Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Robert J. Pauly, Jr.

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Joseph J. St Marie

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr Tom Lansford

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Dr Edward Sayre

Committee Member 4 School

Social Science and Global Studies


During the administration of former President Barak Obama, United States foreign policy increased its focus on international development instability that threatened U.S. national security. In 2010, President Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 6, which declared that international development is a vital U.S. national interest. This was a watershed moment for not just how the United States views its national interests, but in which resources should be dedicated to protect them. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense has security assistance relationships with 155 countries. These countries represent a wide range of international development challenges.

This research examines the recipient state context where United States military resources were contributed in the interest of reducing political development fragility. Ten case studies have been selected for qualitative comparative analysis to determine context setting conditions under which political development fragility is reduced after receiving U.S. military assistance. This study finds reduction to political development occurs when the recipient state exhibits specific characteristics prior to the dedication of United States Military resources. The findings suggest that the use of international development assessment tools for legitimacy and effectiveness of recipient state security sector apparatus structures prior to donation of military assistance will increase potential success outcomes.