October 25, 2018

Jakub Grygiel, associate professor, politics, published commentary in National Review on the need for allies.

Great power stirs a great temptation: to be alone, unencumbered by others, free to act when the spirit moves, and, by virtue of one’s own strength, secure from the rapaciousness of enemies. The drive toward self-reliance, however, can result in loneliness — and loneliness, in our individual life as well as in the life of our nation, is dangerous. It exposes us to risks that we have to face alone, taxing our resources and attention, and does nothing to decrease the threats that are bound to arise nearby or far away. On the contrary, perceiving an opportunity in the solitary existence of the great power, rivals will only increase their predatory reach. The temptation to be alone, without allies, is costly, and even the most powerful should avoid succumbing to it.

In foreign policy, this temptation translates into the belief that allies are a burden rather than a benefit. They cost money because they require protection or other goods to keep them on our side. They limit our freedom of action by tying us to their security. They can entangle us in local controversies of little immediate interest to us. The list goes on, and reasons to spurn alliances can be generated ad infinitum. ...

Continue reading in the National Review.

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