Treaties and agreements are powerful foreign policy tools that the United States uses to build and solidify relationships with partners and to influence the behavior of other states. As a result, the overall U.S. portfolio of treaties and agreements can offer insight into the distribution and depth of U.S. commitments internationally, including its military commitment, relationships, capabilities, and vulnerabilities in a given area. While there are many sources of information on security-related treaties and agreements, there is currently no comprehensive record of current or historical security-related treaties signed by the United States that can be used for empirical analysis. To address the shortcomings in existing datasets and indexes to contribute to the study of U.S. security treaties and agreements, the author has developed a tool — displayed in an Excel spreadsheet — that provides a new, more comprehensive treaty database that will enhance the ability of researchers to study the full portfolio of U.S. security agreements.
This research was co-commissioned by the Office of the Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Air Force Quadrennial Defense Review Directorate. The work was conducted within the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.
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