the Nuclear familiy, the extended familiy and friends and acquaintances. 13 For instance Patricia Weitsman argues that coalition building to prosecute wars has assumed enormous significance in the past decade. The Gulf war, the war in former Yugoslavia, war on terror have all been fought after great efforts on the part of the US to forge a coalition to undertake its various missions. Further multilateral efforts to patrol the world s hot spots have culminated in widespread cooperation among a very diverse set of nations (Weitsman 2003: 80). 14 Some of the changes can though be placed at various levels or their place is discussable. 8

9 Diagram 1: Post-Cold War changes influencing alliance formation on three levels Structure The relative distribution of power among the great powers Threat scenario Globalisation Actor International terror Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Defence budgets Outcome Ad hoc coalitions In sum these seven different changes are not necessarily mutual exclusive. All scholars in the debate adhere to several changes simultaneously. There is a general consensus on a changed relative distribution of power, threat scenario and an increased cooperation in ad hoc coalitions; however the scholars differ on how much this has changed and the subsequent effects. Further in the debate on the end of alliances there are three main stands. At one end of the spectrum, some scholars argue that the concept of alliances is dead and have been replaced by another concept of international coalitions (e.g. Menon 2003). At the other end, other scholars argue that the concept of alliances is not dying but merely have changed (e.g. Campbell 2004). In the middle, there are those arguing that dealing with security threats today will take place in both the form of formal partnerships and ad hoc coalitions (e.g. Norris 2003) or that ad hoc coalitions and bilateral alliances gains territory at the expense of permanent and multilateral alliances (e.g. Tertrais 2004). In other words the differences in the debate are small; there is a general consensus on a trend towards an increasing use of ad hoc coalitions and the main differences arise on whether to view the concept of coalitions as a different concept from alliances i.e. two different concepts or to view this development as a change in the concept of alliances i.e. one changing concept. See diagram three for an illustration of the differences. 9

10 Diagram 2 Positions in the end of alliances debate Only coalitions Both alliances and coalitions Alliances - > coalitions End of the concept of alliances Both the concept of alliances and coalitions The concept of alliances have changed into coalitions A C A C A C I support the second position arguing in favor of the concept of alliances not being dead but that the concept of alliances are changing and I view the two concepts as one, coalitions being a subpart of alliances (see next section 2. The Concept of Alliances for more on this). Empirically thus a number of post-cold War changes might influence and change the conditions for alliance formation and the role of institutionalized alliances like NATO might have changed after the end of the Cold War. I will, however, argue this does not render the study of alliances surplus. On the contrary, due to the opportunity provided by alliances to pool forces and thereby enable countries to meet contingencies coalition building as a means to coordinate international interventions to stem conflicts has assumed enormous significance in the past decade (Sandler 1993: 448). 15 New great power alliances may also be in the making for instance, a Russo-Chino alliance within the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Oest & Toft 2007a). In sum I support the argument that the concept of alliances has changed in the direction of an increased understanding and use of the concept of alliances as also including ad hoc alliances such as coalitions The Concept of Alliances In this section the concept of alliances in general will be discussed, followed by my own definitions of alliances and coalitions. I provide a two-step-way of characterizing alliances. Firstly, an alliance 15 E.g. conflicts in Kuwait, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan etc. demonstrates that allied efforts still are needed. 16 See section 2.4 for my definition of coalitions. 10

