Sam Seitz

Military alliances have become a core component of U.S. foreign policy, and they have played an important role in both enabling and constraining American actions abroad. Indeed, every post-Cold War military action undertaken by the United States has involved a coalition of countries. From the Gulf Wars to Libya to Syria, United States foreign policy would not be the same without America’s intricate web of military alliances with countries around the world. Of all the military alliances to which the United States belongs, NATO is arguably the most vital and influential. Possessing the greatest aggregate military power in the world and actively contributing to U.S. military actions abroad, NATO continues to be a highly relevant institution in the international security arena.[1] Understanding the ways in which NATO is organized, therefore, is crucial to understanding both American security policy and alliance politics more generally. Given its size and scope, NATO provides a particularly useful case study for those interested in understanding alliance organization and institutionalization. Its core role in upholding the liberal international order also makes it a highly policy relevant research area. This paper will attempt to leverage these unique attributes to examine NATO military integration, deriving both academically interesting and policy-relevant implications designed to augment the existing literature regarding NATO and alliance organization more broadly.

Specifically, this paper seeks to better understand the degree to which NATO military power is integrated at the strategic level. It attempts to determine how NATO countries decide to structure and invest in their forces and whether NATO members consider broader alliance capabilities when investing in their national militaries. In other words, this paper tries to answer the following question: do NATO members invest to improve aggregate alliance power, or do they instead prioritize national defense goals and capabilities? My research focuses specifically on British, German, and French military capabilities and organization during the 2007-2008 financial crisis and ensuing European sovereign debt crisis. Because austerity measures forced states to make hard choices about their defense spending priorities, case studies focusing on this period are uniquely effective at ascertaining states’ strategic priorities. I chose Britain, France, and Germany because they have the three largest military budgets in Europe, making them good proxies for the alliance writ large. While subaltern members of NATO might lack the fiscal or institutional capacity to drastically modify their defense arrangements to augment NATO power, Britain, France, and Germany all have the ability to meaningfully evolve their procurement and organizational strategies to improve aggregate alliance capabilities. Thus, these countries represent ideal test cases. Through an examination of the capabilities that the U.K., France, and Germany chose to prioritize, we can better understand the degree to which they organize their militaries for alliance operations.

Existing Literature

The existing alliance literature is heavily biased toward the structural level of analysis. Realist scholars have examined when states choose to balance and bandwagon, the degree to which military alliances effectively deter, and the balance of power implications of military alliances.[2] Liberal scholars have expanded the scope of the alliance literature by investigating the ways in which military alliances fit into the broader international order and contribute to inter-state cooperation.[3] Few scholars, however, have studied alliances in their own right. Fortunately, recent research has increasingly begun to focus on alliances organization. Patricia Weitsman has arguably contributed the most to this body of research. In her book, Waging War, she examines the organizational differences between formal alliances and ad hoc coalitions. Her research suggests that alliances tend to be far better integrated and institutionalized, but they also tend to be slower to adapt and can thus struggle to respond to novel contingencies. Michaela Mattes has also done research in this vein, attempting to explain variation in levels of institutionalization in bilateral alliances. She argues that unreliable allies in rough parity tend to strongly institutionalize their alliance in order to prevent betrayal. Reliable allies with large variations in power form less institutionalized alliances because there is a lower risk of betrayal and because the less powerful state lacks the means to strongly constrain the more powerful alliance member.[4] Steve Weber reaches similar conclusions in his research, but he emphasizes the role of institutional efficiency. Much like Mattes, Weber maintains that states in rough parity tend to form highly integrated and institutionalized alliance systems while alliances that contain major power imbalances are more weakly institutionalized. However, in Weber’s view, this results from a need to capitalize on institutional efficiency – a tightly integrated alliance can more effectively pool resources – rather than from a need to protect against defection and betrayal.

