December 2, 2005

HEY! WHERE'D THAT AXIS COME FROM?:

The Big Four Alliance: The New Bush Strategy: Over the past six months, the Bush administration has upgraded its budding “strategic partnerships” with India and Japan. Along with the steady "special relationship” with Great Britain, what is beginning to emerge is a global coalition system--it is too soon to call it a true alliance--for the post-Cold War world. Much work remains to be done to translate the expressions of similar political interests and values into usable military strength. Still, the prospects for expanding the number of genuine “stakeholders” in the Pax Americana are quite bright. (Thomas Donnelly, December 2005, AEI: National Security Outlook)

It used to be the fashion to pillory the Bush administration for its unilateralism. The worst offense was not removing Saddam Hussein from power, but “going it alone” (never mind the British and the other members of the coalition). And even in Afghanistan, the snub of NATO’s offer to slow the operation down to a Kosovo-like pace was thought to cloud the justice of the war.

Now, the editorialists of the New York Times have discovered:

[T]he Bush administration has been going out of its way to build up its military ties with countries surrounding China. India and Japan are the two most troubling examples. Washington has pressed ahead with an ill-advised initiative to share civilian nuclear technology with India, despite that country’s refusal to abide by the restrictions of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. And it has actively encouraged an already worrisomely nationalist Japanese government to shed postwar restraints on its military and embrace more ambitious regional security goals. Washington has also taken steps to strengthen military cooperation with Vietnam and Indonesia. Mr. Bush’s stopover in Mongolia [was] likewise . . . aimed at cementing a new security partnership.

The reactionary Left is shocked, but there has been an even larger pattern of alliance-building that has been going on out of sight of the newsrooms of the mainstream media. Indeed, far from maintaining a unilateralist approach to American security, the Bush administration has been cementing a globe-spanning structure of strategic partnerships that has the potential not only to “contain” China, but also to sustain and enhance the liberal international order of the post-Soviet era.

You might call this emerging set of alliances the “four-by-four” strategy. It is built around four great powers--the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and India--who share four basic strategic principles--that the dangers of radicalism, failing despotic governments, and nuclear proliferation in the greater Middle East are too great to ignore; that the growing military strength and political ambitions of Beijing’s autocrats make it far from certain that China’s “rise” will be a peaceful one; that the spread of representative forms of government will increase the prospects for a durable peace; and that military force remains a useful and legitimate tool of national statecraft.

It is no accident that the four pillars of this emerging alliance stand in roughly similar geostrategic position relative to the Eurasian landmass.


Though it's obviously small by comparison to these four, Australia is already such a firm pillar it seems absurd not to include them. Smaller still, but perhaps the firmest pillar of all when you consider the enemies, is Israel.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2005 3:30 PM
Comments

As has been noted here before, this alliance system is probably the most important aspect of the Bush presidency. Looks like some are finally starting to notice. Hope it can continue beyond Bush.

Posted by: jdkelly at December 2, 2005 4:35 PM

india

japan

uk

australia

poland

romania

denmark

el salvador

honduras

singapore

taiwan

iraq

israel

jordan

gulf states

afghanistan

turkey

thailand

viet nam

mongolia

===============

any other candidates ?

Posted by: true allies at December 2, 2005 5:01 PM

You forgot Canada, silly!

Posted by: obc at December 2, 2005 5:20 PM

colombia

philippines

czech republic

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2005 5:35 PM

colombia and CR makes it, but the philipines are iffy. forget Canada, they are dead to the u.s.

Posted by: true allies at December 2, 2005 5:39 PM

"[T]he Bush administration has been going out of its way to build up its military ties with countries surrounding China. India and Japan are the two most troubling examples."

The New York Times is troubled by our good relations with India & Japan? Also by our bad relations with the likes of France, of course. Turly bizarre.

Posted by: b at December 2, 2005 5:40 PM

Chile

Ukraine

Ireland

Posted by: Luciferous at December 2, 2005 5:40 PM

Huh, Vietnam? Kurdistan is more likely.

Posted by: h-man at December 2, 2005 5:40 PM

we are near to signing a defense agreement with vietnam and they have a great army.

ireland, hmmm, no, sorry, unless some one can provide some support for their inclusion.

ukraine just pulled a spain, and look to be ungrateful s****

chile gets a provisional membership

kurdistan has to wait until we break the mullahs

Posted by: true allies at December 2, 2005 5:49 PM

I was being sarcastic about Canuckistan, of course.

Posted by: obc at December 2, 2005 5:53 PM

obc, as Noel asked on the thread below, what is this "Canada" of which you speak?

Posted by: jdkelly at December 2, 2005 6:17 PM

"India and Japan are the two most troubling examples. "

Troubling? To whom besides the NYT?

Thanks for the quotation from the NYT, Orrin, best laugh I've had all day.

Posted by: Steve White at December 2, 2005 6:29 PM

ukraine just pulled a spain, ...

No they didn't. Spain pulled out of Iraq precipitously after a terrorist attack and an election that put into power a socialist, statist mug.

Ukraine, on the other hand, completed its mission and did everything they said they'd do. They told us a year ago that they'd pull out in a year's time, and that's what they did. Their mission is done, and we should thank them.

Posted by: Steve White at December 2, 2005 6:31 PM

that's only half the story on the ukraine situation, and you know it. i stand by my posting, they are no friend of ours.

Posted by: true allies at December 2, 2005 7:04 PM

Colombia?

Posted by: erp at December 2, 2005 7:07 PM

Ireland?

Posted by: Peter B at December 2, 2005 7:38 PM

Vietnam? Turkey? Denmark? Jordan? Now, wait a minute.

Posted by: Peter B at December 2, 2005 7:41 PM

We have always been allies with Japan (well, since we nuked them at least). But it was an alliance by which we promised to protect them if they gave up on their military ambitions. Now we are encouraging them to become more militarily assertive, which is what the NYT doesn't like.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at December 2, 2005 9:21 PM

Canaduh!

Posted by: obc at December 2, 2005 11:05 PM

Albania, Dominican Republic & Costa Rica. Don't forget the Pacific Islands--Micronesia, Togo, etc.

Not Vietnam, not for a while yet, great army or no.

Posted by: Timothy at December 3, 2005 2:04 AM

costa rica doesn't even have an army! maybe they are pro-liberty in spite of that but I doubt it. viet nam is going to be a great ally so i include them as a "future pick" :)

correct me if i am wrong, but my memory of the ukraine situation is that one second after the u.s. helped get the russians to stop messing around, the guy who won made all kinds of anti-american noises and came across as frenchly ungrateful.

Posted by: true allies at December 3, 2005 11:15 AM

They don't need armies, just the correct ideas.

Posted by: oj at December 3, 2005 11:22 AM

Yes oj. They only need correct ideas.

In other words, American born in a foreign country by mistake, but instead of wanting to come here to join us, they'll join us by making their native country free and open like ours.

Just as good and welcome.

Posted by: erp at December 3, 2005 11:33 AM

people who won't fight for liberty will always support tyranny. instead of speculating on the nature of cost rican character, someone should look it up. i don't know one way or the other but all outward signs are that they are a soft left nation.

Posted by: true allies at December 3, 2005 12:11 PM

erp:

Why? We want them.

Posted by: oj at December 3, 2005 4:45 PM

Let's not be piggies.

Posted by: erp at December 3, 2005 8:15 PM
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