Alliances and War

Yves Boyer

in The Oxford Handbook of War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199562930
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Alliances and War

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The role and functioning of alliances may range from minimum entanglement, with very few commitments (such as merely diplomatic consultations), to the most compelling set of agreements for planning and organizing, well in advance, the conditions of joint military operations under a unified command (as was the case of NATO during the Cold War). Alliances are supposed to work efficiently when the political preconditions and modi operandi that made them achievable are the result of positive will unconstrained by any kind of unfriendly pressures. On the other hand, volte-faces are possible, as exemplified by the Tauroggen convention, in 1812, when Prussia renounced the treaty of Tilsit forced on it by Napoleon and made a U-turn in favour of siding with Russia against the French.

Keywords: alliances; war; diplomatic consultations; military operations; Cold War; unified command

Article.  5425 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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