What Allies Want: Reconsidering Loyalty, Reliability, and Alliance Interdependence

Author
Ian D. Henry
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
International Security
Volume
44
Issue Number
4
Publication Date
Spring 2020
Institution
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
Abstract
Leaders often believe that states that demonstrate disloyalty toward an ally will acquire a reputation for disloyalty, and thus damage other alliances. But in some circumstances, excessive loyalty to one ally can damage—perhaps even destroy—other alliances. The First Taiwan Strait Crisis (1954–55) shows that alliance interdependence is governed not by a reputation for loyalty, but by assessments of allied reliability.
Topic
Security, History, Partnerships, Alliance, State
Political Geography
Taiwan, Asia, North America, United States of America