Power and Deterrence in Alliance Relationships
I investigate the rationality of challenge and escalation when a third party, allied either to defender or challenger, is uncertain about the enemyâ€™s power. The analysis illustrates how third-party ally power impacts general and immediate deterrence and willingness to intervene. In alliances with the defender, uncertainty about the enemyâ€™s strength leads the third party to support the defender with a probability that decreases with the benefits that his intervention would provide although the likelihood that he is facing a strong challenger in war has increased. If the third party is allied to the challenger, ally behavior is more nuanced.
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