Finally, several scholars have attempted to explain alliance organization by focusing on internal factors within member states. Ryan Dudley, for example, has argued that alliance choices are largely the product of endogenous factors as opposed to external systemic pressures, as states only have meaningful control over domestic issues.[5] Mattes has conducted similar research and concludes alliances comprised of democracies tend to be more institutionalized because democratic politicians seek to lock in foreign and defense policies, thus preventing rival political parties from significantly altering policy were they to win future elections.[6] Finally, Kimball has developed a theory designed to explain defense spending patterns among states that are members of alliances. Kimball contends that states use alliances to lighten the burden of defense spending, and this allows them to focus a greater percentage of government spending on more popular domestic programs like welfare and education spending.[7]

Institutional Realism

My research borrows most heavily from Patricia Weitsman’s work. In particular, her theory of institutional realism, which argues that states employ alliances to improve aggregate power and extend their power projection capabilities but act unilaterally when institutions become overly constraining, undergirds my theoretical approach.[8] In the case of NATO, I contend that states use the alliance to augment their national power and lower transactions costs for bilateral defense cooperation with other member states while still maintaining strategic flexibility. In this way, states maximize their power through the alliance while ensuring that core national defense planning is not subordinated to alliance needs. This view matches the preponderance of research done by the aforementioned authors, which suggests that domestic pressures and national priorities play an outsized role in determining alliance cohesion and cooperation.[9] In the following section, I will utilize defense spending data, think tank reports, NATO summit declarations, and defense white papers to test this theory with respect to Britain, Germany, and France. By looking at the military capabilities that these states chose to prioritize as well as the justifications for these priorities, we can better understand the degree to which they were motivated by national considerations and the degree to which the alliance shaped their actions.

For Crown and Country: The British Military During the Recession

Britain has always been an interesting case, as it straddles the line between Europe and the United States. In many ways, this has hampered the U.K.’s ability to fully integrate itself into the European defense architecture, as its defense procurement and organization is more closely linked to the United States. Indeed, Britain has actively resisted a more autonomous E.U. defense organization due to concerns that this would undercut NATO, diminish U.S. influence in Europe, and thus undermine the advantages the U.K. has garnered from the special relationship.[10] This reticence to become more deeply integrated into the European defense network has had clear and negative impacts on overall British military power, and this becomes painfully obvious when one examines defense spending around 2008.

Britain faced a two-pronged attack on its defense capabilities at the end of the last decade. First, many of its systems were reaching the end of their useful lives. This was especially true regarding British naval power, as both the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and the Royal Navy’s fleet of Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft were decommissioned in 2011.[11] Second, global economic instability exerted further pressure on the British government, restricting funding for the Ministry of Defence (MoD). By 2010, defense outlays had fallen 7.5% in real terms.[12] The cuts were actually closer to 25%, however, as miscommunication between the incoming Conservative Party and outgoing Labour Party created £38bn in unfunded defense liabilities as well as confusion over which ministry would pay for the nuclear submarine modernization program. The Tories thus pushed for significant austerity within the MoD, further hollowing out the British military.[13]

These budgetary pressures led to cuts across the board. And while the U.K. was able to maintain the majority of its strategic capabilities, these capabilities existed in a diminished state: Britain decommissioned 40% of its Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, eliminated a full combat brigade, and vastly diminished the size and scope of the Royal Air Force. The elimination of the Ark Royal and conversion of her sister ship, the Invincible, to a helicopter carrier also vastly diminished the U.K.’s ability to project power across the sea, further undermining the expeditionary capabilities of the British military.[14] In short, Britain cut capabilities to preserve flexibility. While Britain maintained the ability to undertake stabilization operations utilizing around 6,000 soldiers and two non-enduring operations requiring around 1,000-2,000 personnel or one large-scale operation necessitating around 30,000 soldiers, it lost the ability to engage near-peer competitors without allied assistance.[15]

Britain did, however, pursue limited coordination with France to mitigate the effect of defense cuts. Specifically, it cooperated in training a joint Rapid Reaction Force to be commanded either by a French or British commander, pooled maintenance and logistics for its A400M transport aircraft, and funded joint R&D and nuclear weapons research.[16] While this cooperation increased interoperability and coordination between France and Britain, it failed to consider other alliance members. Britain leveraged its alliance ties with France to cushion the blow of massive defense cuts. But this decision was done purely for the sake of the U.K. and France, and it therefore failed to meaningfully improve broader alliance capabilities or cooperation.