11 definition, a tool to determine whether a given cooperation can be defined as an alliance. Second, an alliance typology, a tool to determine the type of alliance. The two steps complement each other. This updated discussion of alliance definitions and typologies is not as the review limited to cover the time period Alliance Definition There is no unifying definition of the concept of alliances. An alliance can broadly understood refer to everything from a cooperation between political parties, military cooperation between states to business cooperation between private companies. 17 Even when looking strictly at International Relations literature the concept is defined very differently and at times very widely. 18 It can thus be difficult to define what precisely distinguish an alliance. In conducting studies of alliances in general and in this paper in specific it is however, important to define a more focused definition of alliances, because this is determining for, which theories that will be included in the review or study. In the following section I therefore discuss the first step to characterizing an alliance; how to determine whether a given cooperation can be defined as an alliance. As mentioned in the introduction the point of departure for this working paper is a basic understanding - not definition of alliances - as a form of security 19 cooperation between states. 20 In diagram four different forms of international cooperation is categorized according to their content. Following my basic understanding of alliances this paper focuses only on international cooperation like those mentioned in the grey circle of diagram three. 17 Other related and partly overlapping terms are collective defence pacts, multiparty defence and collective security, security assistance, union, confederation, coalition, league or international organization. 18 For sample of traditional definitions see Holsti et.al. 1973; Singer & Small 1966; Rothstein 1968: 46-64; Dingman 1979:245-66; Kann 1976: For more recent but unfortunately very short samples see Krauser & Sprecher 2004; Kim 1992; Simon & Gartzke 1996; Miller 2003; Leeds, Ritter, Mitchell & Long 2002; Conybeare Security is here defined as one state s position vis-á-vis others and that this position is based on a state s relative capabilities (Hansen 2000: 55). Capabilities is here defined as Waltz (territorial size, size of population, military strength, economical capability, resource endowment, political stability and competence) (Waltz 1979: 98, 131). This of course influences the alliance definition. As opposed to a wider definition arguing for a more two dimensional extension of the concept i.e. in relation to global, regional, group and unit level and environmental, economical, political security and opens up for alliance definitions with more diverse cooperation and between different units (See Wæver 2004, Ullman 1983 or Walt 1991 for the wide vs. narrow debate on the concept of security). Not all of the alliance formation theories are explicit on their definition of security but a majority of the theories adhere to a traditional concept of security. 20 This is a very wide point of departure, though it could be argued to be too limited in emphasizing cooperation between states and not including cooperation of security between non-state actors. This is however chosen because it captures the dominating approaches in alliance theory. the lack of notion of non-state actors is a general problem in the theories which will be discussed during the review 11

12 Diagram 3 Different Forms of International Cooperation UN The Multinationale force in Iraq 2003 NATO International organisations Security Cooperation US-Israel Business Cooperation The different forms of security cooperation in the grey circle in diagram four are all manifestations of organized international security cooperation. However, they differ greatly in commitment, character and object of their cooperation. This ranges from a formal institutionalized 21 military defence alliance as NATO 22, which used to be directed towards the Warsaw Pact 23 to informal but long termed agreements on security cooperation as between Israel and USA, which mainly have a diplomatic character but at times also military 24, and not officially is targeted directly against a third party. And somewhere in between these two forms of security cooperation a formal but not institutionalized cooperation, such as the military Multinational Force in Iraq , which was clearly targeted against the Bath regime of Sadam Hussein. I have in my extensive reading of different alliance definitions found that there is a general consensus on that cooperation in alliances takes place between two or more sovereign states 26 while 21 By institutionalised I refer to an extensive formalised physical organisational frame work (reference). 22 NATO is a formal cooperation because it is based on a writtten agreement and institutionalised due to its extensive physical organisational frames. 23 The founding document of NATO, The North Atlantic Treaty (4/4-1949) does not diretly mention a target but merely states that the object of NATO is to maintain peace among members and defence against outside area attacks. 24 The U.S.-Israeli alliance is not formally signed or documented in a treaty. 25 The Multinational force is based on formal i.e. written down agreements but is however not institutionalised. 26 Paul 2004 mentions the possibility of asymetrical balancing i.e. alliances between a state and non-state actor, but this concept is in not theoretically thouroughly developed or very commonly used (Paul 2004: 3). 12

