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Transnational Terrorism, US Military Aid, and the Incentive to Misrepresent

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  • Navin A Bapat

    ()
    (University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill)

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    Abstract

    This study proposes a strategic explanation for the USA's continued provision of military aid to host states with problems of terrorism, despite its poor empirical record. Using a game theoretic model, I demonstrate that US military aid creates a moral hazard problem. If host states are provided with the tools to pacify their territory only if terrorist campaigns are ongoing, but will lose this aid once the problem of terrorism ceases, host states have little incentive to accelerate the demise of terrorist groups. However, the model demonstrates that while military aid does not accomplish the US goal of disarming terrorists, military aid is effective at preventing host states from negotiating with terrorist organizations. The provision of military aid provides a disincentive for host states to reach a negotiated settlement with terrorist groups, and therefore prevents terrorist organizations from altering the status quo that is favorable to the USA. This suggests that while military aid may not be effective at actually disarming terrorist groups, it can be effective at keeping terrorist groups out of power. These hypotheses are tested using the Jones & Libicki (2008) data on terrorism from 1997 to 2006. The empirical results support the conclusions of the theoretical model.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Peace Research Institute Oslo in its journal Journal of Peace Research.

    Volume (Year): 48 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 303-318

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:48:y:2011:i:3:p:303-318

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    Web page: http://www.prio.no/

    Related research

    Keywords: conflict; military aid; terrorism;

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    Cited by:
    1. Navin Bapat, 2011. "Terrorism, democratization, and US foreign policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 315-335, December.
    2. Vincenzo Bove & Leandro Elia & Petros G. Sekeris, 2013. "U.S. Security Strategy and the Gains from Bilateral Trade," Working Papers 1302, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    3. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu & Sandler, Todd, 2014. "Immigration policy and counterterrorism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 112-123.
    4. Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs, 2011. "Does terror increase aid?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 86, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    5. Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs, 2011. "Does terror increase aid?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 337-363, December.
    6. Todd Sandler, 2011. "The many faces of counterterrorism: an introduction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 225-234, December.

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