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Outside the Wire: U.S. Military Deployments and Public Opinion in Host States



How do citizens within countries hosting U.S. military personnel view that presence? Using new cross-national survey data from 14 countries, we examine how different forms of exposure to a U.S. military presence in a country affect attitudes toward the U.S. military, government, and people. We find that contact with U.S. military personnel or the receipt of economic benefits from the U.S. presence correlates with stronger support for the U.S. presence, people, and government. This study has profound implications for the role that U.S. installations play in affecting the social fabric of host nations and policy implications for the conduct of U.S. military activities outside the United States.

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Corresponding author

*Michael A. Allen, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Boise State University,
Michael E. Flynn, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Kansas State University,
Carla Martinez Machain, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Kansas State University,
**Andrew Stravers, Associate Political Scientist, Defense and Political Sciences, RAND Corporation,


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This material is based on work supported by, or in part by, the Minerva Research Initiative, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and the U.S. Army Research Office under grant number W911NF-18-1-0087. Opinions and interpretations are those of the authors and not the U.S. Army or Department of Defense. The authors would like to thank Sam Bell, Ben Farrer, Mike Findley, Adrian Florea, Benjamin Fordham, Benjamin Jones, Stan Lee, Nachelle Ronquillo, Patrick McDonald, Steve Miller, David Montgomery, Sinan Nadarevic, Lisa Troyer, Julie VanDusky-Allen, Spencer Willardson, Rob Williams, all interview subjects, 4 anonymous reviewers, and the APSR editorial team for their valuable help in preparing the manuscript. All remaining errors are our own. Replication files are available at the American Political Science Review Dataverse:



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Outside the Wire: U.S. Military Deployments and Public Opinion in Host States



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