June 29, 2016

Don't Scrap America's Alliances. Fix Them.

By Elbridge Colby

Does the United States benefit from having allies? In recent months, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has voiced skepticism about the value of core American allies in Europe and East Asia. Trump argues that U.S. allies are free riding off the United States, and that their contributions to U.S. security are no longer sufficient to justify either the risks or the costs they impose on Americans. He is far from alone this election season. Surrogates for Bernie Sanders like Jeffrey Sachs have made similar arguments. Even President Obama himself expressed frustration about allies and partners that do not pull their weight in his recent Atlantic interview, as did former secretary of defense Robert Gates in his second memoir. In earlier years, politicians as diverse as President Dwight Eisenhower and the Democratic Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield issued similar complaints.

 

To read the full oped, visit the National Interest website.

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