While intended to bolster the security of allied nations, US deployments to friendly countries have been accused of provoking a security dilemma and even encouraging a reduction in allied defence budgets. New opinion research has uncovered a link between the two.
The concept of the security dilemma has come back into vogue over recent years.
Amid rising global hostility, defence and international relations thinkers have sought to unpack the complexities of defence provocation – particularly how the armament, ambition or alliance building of one nation has the tendency to exacerbate international insecurity as other nations increase their defence capabilities in response.
Robert Jervis, one of the concept’s pioneers, observed that a security paradox forms when the capability building of one sate is perceived “as menacing”, leading to a “spiral of mutual hostility” and the worsening of security outcomes.