Honneur et patrie: The French Military During the Recession

Much like the United Kingdom, France prides itself on its ability to undertake large-scale expeditionary missions. France has always sought to maintain a degree of independence from NATO and ensure a fair degree of flexibility and autonomy in its foreign and defense policy, and thus the French government worked diligently to minimize the impact of budgetary pressures on the French armed forces.[17] Impressively, the French defense budget was only reduced by 3% between 2008 and 2012, and France was able to sustain its procurement projects and readiness levels by pushing back modernization programs and procurement timetables.[18] France also enjoyed an advantage over Britain in that it did not have to devote resources toward nuclear modernization programs, as these were largely completed before the onset of the financial crisis.[19] Thus, France was able to maintain a relatively effective military force in all key domains, retaining the ability to deploy two naval combat groups and continuing to procure new combat systems for its navy and air force.[20]

Nevertheless, France was forced to make deep cuts in end strength and significant cuts to defense spending after 2012. The 2008 French White Paper recommended a downsizing of 54,000 personnel from the French armed forces (including the elimination of 20,000 personnel from overseas bases), a reduction in combat aircraft deployed abroad, and the shuttering of several overseas bases.[21] However, as the previous section explained, France sought to counter these cuts by cooperating with the U.K in a number of areas including joint R&D and the creation of a joint British-French Rapid Reaction Force that allowed France and the United Kingdom to combine their military power at the tactical level. France complemented its U.K. cooperation program by pursuing further collaboration with Germany and the Netherlands, pooling and sharing air-to-air refueling planes.[22]

In short, France was – at least in the short term – largely able to preserve its strategic flexibility without significantly undermining its power projection capabilities or force readiness. In many ways, then, it was able to continue to support broad multilateral NATO operations as well as bilateral security cooperation with close allies like the United Kingdom. Despite this commitment to maintaining broad-spectrum capabilities, prioritizing NATO alliance capabilities did not appear to be a paramount concern for French policymakers who repeatedly cited the need to ensure French sovereignty and freedom of action in government defense documents. As Camille Grand argues, France’s commitment to a strong and capable military had more to do with the strong bipartisan consensus within the French government and less to do with considerations of aggregate NATO power.[23] France worked purposefully to ensure its own military capabilities to preserve strategic flexibility, and this just happened to largely coincide with NATO force requirements.

Immer im Einsatz: The German Military During the Recession

The German military was arguably hit the hardest of any of the major European NATO states. Germany’s lack of enthusiasm for military operations as well as its pre-planned post-Cold War drawdowns meant that the Bundeswehr was already facing large budget constraints going into the recession.[24] And while Germany increased defense spending in real terms by 1.4% between 2008 and 2010, fiscal consolidation during the European sovereign debt crisis only further exacerbated pressures on the German defense budget.[25] Concretely, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government proposed €8bn in defense cuts – a 22% reduction – and Defense Minister zu Guttenberg reduced the size of the German military from 241,970 to 188,634 personnel.[26] After these initial cuts, subsequent reductions in end strength resulted in a force of around 178,000 soldiers.[27] While the army suffered the most severe cuts, the Navy and Luftwaffe also faced serious diminishment of capabilities. The number of strategic and tactical aircraft, such as the A400M transport plane, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the NH90 and Tiger helicopter, procured by the German government fell significantly.[28] And the Navy eliminated its 206A SSK submarines without replacement.[29] The Army witnessed the greatest structural upheaval, as it was reorganized into six brigades under two divisional headquarters and a Rapid Reaction Force comprising one paratrooper and one light infantry regiment, an attack helicopter regiment, and two transport helicopter regiments.[30]