13 the main differences can be found in which priority different scholars grant the following three features: 27 1) Commitment 2) Object 3) Character Commitment refers to both the degree and form of commitment in the cooperation. Degree ranges from close relations over good relations and cool relations to intense hostility and what kind of promise is inherent in the commitment mutual defense or just consultation? While the form can be formal, informal, institutionalized or ad hoc. 28 The commitment can be mutual or unilateral, 29 thus covering a wider spectrum. Historically it has been seen to be possible to have formal alliances between states with cool or intensely hostile relations e.g. The 1971 Egypt-Soviet Treaty of Friendship 30. I, thus use commitments in a much wider sense than e.g. Singer and Small 1966, which only use commitment to cover the character of what states commit themselves to e.g. a mutual promise of defense or only a mutual promise of consultancy. The object of the cooperation refers to who the cooperation is directed against, i.e. whether it is targeted directly at another state or alliance of states. While the character of the cooperation refers to what means are used in the cooperation i.e. military, diplomatic etc. Mainly two approaches can be found; a narrow or a wide. 31 A narrow definition has a strong emphasis on commitment being formal (see e.g. Beres 1972: 702; Snyder 1990: 104; Morrow 1991; Miller & Toritsyn 2005, Gibler & Sarkees 2004, Marshall 1965, Wolfers 1968: 268). The most representative and commonly used narrow definition is that of Glenn Snyder. Snyder defines alliances as formal associations of states for the use (or nonuse) of 27 This characterisation is not unlike Glenn Snyder s. Snyder classify formal alliances according to 1) size, 2) unilateral, multilateral or bilateral, 3) equal vs unequal, 4) purpose, 5) scope of commitment, 6) type of commitment and 7) duration (Snyder 1997: 12-16). However, Snyder defines alliances narrowly and thus his classification only covers formal alliances, whereas I try to capture a broader variety in my characterisation. 28 Formal in the sense that it is agreements that are recognized between nations and which are written and have been ratified and are mutual pledges as opposed to unilateral promises as the British guarantee of Belgian territory or the Japanese-American security agreement or the US membership of the NATO alliance is formal as opposed to the US- Israeli cooperation which is informal (Bennett 1997: 847). 29 As the unilateral promise from Brittain to protect Belgian territory. 30 See note Though Victor Cha operates with a definition of a quasi alliance: a relationship between two states that remain unallied despite sharing a common ally (Cha 1999: 36). 13

14 military force, in specified circumstances, against states outside their own membership (Snyder 1997: 4). Alliances are hereby distinguished from intentions and expectations, which according to Snyder origins from elsewhere than the commitment to assist others (Snyder 1991: 123). Snyder further explicitly distinguishes between alignment and alliances (Snyder 1997: 4, 6). 32 Thus Snyder is very specific and exclusive in his definition. Other examples are Douglas Gibler and Meredith Reid Sarkees (2004) or Eric Miller and Arkady Toritsyn (2005) who emphasize an explicit focus on signed written agreements in their definitions (Gibler and Sarkees 2004; Miller and Toritsyn 2005). 33 Finally, among the narrow definitions there can also be found a focus on force and direction. This can be seen in Louis René Beres alliance definition, which emphasizes a pledge between signatories to cooperate in the use of force against other actors (Beres 1972: 702). In sum narrow approaches emphasize commitments being formal, the character of the alliance being military force and the object of the cooperation being explicitly directed against another state or alliance. The narrow definition is easy to code because there is no doubt as what to include or exclude. On the other hand this limits the studies considerably e.g. by excluding informal alliances the broader patterns of state relations are overlooked. A distinction between formal and informal alliances might blur a picture of alliance cooperation more than it enlightens it, mainly, because it excludes a great number of agreements. 34 Stephen Walt has argued that change in commitment over time can be seen mainly in changes of behavior not in written documents (Walt 1987: 12). 35 Finally, especially seen in the light of the increased use of ad hoc coalitions it is very restricting to argue that alliances necessarily have to involve a pledge of mutual military assistance There are both those arguing for alignments and alliances being different independent concepts though connected in the logic of alliances (Morrow 2000: 64) and those arguing that these different categories are mutual exclusive and that alliances should be differentiated from alignments (Dingmann 1979; Ward 1982; Niou and Ordeshook 1994). Alignments can refer to broader patterns of state relations which may or may not be formalized in written documents while formal alliances have a greater length of commitment than alignment; alignment reflects similarity in interests without the formal mutual commitment present in alliance (Dingmann 1979; Ward 1982). 33 Only formal written treaties that meet the Singer and Small definition can be considered alliances. Though two exceptions, written treaties that do not pass the ratification process are not included. Alliances with no surviving treaty text are included if their existence and characteristics could be confirmed by at least two secondary sources (Gibler and Sarkees 2004). 34 E.g. there is no doubt that there exists an alliance between US-Israel even though it has never formally been written down (Bennett 1997: 847). 35 E.g. The 1971 Soviet-Egyptian treaty of Friednship was not signed until 1971, but the two states had previously openly been working closely together on security issues for a long time period. Walt argues that the treaty could be seen more as a sign of growing tensions between the two and not a symbol of increased mutual commitment (Walt 1987: 12). 36 Also this would exclude alliances as the U.S.-Japanese security cooperation or the British security gurantee of Belgian territory. 14

