Alliance Cohesion and Coalition Warfare: The Central Powers and Triple Entente

  • Citation: Weitsman, Patricia A. ‚ÄúAlliance Cohesion and Coalition Warfare: The Central Powers and Triple Entente.‚Äù Security Studies 12, no. 3 (2003): 79‚Äì113.
    • Topics:
    • Great Power Conflict
    • Keywords:
    • coalition building
    • alliance
    • Central Powers
    • Triple Entente
    • World War I

Coalition building to prosecute wars has assumed enormous significance in the past decade. The Gulf War, the war in the former Yugoslavia, and the war on terrorism have all been fought after great efforts on the part of the United States to forge a coalition to undertake its various missions. Further, multilateral efforts to patrol the world’s hot spots have culminated in widespread cooperation among a very diverse set of nations. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—the most important contemporary alliance—engaged in its first active mission 50 years after its inception and assumed a more enterprising agenda in the decade following the end of the cold war than ever before. War decisions have a profound effect on the dynamics of alliances; fissures within NATO, for example, only started to emerge as consequence of the United States’ decision to undertake war in Iraq. Understanding the sources of alliance cohesion and effective warfighting coalitions has become essential, yet virtually no scholarship on the topic exists.

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