Mutual Defense Cooperation Among US Allies with Historical Conflicts
Abstract Defense cooperation between nation states is often a large part of international security systems, and takes differing levels of cooperation between all states that are involved. There are many different explanations for what leads nations to create direct mutual defense cooperation, but these do not all apply in cases of nations with historical conflict. This paper seeks to answer the question of what factors cause two nations, who also have the United States as a major ally, to create direct mutual defense cooperation when they have had significant historical conflict between them? The argument of this paper is that nations have significant and direct defense cooperation despite their historical conflicts when the United States places direct conditionality on the reconciliation and/or cooperation, and when there is reconciliation between the two nations. The dependent variable in this paper is the creation of direct bilateral defense cooperation. The independent variables are the conditionality of support by the United States with the two nations on security issues, and the level of reconciliation between the nations before the alliance was formed. After conducting case studies, the overall findings of this research is that the hypotheses are not supported. In the Greece and Turkey case study there was conditional support by the United States, there has been an accepted amount of reconciliation, and there has also been mutual defense cooperation. France and Germany were found to have reconciliation, while the case study of Israel and the Gulf States were found not to have reconciliation, but both had unconditional support from the US and defense cooperation. The Japan and South Korea case study showed that even with conditionality of US support present in the relationship of the nations, reconciliation is not always an outcome, and neither is defense cooperation. Reconciliation is not considered to be a large factor in terms of defense cooperation, considering reconciliation was defined as involving recognition and apologies for the conflict.
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