15 Wide definitions of alliances or alignment do not emphasize formal commitment to the same extent as narrow definitions (See e.g. Walt 1987; David 1991b: 29; Barnett & Levy 1991: 370; Dingmann 1979; Gibler & Vasquez 1998, Singer and Small 1966; Waltz 1979). Stephen Walt s definition is the most representative and widely used among the wide definitions. Walt defines alliances and alignment as formal or informal arrangement for security cooperation between two or more sovereign states (Walt 1987: 12). Walt uses the terms alignment and alliances interchangeably. Hence, Walt s definition is considerably more inclusive than Snyder s narrow definition. Others applying wide alliance definitions are Kenneth Waltz. In Waltz definition the degree of commitment is not defined and the character of the cooperation is defensive security, though it is emphasized that the object is to counter other states (Waltz 1979:166) 37. For more vague emphasizes on character see Douglas Gibler and John Vasquez (1998) who argue that alliances include a commitment to some future security-related action (Gibler & Vasquez 1998: 787). 38 In sum wide definitions argue that alliances in relation to commitment both can be formal or informal and whom the object of the cooperation is directed explicitly against is not always defined. Further they do not define the specific character of the cooperation, except for it being on security. The benefits in wide alliance approach are that it is possible to encounter and thereby study various forms of security cooperation. On the other hand wide definitions as Walt s have been criticized for been too wide and catch all-like and thus difficult to code. In sum alliances can generally be defined according to a wide or a narrow definition, differing on three features (commitment, object, character). This wide-narrow division can both be seen as two mutual exclusive definitions or as part of a continuum. 39 I therefore suggest that applying these three features is a valuable way of defining whether cooperation is an alliance or not. I find that in spite of the critique it is most relevant to define alliances according to the wide definitions such as Walt. I thus define alliances as: formal or informal explicit security 40 cooperation between two or 37 In the words of Kenneth Waltz alliances are made by states that have some but not all of their interest in common (most fear of other states) and alliance strategies are always the product of compromise since interest of allies and their notion of how to secure them are never identical (Waltz 1979:166). 38 The action involved could entail almost anything detailed military planning, consultation during a crisis, or a promise by one state to abstain from an upcoming war. This definition is consistent with Singer and Small Correlates of War definition, which not only looks at military commitments to defend or remain neutral but also include agreements to consult or cooperate during times of crisis (Singer and Small 1966:122; 1969: 1, see also next section 2.2). The latter point is important due to the initial discussion that argued a large number of alliances within the COW data set may actually be conflict resolution treaties (Gibler and Vasquez 1998). 39 For scholars defining alliances thought of as part of a continuum of security relationship from alignment through to federation see Lake 1996, 1999; Weber For my definition of security see note

16 more sovereign states. This definition presumes a certain level of commitment and exchange of gains among the allies emphasizing that even though the cooperation is not formal it should be explicit and that deconstruction or failing to meet the obligations of the agreement will have consequences. To be a valuable and useful distinction explicit is here defined as a retrospective concept. It is sufficient if an alliance retrospectively can be verified by two of each other independent official sources from each alliance part thus also including secret alliances. 41 Further it is sufficient that independent official leaders have confirmed the alliance and the degree of cooperation do not have to explicit (Dingman 1979: ). This definition is specific in only including security cooperation, but does not emphasize the degree or form. This definition is chosen because of the exclusion of relevant alliances that lies in the narrow definition. Especially seen in the light of changes in the post-cold War era and the focus on intra-alliance cooperation, operating with a narrow definition does not provide a relevant foundation. See table one for a comparative sum up of the wide, narrow vs. my own adjusted wide definition of alliances. Table 1 Comparative overview of alliance definition trends Definition\features Commitment Object Character Wide Formal or Not specified Security informal Narrow Formal States outside the alliance Use of military force Adjusted wide Formal or Not specified Security informal but explicit 2.2 Alliance Typology After I have presented a way to define whether a given cooperation is an alliance or not, I will in the following section attend to the second step in the characterization on alliances. This can help determine what kind of alliance the given cooperation might be characterized as. A relevant point of departure for this is Singer and Small s (1966) three typologies 42. Generally these typologies have been widely applied in alliance studies during the last 40 years. The three typologies are based on 41 I do not emphasise the effect of alliances because it is not given that all alliances have an effect. 42 Treaties of friendship are not included. 16

