In or out? Canada, the Netherlands, and support to the invasion of Iraq

With Joseph T. Jockel


How do democratic allies manage their participation in U.S.-led coalition operations? This article compares the Canadian and Dutch management of domestic and international expectations of support to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It argues that the decision whether to support coalition operations often does not amount to a simplistic “yes” or “no” answer. It entails a management process involving several strategies, as well as a wide range of mutually inclusive support options. Canadian and Dutch management of support to coalition operations reveals that similarly core U.S. allies misunderstood U.S. expectations, mismanaged their country’s stance by sending confusing signals to both their domestic and international audiences, and adopted varied trade-off strategies. The study of multinational coalition operations should thus conceptualize political and military support separately, but examine their causal interrelationships and measure them on a qualitative, case-specific continuum, in order to properly understand the variations and trade-offs involved in the allied management of support to military coalitions.


Jockel, J., Massie, J. (2017).« In or Out? Canada, the Netherlands, and Support of the Invasion of Iraq », Comparative Strategy, vol. 36, no 2, p. 166-181. DOI:

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