Secrecy among Friends: Covert Military Alliances and Portfolio Consistency

  title={Secrecy among Friends: Covert Military Alliances and Portfolio Consistency},
  author={Raymond Kuo},
  journal={Journal of Conflict Resolution},
  pages={63 - 89}
  • R. Kuo
  • Published 1 January 2020
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Conflict Resolution
Scholars think that friendly nations adopt secrecy to avoid domestic costs and facilitate cooperation. But this article uncovers a historical puzzle. Between 1870 and 1916, over 80 percent of alliance ties were partially or completely covert. Otherwise, hidden pacts are rare. Why was secrecy prevalent in this particular period and not others? This article presents a theory of “portfolio consistency.” Public agreements undermine the rank of hidden alliances. A partner willing to openly commit to… 
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