The Albritton Center for Grand Strategy supported Joshua Alley, Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Democratic Statecraft Lab and Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, and Matthew Fuhrmann, Professor of Political Science and Presidential Impact Fellow at Texas A&M University, in publishing “Budget Breaker? The Financial Cost of US Military Alliances” in Security Studies. The research sought to examine how alliances directly impact US military spending.
Alley and Fuhrmann compare two perspectives: the ‘budget hawk’ perspective, which views alliances as expensive and encourages free riding behavior, and the ‘bargain hunter’ perspective, which views alliances as a cheaper alternative to deterrence and costly military interventions. The authors’ findings support the ‘budget hawk’ perspective.