Given that Germany already lacked naval power projection capabilities, these cuts did not significantly alter Germany’s capabilities in the short term. Indeed, by retrenching and restructuring, the German military created a more sustainable and professional force that would be capable of deploying significant personnel abroad to support NATO operations. However, by significantly shrinking its ground forces and slashing funding for modernization programs and procurement, Germany became a hollower and less-advanced force, especially by NATO standards. The long-term effects of these cuts resulted in a decrepit and underserviced force that embarrassingly had to use broomsticks as fill-ins for machine guns during one NATO training exercise, leading to great embarrassment.[31]

Much like Britain and France, Germany sought to mitigate the worst impacts of these cuts through bilateral cooperation and jointly controlled multinational units. However, Germany explicitly rejected calls for defense specialization by prioritizing breadth over depth, suggesting that like the U.K. and France, German policymakers sacrificed alliance efficiency for national autonomy.[32] German defense integration was further delayed by the fact that reforms did not begin until 2014-2015, limiting their ability to mitigate the damage wrought on the German military. Perhaps the most obvious example of these integration initiatives was the creation of two joint units that combined both Dutch and German personnel. German soldiers in the so-called “Sea Battalion” will serve until 2018 on the Dutch ship Karel Doorman, which has seen limited use due to a lack of Dutch naval personnel with which to operate it. And the Dutch 43rd Mechanized Division has been transferred to the German 1st Panzer Division, giving the German government command over two of the Netherlands’ three combat brigades.[33] These reforms were designed to lower costs, create more uniformed training and collaboration, and supplement both forces by providing combat capabilities that one of the countries lacks.[34] While German-Dutch cooperation has certainly helped to improve readiness levels in both militaries, there are still questions concerning the effective deployment of these forces during times of war. Only time will tell if this kind of defense collaboration represents the future of European military organization or a one-off aberration.

A Deflated Alliance: Examining the Cumulative Effects of European Defense Retrenchment

As the previous sections have highlighted, the militaries of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom suffered severe cuts during the recession, and these cuts were largely executed on a national basis, with any coordination occurring solely at the bilateral level. Interestingly, NATO and European policymakers hoped to avoid this outcome. For example, an E.U. Foreign Affairs Council Meeting in 2012 recommended “the pooling and sharing of military capabilities” and highlighted the “need for a strong and less fragmented European defence industry.”[35] Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary-General at the time, made similar recommendations when he called for a “smart defense” that prioritized coordination and cooperation in defense planning.[36] However, because any deep integration of military capabilities necessarily required ceding sovereignty in the defense arena, efforts at military integration were small, half-hearted, and focused on the low hanging fruit at the expense of meaningful and lasting changes. Budgetary analysis has also revealed that NATO states were getting less value for the money they spent, which exacerbated the impact of defense budget cuts. Bastian Giegerich and Alexander Nicoll summarize the procurement coordination problems well:

Countries had found it difficult to agree on precise requirements for aircraft, ships and vehicles. This, as well as cumbersome national funding processes, resulted in delays, withdrawals and programme cancellations. There was a tendency, in spite of the collaborative nature of projects, to produce what were in fact national versions of the equipment in question, considerably reducing the economies of scale that could be achieved. The principle of juste retour (fair return) also limited cost-effectiveness because it meant that work had to be allotted to each country’s industry based on the proportion of the production that its government planned to buy, rather than on the efficiency of particular companies.[37]