17 different weightening on commitment variable on a continuum (see diagram 5). Commitment is according to Singer & Small as mentioned earlier only defined in terms of the character of what states commit to do on a long term basis e.g. a mutual promise of defense or only a mutual promise of consultancy. First, neutrality or non-aggression pacts are commitments to remain neutral militarily if the partner were attacked. Second, ententes are commitments to consult with or cooperate in a military contingency. Third, deterrence pacts, defence treaties or defense pacts are commitments wherein signatories obligate to intervene militarily on behalf of one another if either were attacked (Singer & Small 1966: 5). 43 The typologies are still applicable and relevant. However, I find the typologies only including defensive alliances at the expense of offensive agreements. Especially one category is lacking; an aggression pact. Glenn Snyder includes both offensive and defensive pacts in his definition of defense pacts (Snyder 1997: 12-13). However I define aggression pacts as an agreement entered with the main purpose of conducting a military intervention 44 but without the mutual defense promise as inherent in defense pacts. Thus the commitment is smaller in aggression pacts than in defense pacts. This is especially relevant seen in the light of the post-cold War change; the increased use of ad hoc international coalitions often conducting military interventions. 45 Finally, it is also important to emphasize that there are numerous different types of alliance agreements and I merely see these four alliance types as broad overall categories covering the main spectrum of different types of alliances and thus allowing for some variation within each type. See diagram 4 for an illustration of the typologies in relation to each other on a continuum of degree of commitment. 43 Defence alliances may reasonably be thought to involve a greater commitment toward war involvement than the nominally more passive entente and neutrality agreements this is therefore in Siverson and King 1980: 5-6 collapsed into one non-defence designation (See also Gibler 1997 or Leeds 2003 for more current usages of these three typologies). 44 This could refer to both military interventions like in Kuwait 1991, humanitarian interventions like in Kosovo 1999 or preemptive military strikes like in Iraq But also generally offensive war alliances formed to conduct war has been present during the Cold War and especially also during the multipolar pre-cold War era such as different alliances during the second and first World War which defence pacts do not always cover as it not always is merely or at all a matter of defending each other but directly a matter of attacking a third party. See e.g. Patricia Weitsman for discussions of the importance of the distinction between wartime and peacetime alliances which to some extent covers this problemtique (Weitsman 2004: 5-7). I do not as Snyder define coalitions and wartime alliances interchangeable but define the two concepts as overlapping. However aggression pacts are not necessarily fomred during wartime and wartime alliances can include a mutual pledge of defence, which aggression pacts does not. See also section 2.4 for my definition of coalitions. 17

18 Diagram 4 Singer & Small typologies + 1: Nonaggression/ neutrality pact/detente* Entente Aggression pact Defense pact Degree of commitment *Comments to non-aggression pact see footnote 46 If applying a narrow alliance definition like Snyder s only defence pacts and aggression pacts would be considered alliances, as Snyder specifically distinguishes between ententes and alliances. 47 However, if applying a wide alliance definition like Walt s all four categories could be defined as alliances and intra-alliance cooperation on ad hoc coalitions can in theory take part within all four types of alliances as coalitions are defined as a subpart of alliances. 48 In sum the type of alliance can be defined by applying an extended version of Singer & Small s typologies. By combining degree of commitment i.e. how close states are and alliance type i.e. what they have promised each other these types of alliances can be illustrated in an alliance-relationship-stairway metaphor comparing the steps in an alliance relationship to steps in a love affair. Alliances have often been compared to a marriage. Especially this metaphor is often applied to the transatlantic relationship. John Mearsheimer has argued that alliances generally are temporary marriages of conveniences, today s allies can be tomorrow s enemies and vice versa (Mearsheimer 2001: 33). I argue that this comparison of alliances and marriages is very useful especially if broadened to 46 In Singer and Small s definitions non-aggression and neutrality pacts are the same (Singer & Small 1966). In my definition non-aggression pacts, dententes and neutrality pacts are the similar and can be placed within the same box on a scale like in diagram 4 while I would argue that normalisation are less commiting. However I do not define normalisation as an alliance pact but merely as a term, which can be used to describe relations between states. In opposition to this Glenn Snyder distingush between non-aggression pacts as an agreement not to attack each other and neutrality pacts as a pact not to join in an attack on the other and Snyder argues that the different alliance types relate to each other in a telescopic fashion because non-aggresssion pacts subsumes a pledge of neutrality while defence pacts subsumes both neutrality and non-aggression (Snyder 1997: 13). 47 Ententes is in Snyder s view a mere reduction of the conflict level between partners but it is possible to maintain divergent interests while alliances have to be based on a certain amount of common interests against a common perceived enemy. Snyder is however aware of the problem in that ententes sometimes is used to cover cooperation with shared interests and thus merges into the alliance concept (Snyder 1997: 11). 48 However see section 2.3 on intra-alliance cooperation and 2.4 on coalition definitions. 18

