chapter  5
20 Pages

Democracy assistance and the search for security

WithNANCY BERMEO

Like the quotation above, this chapter is about the role that free countries play in pressuring dictators and in strengthening the opposition to dictatorship. It is also about ‘arms’, but departing from Amalrik’s metaphor, it focuses on weaponry and military assistance. It asks how US military assistance initiatives interact with initiatives to speed the collapse of dictatorship. Do military assistance and democracy assistance work in concert or at cross-purposes? Curiously, the growing literature on democracy assistance pays little atten-

tion to military assistance, despite the fact that these two aid initiatives interact in highly consequential ways. As a contribution to filling this void, this chapter argues that scholars and policy-makers should pay much more attention to what I call ‘aid interactions’ and that military and democracy aid interactions often work at cross-purposes.2 Interactions with economic aid may be highly consequential too, but given space constraints, the focus in this chapter is almost exclusively on how military assistance initiatives affect democracy assistance initiatives. It also focuses exclusively on US aid policy because full statistical information on other major powers’ aid policy is not publicly available.3