Giegerich and Nicoll also note that few large-scale procurement projects were international at all. Only 11 of the 41 ongoing procurement projects in 2008 were collaborative. Britain, France, and Germany comprised 77% of the non-collaborative procurement projects, meaning that the countries most capable of employing their economic heft to spearhead defense cooperation were some of the least coordinated members of the alliance with regard to procurement and acquisition.[38] In 2012, four years after the beginning of the financial crisis, no new joint procurement efforts had been initiated. Instead, countries cut costs by simply purchasing “off-the-shelf” designs that were dated or slightly modernized systems, which decreased costs and development time. This decision to simply buy old equipment to keep costs down while maintaining defense and foreign policy flexibility further supports the argument that European countries valued their autonomy and national defense industrial bases over efficiency and effectiveness in defense spending.[39]

This redundancy in defense procurement has not been inexpensive, as NATO countries spend around 20% of their military budgets on equipment and procurement.[40] This number could likely be significantly reduced were European NATO states to adopt more joint development and procurement projects. Indeed, the European Commission estimated in its 2016 European Defence Action Plan that “Around 80% of defence procurement is run on a purely national basis, leading to a costly duplication of military capabilities. The lack of cooperation between Member States in the field of defence and security is estimated to cost annually between EUR 25 billion and EUR 100 billion.”[41] As Elisabeth Braw recently pointed out in Foreign Affairs, these problems have created a ridiculous situation in which “EU member states—most of which are also NATO members—operate 154 different weapons systems,” while “The United States, by contrast, has only 27.”[42] In other words, despite the U.S. constituting nearly 70 percent of aggregate NATO defense spending, it possesses only about 15% of the unique weapons systems. This statistic again demonstrates the advantages of having an integrated defense market and central defense planning body that coordinates military acquisition and organization.

The damage wrought by this failure to effectively coordinate alliance capabilities is not purely budgetary. Indeed, the detriment that it has caused to NATO capabilities becomes clear when one considers NATO operations in Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn. In 2011, growing fears of an impending slaughter in Libya led several countries to consider intervention. Southern European countries were especially in favor of an intervention, as they feared that mass violence in Libya would precipitate an enormous refugee crisis, putting immense strain on their welfare systems and humanitarian institutions. This culminated in the passing of U.N. Resolution 1973 on March 17, 2011, which called on states to “take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas.”[43] Days later, air operations began, relying primarily on aircraft from NATO countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, and France. Despite the relatively clear tactical success of the operation, the Libya intervention revealed the degree to which European militaries had been hollowed out. For although Britain and France were the two countries advocating most strongly for intervention, the United States was forced to bear the lion’s share of the burden. It spent roughly as much money on the operation as every other coalition country combined, sent roughly 1/3 of the total deployed troops, and flew 25% of sorties despite being only one of the eight countries to send combat aircraft to the region.[44] Furthermore, the United States was forced to provide munitions to many of the participating countries because they quickly expended their bomb reserves. The U.S. also had to deploy significant targeting and ISR assets because the European countries participating lacked these capabilities entirely.[45] Weitsmann summarizes the situation well in her book Warring Friends:

[C]ountries such as France and Italy were unable to sustain the operation for logistical and financial reasons… the Libyan crisis illustrated that it was impossible [for European NATO members] to prevail even in a limited campaign against a weak opponent not far geographically from Europe in the absence of U.S. capability. Furthermore, the use of advanced technological military equipment such as Predator drones underscored the gap between the United States and its allies in regard to capability.[46]

The Libya campaign is interesting because it demonstrates both the impact of Europe’s failure to better coordinate military capabilities and procurement as well as the reason for this lack of coordination. As French NATO representative Admiral Xavier Païrtard explained, the Secretary-General had to “force consensus.”[47] Germany, especially, was reluctant to participate in the intervention, going so far as to withdraw all its naval assets from the Mediterranean.[48] Further conflicts emerged as the operation continued. For example, France did not want NATO to have direct command of the operation due to fears that it would be perceived as an example of U.S. imperialism, but Italy and Norway demanded NATO command and control over the intervention because they felt it otherwise lacked legitimacy and would be too difficult to coordinate.[49] The U.K. and the U.S. also became embroiled in conflict after disagreeing on whether to assassinate Qaddafi.[50] In short, nearly every country involved in the operation had different views regarding the nature of its conduct and organization.