19 encounter the many steps in a love affair more in general as opposed to merely the formal marriage alliance step. 49 Table 2 The Stairway of Love - and Alliances Steps in a love affair Steps in an alliance relationship 1. Enemies, maybe despised exlovers Enemies 2. Acquaintance, getting on speaking terms Normalisation/ Neutrality pact/detente 3. Friends Non-aggression 4 Flirting, make passes at each other Formal and informal meetings 5 Dating Informal sporadic cooperation 6 Engagement Entente, formal and extensive cooperation 7 Marriage Defence alliance The relationship between Russia and China is a good empirical example of the logic in the metaphor. For instance, during the Cold War the negative relations between Russia and China could easily be described as despised ex-lovers on the stairway of love - and alliances. However, already in the 1980s the two states slowly started approaching each other and after the end of the Cold War the demilitarisation of their common border indicated normalisation and an emerging flirt in the early 1990 s. The approaching increased in the 1990s. In 1996 the two states reached the dating step with regular annual meetings and formal cooperation in the forum Shanghai Five, which was formed in 1996 and also included Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. In 1997 a troop reduction treaty was signed and in 1999 border settlements was reached. In 2001 the official engagement was announced by the formation of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which involved increased cooperation and frequency of meetings and also in 1996 the signing of the Russo-Chino Good-Neighbourly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. China and Russia are far from entering into an interstate defence alliance marriage à la NATO or the Warsaw Treaty because they have not yet committed to a mutual pledge of defence but they have climbed quite a few steps on the stairway of love - and alliances. The relationship includes in the SCO a pledge of consultation in 49 This is especially based in my wider alliance definition including several types of informal and formal alliances (see section 2.1 and 2.2). 19

20 the case of security crisis 50 and thus the relationship can be described as an entente (Oest & Toft 2007a, Oest & Toft 2007b). 2.3 Intra-alliance Cooperation In this section I discus what intra-alliance cooperation is and how it differs from more general cooperation among non-allied states and why should we expect it to be different. In order for it to be meaningful to distinguish between intra-alliance cooperation and cooperation between non-allied states this demands a certain degree of commitment between the allies. In studies of intra-alliance trade there have been findings that it is only possible to establish a consistent correlation between trade and alliance commitment if the commitment is at a certain level, here defence pacts (Long 2003). It is therefore fair to expect a trend towards a higher degree of cooperation on security issues if states are committed to doing this in an alliance. I emphasize that as no previous studies have shown alliances to be a 100% reliable that only a trend can be expected. Therefore only alliance types including commitment as an entente or more i.e. aggression and defense pacts can be expected to have a higher degree of security cooperation. In alliances with a lesser degree of commitment states do not commit to such issues and thus the expectation is not there in a significant degree. Which step on the stairway of love and alliances can ad hoc coalitions be placed on? Can the less committing ad hoc coalitions be said to be adultery, flirting or one night stands? I argue that intra-alliance cooperation on ad hoc coalitions can be viewed as progress or steps inside a marriage. Naturally in long termed marriages new steps and projects follow, long term as well as short term. Long term projects can be having children or buying real estate. This could in intra-alliance terms be compared to for instance NATO s new focus on out of area operations. Short term projects can be a family vacations or renovations in the home etc., which in alliance terms compare to ad hoc coalitions and operations. 2.4 Coalitions vs. Alliances 50 China is also the largest customer for the Russian military industry and the SCO has conducted several military exercises (in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007). 20

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