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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Coalitions are most potent and effective when they are formed to deal with shared adversity. When the situation is more opaque and the objectives more tenuous their ability to endure setbacks or hold together can be fragile, particularly once success is in sight or when a partner becomes increasingly parochial in terms of their perspective. Effective coalitions will almost certainly have a lead nation, with selection for command and high office based on the scale of effort offered in financial and military terms, political clout, and the relative level of risk that each contributing nation will tolerate. By contrast to alliances, coalitions are what might be termed ‘partnerships of unequals’ since comparative political, economic, and military might, or more particularly the extent to which a nation is prepared to commit and ‘put some skin in the game’, dictates who will lead, who is in the inner circle, and who will have influence.

Keywords: military coalitions, war strategy, alliances, military might, command, financial terms

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