International Alliances and Military Effectiveness

Fighting Alongside Allies and Partners

Published in: Creating Military Power: The Sources of Military Effectiveness / edited by Risa A. Brooks and Elizabeth A. Stanley (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007), Ch. 8, p. 186-206

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Nora Bensahel

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Throughout history, most countries have chosen to conduct their wars alongside partners and allies instead of fighting unilaterally. Starting with the Greek city-states, and continuing through the Thirty Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, and the two World Wars, great powers have often chosen to conduct warfare multilaterally rather than unilaterally. This holds particularly true for the United States: from the Revolutionary War through the recent interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States has fought almost all of its wars alongside other countries. The complexities of the current strategic environment suggest that the preference for multinational warfare will continue into the future.

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