An alliance is an agreement between two parties. These agreements are founded on the pursuit of a common goal or target, which can be determined over a period of time. When a country agrees to have an alliance with another country, the implication is that the country may have an alliance concerning economics or politics. The United States being a superpower, is one of the most influential countries that other countries would want to initiate an alliance with. This is because the country is well endowed with resources; it is an economic giant and also a superpower with indicates that the country has a lot of influence in world matters. The political system of the country is another important factor to consider when it comes to an international alliance with other countries. The country has a very stable government and also a systematic way of leadership. This is one of the factors that have seen it run on a federal government of fifty-two states. The country also has a very strong foundation of democracy, and these are the characters that any country in the world is looking for. The most important allies of the United States are Britain, Israel and Australia (Bell 1998:25).
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The paper will focus on the nature of the United States power and how this power is used to influence countries to become allies of the country. This study will focus on the advantages that a country stands to derive from forming an alliance with the United States. It will also focus on the implication of such an alliance and will give a strong conclusion on the matter concerning an alliance with the country.
The advantages that any country in the world stands to derive from an alliance with the United States are numerous. The advantages will be based if the country is a developed country or a developing country. The study will focus on both developed and developing countries and how they stand to gain from the alliance. One of the common benefits is economic benefits which are both applicable to developed and developing countries because of trading and financial aid. The other is the military help that is also applicable to both developing and developed countries because the country is well endowed with a well-organized military, and this means that the country is able to support its allies in military terms when the need arises. The country also has a political background that is a force to reckon with and thus may be used to attract allies because the allies are sure that with the rule of democracy, the country may benefit a lot from the superpower (Bell 1988:25).
The nature of American power wo uldbe beneficial to any country.
Since winning the Second World War, America has been a superpower with little opposition from Russia and other allies of Russia. The country’s power has no competitor in the world today, and it has used this power to be the overseer of the world order and the spread of democracy all over the world. Although in its effort to be the world perfect in terms of world order and democracy, it has been cultivated a number of enemies, the country has not faced a worthy competitor in military capabilities. Its major threats are terrorism, and this has affected the country’s economy, especially with the 9/11 attacks, which happened in the American soils (Buchanan 1972:125).
The country also boasts of one of the most sophisticated intelligence communities in the world, and this is very important for any country. The gathering of information is very vital for the national security of any country, and this has helped the country in maintaining its national security. The CIA is one of the best intelligence agencies in the world, and though it has faced its ups and downs over time, it is still a force to reckon with.
Economically, the American economy constitutes 32% of the world’s economy. This means that it is the largest economy in the world, and this is also one of the benefits that any country in the world would stand to benefit from. The country has been playing a large part in helping the needy countries in the world through various organizations such as USAID. It is also the leading financier of the United Nations in the world (Burr 1955: 236).
Advantages of Alliance with America
On the other hand, one of the advantages of an alliance with the United States would be the financial help a country would derive from such an alliance. The country’s economy is capable of supporting a developing country in significant levels of the economy. The country is also well organized in terms of trade, and an ally of the United States would benefit very much from trading with the country. This is because the country is known for its good trading background, which has seen it achieve the kind of development status it has achieved. Any country developed or developing stands to benefit a lot from trading with the United States. Developing countries also have the advantages of financial help in terms of loans, grants and aid. Many developed countries have benefited from advances from the United States, which have seen the economies of these countries improve significantly (Axelrod 2000:120). On the other hand, America has been known to control its allies due to its economic strengths. This means that the country would have to comply with various policies set forth by the United States, and this may jeopardize the relationship of the country with other countries. A good example is a war on terrorism policy brought about by the United States. This would have to be affected by all the countries that are allied to the United States, and failure to that the country would lose its ties to the United States. In the same respect, the country will have to antagonize its relationship with other countries that are against the policy, mostly the Islamic countries.
