The world of defence agreements is vast. The treaty`s archives reveal agreements on everything from war cemeteries to military mapping to nuclear material. The vast majority of these agreements focus closely on specific threats or problems, and many follow unique historical events such as wars, occupations, state failure or colonialism. Egregious asymmetries are common and few agreements are long-term. DCA are different. I simply define the DCAs as formal bilateral agreements that create an institutional framework for routine defence cooperation. DCAs generally have relatively symmetrical long-term commitments for both parties, with an emphasis on coordinating key areas of defence policy and promoting people-to-people contacts. A 2006 DCA between France and India illustrates that, second, DCAs focus on day-to-day interactions in central defence areas, which generally include (1) mutual consultation and coordination of defence policy; (2) exercises, training and common education; (3) Coordination of peacekeeping operations; (4) defence-related research and development; (5) industrial cooperation in the field of defence; (6) the acquisition of weapons; and (7) security of classified information. The priority objective of the DIAC is therefore to promote substantial cooperation in these key areas.
It is important that DCAs do not contain reciprocal defence obligations. Officials often insist on this fact. After a controversial DCA with China in 2007, Indonesia`s defence minister said: “We just want to improve our defence cooperation with China. We do not intend to sign a defence contract with China. Footnote 16 Historically, states have attempted to report security to their partners` partners. In 1997, Romania declared that it would “increase its chances of quickly joining NATO by developing a new partnership with Hungary”, with a clear anticipation that Hungary`s Willingness to sign an agreement would reassure Hungary`s partners – NATO member countries – of Romania`s intentions. Footnote 93 The Estonian Minister of Defence similarly described a DCA with Turkey as a way to “show good relations with all members of the NATO alliance” in the hope that Turkey`s agreement would lead to the agreement of the Turkish partners. Footnote 94 And in 1998, Ukraine signed a major DCA with Argentina to assure Argentina`s defence partners, especially the United States, Ukraine`s interest in cooperating with the West. Footnote 95 As reported in the Budapest Business Journal, the agreement was signed by The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjérté, and the United States.