Given the level of discord and friction that existed within the Libya intervention, an operation that enjoyed broad approval within NATO and was explicitly sanctioned by a United Nations’ resolution, it is no surprise that NATO members are loath to give up their strategic autonomy by subordinating their military organization and structure to the needs of the alliance. In many cases, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, internal disagreements are much more severe than the ones during the Libya campaign. It simply makes no sense, then, that countries would be willing to risk being dragged into a conflict not supported by their policymakers or citizenry. It’s also not clear that this arrangement would be effective for the alliance writ large, as a highly-integrated alliance military would effectively grant every member state veto power over every other states’ military policy since the integrated alliance military would be unable to act without its key constituent parts all committing to action. This “veto” dynamic also represents another way in which greater alliance coordination could undermine states’ autonomy and thus further explains states’ reticence to become too thoroughly enmeshed within large alliances.


Britain, France, and Germany’s experience with defense organization during the great recession of 2008-2009 and the ensuing European sovereign debt crisis suggests that strong barriers to intra-state defense coordination exist even among states in strongly institutionalized alliances facing intense budgetary pressures. In the case of NATO, this inability to effectively coordinate had large costs that undermined the effectiveness of the alliance and led to wasteful spending of billions of defense dollars on redundant and inefficient projects, as the preceding portions of this paper have detailed. My modified theory of institutional realism explains this seeming paradox by emphasizing the importance that states place on flexibility and foreign policy autonomy. While states will certainly attempt to leverage alliances to augment their national power and clout, they will rarely ever subordinate national goals and interests to the goals and interests of the broader alliance, even if doing so would lead to greater efficiency and power for the alliance as a whole. The reason for this is simple: States prefer to maximize their freedom of action in international affairs, and they prioritize the interests of their domestic constituencies and interest groups over the concerns of their alliance partners. Domestic groups can vote leaders out of office. So, if a policymaker has to choose between embracing a more streamlined procurement system that improves alliance power on the margins or maintaining thousands of jobs in the domestic defense sector, she will almost always favor the policy that helps her workers. And this is exactly what Giegerich and Nicoll found when they reviewed NATO procurement patterns in 2012.[51]

This finding leads to a number of important policy-relevant implications. First, it is crucial that policymakers recognize that full alliance military coordination will likely never be possible given the aforementioned barriers. Thus, policies that assume full integration as an end goal will always fail. Second, policymakers should focus on bilateral or trilateral cooperation with countries that possess forces of similar qualitative and quantitative design, as this would minimize conflicts over capability requirements and also mitigate against defense industry upheavals that risk alienating domestic lobbies. In the case of NATO, this policy could also be complemented by the creation of a distinct institution within the alliance that worked to coordinate and match countries for bilateral or trilateral cooperation. This approach directly comports to the teachings of institutional realism, as it would leverage the power of the alliance to lower transactions costs while still recognizing that integration and cooperation will remain relatively limited. Third, multilateral alliances must be more willing to allow ad hoc coalitions to form from within their ranks. As the Libya case demonstrates, it is rare for every member of a large alliance to agree on the best course of action. By allowing smaller subsets of the alliance to form temporary coalitions, however, policymakers would largely avoid this problem by simply bypassing intransigent member states. This approach would ensure states’ ability to maintain their freedom of action while still exploiting the advantages of shared military norms and institutions. The alliance’s shared training regimens, signals and designations, and command infrastructure would lower the costs of cooperation, and the flexibility and ad hoc nature of the coalition would ensure that the military campaign was tailored to the exigencies of the specific situation it sought to address. Were policymakers to adopt these recommendations, they would be able to overcome many of the structural limitations placed on integration, increasing their ability to balance operational demands and budgetary pressures while still retaining foreign policy autonomy. There is, of course, no panacea. There are costs and benefits with every set of policy choices, and the complex interactions between national and alliance interests strongly suggest that isolating the best policy options will always be difficult. Nevertheless, the findings of this paper suggest that concrete policies do exist to improve alliance cooperation while avoiding many of the issues that have impeded coordination in the past.



