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U.S. Security-Related Agreements in Force Since 1955

U.S. Security-Related Agreements in Force Since 1955: Introducing a New Database

Jennifer Kavanagh
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 84
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  • Book Info
    U.S. Security-Related Agreements in Force Since 1955
    Book Description:

    The U.S. portfolio of treaties and agreements can offer insights into the distribution and depth of U.S. international commitments, including military commitments, relationships, capabilities, and vulnerabilities in a given area. To overcome shortcomings in existing datasets and indexes to these treaties and agreements, the author developed a comprehensive database that will enhance researchers’ ability to study the full portfolio of agreements.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8958-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Law

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-8)

    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 (Simmons, 1998; Keohane, 1984; Brierly, 1963; Keohane, 1993; Friedmann, 1964).¹ This is especially true of security-related treaties and agreements, which can include military alliances, joint training agreements, materiel transfers, and access treaties. Security treaties may provide guarantees of protection, deterrence, dissuasion, reassurance during peacetime, the addition of friendly capabilities used for balancing or augmentation during wartime, military training or financial assistance, and specialized intelligence (Morrow, 2000). Treaties can also be asymmetric, and...

  2. (pp. 9-18)

    The dataset includes all treaties and agreements that were in force at any time between 1955 and 2012. This means that it includes treaties signed before 1955, so long as the treaty remained in force through the 1955 cutoff date. The choice of 1955 as the start date for our analysis was driven by our intended use of the initial version of the data. Specifically, we needed a dataset that would generate counts of the number of agreements between the United States and partner countries for each year from 1955 on. The dataset, therefore, does not include agreements that were...

  3. (pp. 19-36)

    This chapter provides some initial descriptive statistics that summarize the information contained in the treaty database and discusses some of the ways in which the database can be used and analyzed to answer questions about the security-related treaties and agreements signed by the United States. This initial version of the data includes 5,548 individual entries, once the multilateral agreements are decomposed into bilateral pairs. Of this number, 3,223 are individual bilateral treaties and the rest are bilateral pairs created from multilateral agreements (2,325).

    A first issue an analyst might be interested in exploring with the database is the regional distribution...

  4. (pp. 37-40)

    While the treaty database described in this report represents a substantial improvement over other datasets that consider security agreements and military alliances and existing data sources on security treaties and agreements in terms of its comprehensive record of U.S. security commitments over time and its ability to support empirical analysis, there are still a number of limitations and ways that the data could be improved. First, the treaty data rely on only two of the existing treaty and agreement data sources described at the outset of this report: records kept and reported publicly by the State Department and the Kavass...

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