National Defense Agreements

With regard to theorizing of network flows, I focus on the ability of the creation of the DCA itself to send information to attentive third parties. I insist on the creation of DCA – not respect for DCA over time – for three reasons. First, although DCAs often contain “confidence” measures, ex ante trust remains a necessary condition. Second, even if trust is increased, these effects may not be measurable. Some ACF activities – exchange of classified information, joint military research, coordination of defence policy – are difficult to observe. Third, DCAs provide information on scale, depth and other institutional design issues immediately after signing, regardless of compliance. However, later on, I insert areas in which the ex-post trust generated by observed compliance further strengthens network flows, especially when mediators are involved. Third, the debate on security policies and communities implies that common benefits increase when states are politically similar, oriented towards their foreign policy preferences, or otherwise strategically valuable. As a result, I expect that common democracy and the affinity of foreign policy will increase the likelihood of DCAs.

Footnote 75 In addition, because international trade reflects strategic economic interests, footnote 76 I expect bilateral trade to favour DIAC. 1.3 The modalities of this cooperation can be defined in a specific way by agreements between the respective presidencies of the parties. Footnote 13 The world of defence agreements is vast. The treaty`s archives reveal agreements on everything from war cemeteries to military mapping to nuclear material. The vast majority of these agreements focus closely on specific threats or problems, and many follow unique historical events such as wars, occupations, state failure or colonialism. Egregious asymmetries are common and few agreements are long-term. DCA are different. I simply define the DCAs as formal bilateral agreements that create an institutional framework for routine defence cooperation. DCAs generally have relatively symmetrical long-term commitments for both parties, with an emphasis on coordinating key areas of defence policy and promoting people-to-people contacts. A 2006 DCA between France and India illustrates that, second, DCAs focus on day-to-day interactions in central defence areas, which generally include (1) mutual consultation and coordination of defence policy; (2) exercises, training and common education; (3) Coordination of peacekeeping operations; (4) defence-related research and development; (5) industrial cooperation in the field of defence; (6) the acquisition of weapons; and (7) security of classified information.

The priority objective of the DIAC is therefore to promote substantial cooperation in these key areas. It is important that DCAs do not contain reciprocal defence obligations. Officials often insist on this fact. After a controversial DCA with China in 2007, Indonesia`s defence minister said: “We just want to improve our defence cooperation with China. We do not intend to sign a defence contract with China. Footnote 16 DCAs is a new form of defence cooperation. In essence, these agreements provide a long-term institutional framework for routine bilateral defence relations, including coordination of defence policy, joint military exercises, working groups and committees, exchanges of training and education, defence research and development, and public procurement. DCAs reserve as a framework the specific modalities for the implementation of protocols and rules of application.

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