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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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Navin A Bapat, 2011. "Transnational Terrorism, US Military Aid, and the Incentive to Misrepresent," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(3), pages 303-318, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:48:y:2011:i:3:p:303-318
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:phsmap:v:482:y:2017:i:c:p:74-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Vincenzo Bove & Leandro Elia & Petros G. Sekeris, 2014. "US Security Strategy and the Gains from Bilateral Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 863-885, November.
    3. Azam, Jean-Paul & Thelen, Véronique, 2012. "Where to Spend Foreign Aid to Counter Terrorism," TSE Working Papers 12-316, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs, 2011. "Does terror increase aid?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 337-363, December.
    5. Garcia-Alonso, Maria D.C. & Levine, Paul & Smith, Ron, 2016. "Military aid, direct intervention and counterterrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 112-135.
    6. Friedrich Schneider & Tilman Brück & Daniel Meierrieks, 2015. "The Economics Of Counterterrorism: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 131-157, February.
    7. Heinrich, Tobias & Kobayashi, Yoshiharu & Bryant, Kristin A., 2016. "Public Opinion and Foreign Aid Cuts in Economic Crises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 66-79.
    8. Navin Bapat, 2011. "Terrorism, democratization, and US foreign policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 315-335, December.
    9. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu & Sandler, Todd, 2014. "Immigration policy and counterterrorism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 112-123.
    10. Redlin, Margarete & Gries, Thomas & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2014. "Oppressive Governments, US Closeness, and Anti-US Terrorism," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100588, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Todd Sandler, 2011. "The many faces of counterterrorism: an introduction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 225-234, December.
    12. Vincenzo Bove & Claudio Deiana & Roberto Nisticò, 2016. "Global Arms Trade and Oil Dependence," CSEF Working Papers 452, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 10 Feb 2018.

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    Keywords

    conflict; military aid; terrorism;

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