[1] Data is from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “Military Expenditure Database” (Stockholm: SIPRI, 2015),

[2] For example, see Stephen M. Walt, The Origins of Alliances (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987) and Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1979).

[3] For example, see G. John Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001) and G. John Ikenberry, Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011).

[4] Michaela Mattes, “Reputation, Symmetry, and Alliance Design,” International Organization 66, no. 4 (2012), 679-707.

[5] Ryan W. Dudley, “It Takes Two To Tango: An Endogenous Theory of Bilateral Military Alliances” PhD. dissertation, University of California Davis, 2010.

[6] Michaela Mattes, “Democratic Reliability, Precommitment of Successor Governments, and the Choice of Alliance Commitment,” International Organization 66, no. 1 (2012), 153-177.

[7] Anessa L. Kimball, “Political survival, policy distribution, and alliance formation,” Journal of Peace Research 47, no. 4 (2010), 407-419.

[8] Patricia Weitsman, Waging War: Alliances, Coalitions, and Institutions of Interstate Violence (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014).

[9] Luis Simón, “Neorealism, Security Cooperation, and Europe’s Relative Gains Dilemma,” Security Studies 26, no. 2 (2017), 185-212.

[10] Ibid., 198-199.

[11] John Gordon et. al., “NATO and the Challenge of Austerity,” Survival 54, no. 4 (2012), 122.

[12] U.K. Treasury, “Spending Review 2010,” 2010, p.13; U.K. Government, “A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy,” 2010.

[13] Andrew Dorman, “The United Kingdom,” in The Implications of Military Spending Cuts for NATO’s Largest Members, edited by Clara Marina O’Donnell, 10-14, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2012, 10.

[14] Gordon et. al, 124.

[15] Dorman, 13.

[16] Ibid. 125.

[17] French Ministry of Defense, 2013 White Paper on Defense and National Security, 20.

[18] Camille Grand, “France,” in The Implications of Military Spending Cuts for NATO’s Largest Members, edited by Clara Marina O’Donnell, 19-23, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2012, 20.

[19] Gordon et. al, 126.

[20] For example, it acquired new Mistral-class landing docks, Barracuda­-class SSNs and ASMP-A missiles for its Rafale F3 fighters.

[21] French Ministry of Defense, 2008 White Paper on Defense and National Security, 146-149.

[22] Camille Grand, “France,” in The Implications of Military Spending Cuts for NATO’s Largest Members, edited by Clara Marina O’Donnell, 19-23, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2012, 22.

[23] Ibid., 19.

[24] Sebastian Harnisch and Hans W. Maull, Germany as a Civilian Power? The Foreign Policy of the Berlin Republic (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2001).

[25] Bastian Giegerich, “Germany,” in The Implications of Military Spending Cuts for NATO’s Largest Members, edited by Clara Marina O’Donnell, 15-18, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2012, 15.

[26] Gordon et. al., 129.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Patrick Keller, “Challenges for European Defence Budgets after the Economic Crisis,” AEI, July 11, 2011, challenges-for-european-defense- budgets-after-the-economic-crisisoutlook/.

[29] Gordon, et. at. 130.

[30] Ibid., 129.

[31] Elisabeth Braw, “The Bundeswehr Backs Away From the Brink,” Foreign Affairs, January 19, 2016,

[32] Giegerich, 16-17.

[33] The Netherlands also placed its 11th Air Mobile Brigade under the command of the German Division of Fast Forces (DSK)

[34] Lars Hoffman, “German Armed Forces To Integrate Sea Battalion Into Dutch Navy,” Defense News, February 4, 2016,

[35] Council of the European Union, “Council Conclusions on Military Capability Development,” Brussels, December 9, 2010,

[36] Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ‘Speech at the 47th Munich Security Conference’, 2011,

[37] Bastian Giegerich and Alexander Nicoll, “The Struggle for Value in European Defence,” Survival 54, no. 1 (2012), 68-69.

