By: Dan Mahanty and Annie Shiel

Multinational coalitions have become an enduring feature of American wars, from standing alliances like NATO to the ad-hoc coalitions fighting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. Yet, for the frequency with which the US turns to coalitions as a preferred mode of fighting, remarkably little has been done to examine the relationship between coalition operations and civilian casualties. Without examining what makes them unique, it’s hard to know whether coalitions prevent or cause more civilian casualties than unilateral operations, and why.