Mike Blasey, Sean Wright
Faculty Sponsor: Mark Foley
The United States has long been a major contributor to international weapons exports, but the recent rise of globalization has made it easier for developing countries and separate militia to purchase these military weapons. As weapons have become more easily available, they have also become stronger and more advanced. Since the United States has been a major weapons provider to the international market for years, we aim to examine the relationship between American military exports and the severity of civil conflicts in the importing countries. Prior research examines the relationship of resource-based civil conflict and the impact of economic conditions on the likelihood of civil conflict but still omits severity of civil conflicts. Less research exists on the severity of civil wars. Using a continuous dependent variable that measures death toll of war, we aim to see if United States military exports lead to deadlier civil wars in other countries. Our hypothesis is that an increase in United States military exports to a given country will lead to an increase in the number of battle deaths in that country due to civil war. We find that there is a positive, statistically significant, and economically significant relationship between United States military exports to a given country and battle deaths due to civil war in that country.