In a commentary in 'War on the Rocks', Sorg and Wucherpfennig question the extent to which these deployments make host state citizens feel safe.
In the wake of rising tensions in Europe, the US is once again preparing to send further military deployments to their European allies. However, Hertie School Ph.D researcher Alexander Sorg and Hertie School Professor of International Affairs and Security Julian Wucherpfennig find that these deployments have a clear and consistent effect on allies, leading to a reduced emphasis on national defense by host state populations. In a commentary published in War on the Rocks last week, they explain why this is the case and challenge common assumptions about the effects of military deployments.
Based on a new survey in Germany and public opinion survey data stretching back forty years, Sorg and Wucherpfennig argue that this effect is not as simple as allies free-riding on US defense capabilities. On the contrary, rather than being reassured, “some citizens fear being entrapped in a war caused by the provocative posture of an overly risk-friendly guardian”. Warning that careful deliberation is needed before such deployments, the authors emphasize that “both those [host state citizens] that feel protected and those that feel put at risk react with the same tendency to de-prioritize national defense”.
Read the full commentary here.
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