Allies’ Contributions to America’s Wars: Free Rides or Shared Burdens?

  • Starts: 12:00 pm on Thursday, March 5, 2020
  • Ends: 1:30 pm on Thursday, March 5, 2020
Critics of the United States’ allies—including President Donald Trump—argue that they underspend on defense, free-riding off of the United States’ relatively large defense budget. What the critics miss is that alliance burden-sharing is about more than just defense spending. America’s allies have made significant contributions of troops and materiel to U.S.-led wars from the Persian Gulf War onward. Jason Davidson, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Mary Washington, will provide a detailed look at the contribution major U.S. allies have made to U.S.-led military operations in the post-Cold War era, and the significant costs they have incurred. He will also discuss varying motives that lead allies to contribute, noting that allies sometimes contribute primarily because the U.S. has asked them to. Other motives include the allies’ national interest, prestige, or social norms. Finally, Prof. Davidson will discuss explanations for why allies vary in the level of contribution they make to a particular conflict.

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