This Independent Study focuses on the interactions and exchanges between countries which allow multilateral military coalitions to form. Especially in military coalitions that are not condoned by the majority of the international community, coalition leaders must employ certain strategies in order to build the coalition. These coalitions are necessary not only to ease the economic and military burden on the core states leading the military effort, but also to enhance the appeared legitimacy of the military effort. The driving question in this study is “what strategies utilized by the United States government are most often used to obtain certain types of support for multilateral military coalition efforts?” The role of the United Nations Security Council in coalition building is also in question throughout this study. To address these questions, a comparative case study examining the coalition of the First Persian Gulf War and the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ of the 2003 Iraq War is employed. The case studies highlight both the highest level of contribution from each member state and the most threatening strategy used by the lead country to obtain each member state. Ultimately, the data from both case studies is combined to draw conclusions on all aspects of the research question.


Lantis, Jeffery

Second Advisor

Sid Simpson


Political Science


Social and Behavioral Sciences


United States, military, coalition, building, international relations, coercion, United Nations

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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