U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump (L) to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Benjamin Schreer, Real Clear Defense/The Strategist: The Coming Crisis of America’s Military Alliances
As Philippe Legrain pointed out in The Strategist last week, the election of Donald Trump as the next US president threatens to further undermine the liberal international order. Thus far, US military alliances in Asia and Europe have been a cornerstone of this structure. There’s a good chance that many of these alliances could soon be faced with a major crisis.
The success story of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Europe and America’s system of bilateral alliances in Asia–Pacific has been based on three major components: a commonality of values, US leadership and credible military capabilities to deter a potential adversary. As Stephen Walt has pointed out, modern Western alliances are more likely to endure if they share similar values and when there is a large asymmetry of power within them, i.e. US leadership backed by its overwhelming military force. The commonality of values cannot be overstated. Indeed, it’s hoped that Trump’s security advisors read Geir Lundestad’s seminal article on the United States’ preeminent position during the Cold War as the reflection of an ‘empire by invitation’. Yet, it’s more likely that the Trump presidency will erode the critical ‘glue’ that holds these alliances together.
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WNU Editor: The "freak-out" from pundits and commentators over Donald Trump continues .... the above post included. I do not expect these military alliances to change .... nor do I expect any seismic changes in the short and medium future. What I do see is a long term shift on the need for member states in these many alliances to "pony-up" more money .... and that is eventually going to be the big issue in these many military alliances because many many of these governments have made it very clear that when it comes to budgeting the big money .... they have zero interest to do so.