Rethinking the U.S. Alliance System
A talk with two scholars from the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy.
After a long hiatus, the Discourses podcast returns.
I am joined by Arta Moeini, research director at the Institute for Peace (IPD) and Diplomacy, and David Polansky, a research fellow at the institute.
In this episode, the authors discuss IPD’s latest report, “Toward a Phenomenology of the U.S. Alliance System: Boon or a Scourge on America’s National Interest?” It raises important questions about the current U.S.-led system and the elites who reap its rewards at the expense of the nation and public interest. Moreover, Americans are victims of what the authors call “Trojan Alliances,” in which smaller, distant states collude with the U.S. foreign policy establishment to goad America into “never-ending and open-ended commitments abroad.”
Alliances as local, regional, and temporary arrangements and partnerships designed to create united blocs for confronting stronger neighboring powers are as old as civilization. But today’s alliances, at the center of which stands the U.S., differ fundamentally. The “Globalist American Empire,” to use a term coined by Darren Beattie, recognizes no geographical or temporal limits because it operates under an ideological framework similar to the Leninism it once fought.
But nature hates a vacuum and in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s demise, something else was bound to take its place: U.S.-led liberal hegemony. In other words, we did not heed the advice of George Kennan, the architect of U.S. “containment” strategy against the Soviets, when he warned: “the greatest danger that can befall us in coping with this problem of Soviet communism, is that we shall allow ourselves to become like those with whom we are coping.”
Arta and David explain how we got to this point, why it does not serve the real national interest, and what we can do about it as Americans.
IPD is a unique organization. It’s dedicated to realism, restraint, and anti-interventionism. I can’t think of another foundation that treats foreign affairs so thoughtfully, going beyond the conventional critiques. You can—and should—read their research papers. You will get more out of them than reading hundreds of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy pieces.
If you want to donate to IPD to support their work, click the link below. There’s no defense contractor money in arguing against war, so they appreciate every dollar you can give.
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