[38] Ibid., 69.

[39] Ibid., 70.

[40] “Defence Expenditures of NATO Countries (2009-2016),” NATO Public Diplomacy Division, July 4, 2016.

[41] “European Defence Action Plan: Towards a European Defence Fund,” European Commission, November 30, 2016.

[42] Elisabeth Braw, “NATO’s Enormous Arms Clutter,” Foreign Affairs, March 1, 2017.

[43] United Nations, Security Council Resolution 1973, March 17, 2011.

[44] Weitsman, Waging War, 172-173.

[45] Ibid., 174.

[46] Ibid., 174.

[47] Ibid., 179.

[48] Jeremiah Gertler, “Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, March 28, 2011, 16.

[49] Ibid.

[50] “Who’s in Charge? Germans Pull Forces out as Coalitions Fall Apart,” Daily Mail, March 22, 2011,

[51] Giegerich and Nicoll


Braw, Elisabeth. “NATO’s Enormous Arms Clutter.” Foreign Affairs. March 1, 2017.

Braw, Elisabeth. “The Bundeswehr Backs Away From the Brink.” Foreign Affairs. January 19, 2016.

Council of the European Union. “Council Conclusions on Military Capability Development.” Brussels. December 9, 2010.

“Defence Expenditures of NATO Countries (2009-2016).” NATO Public Diplomacy Division. July 4, 2016.

Dorman, Andrew. 2012. “The United Kingdom,” in The Implications of Military Spending Cuts for NATO’s Largest Members, edited by Clara Marina O’Donnell, 10-14. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.

Dudley, Ryan W. 2010. “It Takes Two To Tango: An Endogenous Theory of Bilateral Military Alliances” PhD. dissertation. University of California Davis.

“European Defence Action Plan: Towards a European Defence Fund.” European Commission. November 30, 2016.

French Ministry of Defense. 2008 White Paper on Defense and National Security.

French Ministry of Defense. 2013 White Paper on Defense and National Security.

Gertler, Jeremiah. “Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress.” Congressional Research Service. March 28, 2011, 16.

Giegerich, Bastian and Alexander Nicoll. “The Struggle for Value in European Defence.” Survival 54, no. 1 (2012), 68-69.

Giegerich, Bastian. 2012. “Germany,” in The Implications of Military Spending Cuts for NATO’s Largest Members, edited by Clara Marina O’Donnell, 15-18. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.

Gordon, John et. al. “NATO and the Challenge of Austerity.” Survival 54, no. 4 (2012), 121-142.

Grand, Camille. 2012. “France,” in The Implications of Military Spending Cuts for NATO’s Largest Members, edited by Clara Marina O’Donnell, 19-23. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.

Harnisch, Sebastian and Hans W. Maull. 2001. Germany as a Civilian Power? The Foreign Policy of the Berlin Republic. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Hoffman, Lars. “German Armed Forces To Integrate Sea Battalion Into Dutch Navy.” Defense News. February 4, 2016.

Ikenberry, G. John. 2001. After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Ikenberry, G. John. 2011. Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Keller, Patrick. “Challenges for European Defence Budgets after the Economic Crisis.” AEI. July 11, 2011. challenges-for-european-defense- budgets-after-the-economic-crisisoutlook/.

Kimball, Anessa L. “Political survival, policy distribution, and alliance formation.” Journal of Peace Research 47, no. 4 (2010), 407-419.

Mattes, Michaela. “Democratic Reliability, Precommitment of Successor Governments, and the Choice of Alliance Commitment.” International Organization 66, no. 1 (2012), 153-177.

Mattes, Michaela. “Reputation, Symmetry, and Alliance Design.” International Organization 66, no. 4 (2012), 679-707.

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