Selden, 13 – director of the Defence and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly AND an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida (ZACHARY, “Balancing Against or Balancing With? The Spectrum of Alignment and the Endurance of American Hegemony,” Security Studies Journal, 08 May 2013, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09636412.2013.786918#.U8b7VI1dVe8)//eek
Identifying hard alliance behavior is relatively straightforward as it is de- fined by a formal agreement. Thus, the enlargement of NATO in the 2001–2009 period to encompass many of the satellites of the former Soviet Union is an indicator of how the US-centric alliance system was strengthened at the hard end of the scale. But what are appropriate ways to identify alignment at the softer end of the scale? Logically, we should expect behavior that indicates a willingness on the part of the secondary state to tie its security to that of the United States and participate in activities that further American security interests. In particular, we can consider three measures: (1) participating in joint exercises and cooperative training programs, (2) participating in US-led military coalitions, and (3) establishing bases for American forces or altering existing agreements in line with the US Global Posture Review.54¶ Those measures are significant indicators of the potential costs the second-tier state is willing to bear as part of building a security relationship with the United States. Participation in joint exercises and training programs may appear to be a minimal commitment, but it often involves the tem- porary placement of US armed forces in the country, a move that sends a signal to regional powers. More significantly, those exercises and training programs are explicitly designed to make the military of the second-tier state more interoperable with the US armed forces so that it can participate in fu- ture operations. Thus, it is an important first step that a secondary state can take to demonstrate its potential utility as a security partner to the United States. Participation in US-led coalitions involves a commitment of military personnel and equipment to missions in which the second-tier state might not otherwise be involved. In addition to the operational costs, there are potential domestic political costs to the second-tier state’s leadership, espe- cially if its armed forces sustain casualties as a result. Allowing the United States to establish bases on the national territory or use it as a temporary staging facility demonstrates a willingness by the second-tier state to cede control over national territory to advance American strategic aims. This is a significant commitment in peacetime, but in the event of hostilities the risks could be much higher as those facilities could become targets.