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Secondly, the other advantage is the immunity a country can get from its enemies. The United States have one of the largest militaries in the world, and they don’t hesitate to help allies with their military capabilities when the need arises. This can be well evidenced in the help they have given Israel when it is involved in wars with the Arab nations in the world. It has also helped Australia on these fronts since their alliance. More so, the United States will also ask for military assistance when it is necessary. For example, in the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States was supported by countries such as Britain, NATO countries and Australia. This shows that for a country to be allied to the United States, it stands the benefit of having military support from the major military forces in the world which are also allied to the United States (Bell 1988: 36). On the other hand, the immunity could also force the country to a status of neo-colonialism, and this is the case that is happening in the world today. America has been blamed for controlling the policies of other countries, especially the countries that are dependent on the country’s military assistant. The foreign policies of most of these countries have been subjected to being controlled by the American forces, and it dictates which countries such a country will be related to in its international forums. Furthermore, the country will also share the same enemies with the Americans, and these enemies have inflicted a lot of suffering and destruction to American allies who have no capability of countering their intentions.
The country also can derive the benefit of accessing the world market in an easier way when it is an ally of the United States. This is because many countries in the world do not shy away from trading with America, and this can help in opening new avenues for a country’s produce exportation. Many countries which are allied to the United States have the benefit of accessing its vast markets. This implies that since the market of the United States is very large, a country can concentrate on trading with the country and be assured that its surpluses will be sold very easily to the markets of the countries that are allied to the United States. These markets include such markets as European markets, which the United States has been very influential in. In the same respect, the country stands the chance of benefiting from imports of high quality from the American market (Bevans 1969: 65). On the other hand, such a country will also have to comply with the policies of the American nation and also, the countries it will relate to are dictated by the United States. These have jeopardized many countries’ foreign policy as they have been forced to do away with some of their more important allies in the world.
The implication of an alliance with the United States
However, there are implications that a country wishing to be an ally of the United States should be will to comply with. One of them is that all its markets must change to capitalistic markets and that it must honour the war on terrorism. These implications have been the major hindrances to many countries becoming American allies. Another implication is that the government formation must be democratic, and this has also been another issue with some governments who have the view that other forms of government are better compared to democratic rule. There is also the danger that American enemies might become the enemies of the ally. This means that the country might have to be faced with terrorism activities directed at the country (Axelrod 200: 125).
On the other hand, there are various complications that come with the alliance. One of the complications is that the United States tend to be over domineering its allies and what the government of the United States stipulates must be followed to the letter; otherwise, the alliance will be jeopardized. This means that the other government is compromised when it comes to making its own decisions, especially foreign policy.
Another complication is that the United States policy of being the world’s perfect in terms of world order and democracy has managed to attract many enemies. Any country becoming an ally of the United States stands the chance of sharing the enemies. The implication of this is that the enemies can strike the country to ridicule the United States, and this means that the country that is hit is the one that suffers.
These are some of the reasons that the alliance of any country with the United States is viewed closely and the implications weighed. If any country comes to the conclusion that its alliance will bring more trouble than benefits, then it is necessary for the country to refrain from such an alliance because the security of its citizens must be considered first and foremost, just like the United States have put the security of their citizens in the forefront of their concerns.
In conclusion, a country stands a great chance of benefiting from an alliance with the United States. There are numerous advantages that a country stands to accumulate if it is allied with the United States, which will vary from the sophisticated intelligence, economic and financial advantages and also military support in case of a war. The United States does not shy away from helping its allies in any type of need, be it financial or militarily. This means that such a country will benefit a lot from such an arrangement with the world superpower (Bevans 1969: 96).
Various allies of America have benefited in various ways from their alliance with America. Examples of these countries include many European countries, Israel and Australia. These countries have benefited a lot in terms of trade, military and intelligence, which have helped them overcome some of their problems.
- Axelrod, Alan. ed. (2000). American Treaties and Alliances. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
- Bell, Coral. (1988). Dependent Ally: A study in Australian Foreign Policy. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
- Bevans, Charles I. (1969). Treaties and other international agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949. Washington: Department of State.
- Buchanan, A. Russell. (1972). The United States and World War II Military and Diplomatic Documents. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
- Burr, Robert N. and Roland D. Hussey. (1955). Documents on Inter-American Cooperation. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.