The Common Link

                                                         Britain R. Henry

                                 September, 07




          ?The theory of realism is the one concept in International Relations that has stood the test of time, Realism started with the Melian dialogues more than 2,000 years ago but its inherit truth is equally as applicable in present time. The theory of realism essentially denotes that, strong nations do that which pleases them and weak nations accept what they must. For the past 60 years, America has greatly benefited from its position as the single most powerful country on the planet. America has been in a position that has allowed it to use the combination of stick and carrot its dealings with other nations, and for the most part, has greatly prospered. However, the emergence of China casts a looming shadow on America, threatening the superpower's continued domination and western ideology around the world. The idea that China’s intentions are hostile is still widely open to debate, but the concept of Asian ideology taking command as the leading ideology around the world is not as easily denied. While Asian ideology in its self is not bad thing, one may still be jarred by the idea that this ideology will be of a country that is un-democratic, brutally oppressive, and environmentally negligent. America is no longer large enough to act as the moderator of world affairs, yet it cannot simply relinquish its title and assume that world will follow a peaceful and prosperous path. America must join in a Grand Alliance (a concept conceived by Dr. Carlo Pelanda), a union with the other democratic countries of the world, using its size and economic power to continue to be the guiding light for the rest of the global community. The key to the alliance is that America and Europe must first unite, after which the other democracies of the world will willingly and eagerly join the alliance. Understandably, this is a task much easier said than done; however, with proper communication, mutual respect and a complete understanding of the goals of the alliance, and perhaps a little help from the Canadians, this movement towards long term power becomes feasible.  

          ?First, in order for the Grand Alliance to emerge, it is necessary to prove that the intentions of the Chinese are to not only take control of global affairs, but to dominate them with their own ideology. One must simply consider the “Mandate of Heaven?to conjure some concern over the increasing power of the Chinese. It must be stated though that the intentions of the Grand Alliance (despite how the language of domination may come across) is absolutely against conflict with China. In fact, China would be a welcomed member of the Grand Alliance, only after converting to a democratic government. However, the likelihood of the ruling party in China to switch to a democratic government is minimal, while the likelihood of China reaching the dominate position in the global community is growing everyday. China is currently the third-largest merchandise-trading nation, the world's second-largest energy consumer; it has an economy that has grown more than 9.5% a year on average for the past 26 years, and in 2005 the United States ran a trade deficit with China of $201.6 billion[1]. With China’s ascension to power, the problems that currently face America will only become greater. Elizabeth C. Economy emphasized this notion: ?span style='color:black'>U.S. job losses and trade deficits are going to be part of the picture as long as China has 1.3 billion people, its labor is cheap, and its labor protection, environmental, and health and safety standards are much lower.?a style='mso-footnote-id:ftn2' href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" title="">[2]   

          ?As stated before, the global economy should not be anchored in a country that shows little regard for its own citizens and land, nonetheless those of foreign countries. Instead, it should be backed by a country or an alliance of countries that champions the ideals of free trade, economic responsibility and accountability, as well as the prosperity of every human being. America pushes for these goals; the European community does similarly, as well as the other legitimate democracies around the world. Therefore, it is only of common sense to try to build an alliance amongst those who share similar, positive interests and goals. After 60 years of exporting everything American to the rest of the world, isolationism is no longer an option for America. Europe can no longer sit by idly and watch its sway in international affairs disintegrate, its economy continue to stagnate, and its ability to secure crucial items, such as oil, diminish. Before these possibilities become reality, the solution, which is only the Grand Alliance, must be carried out.

It is hard to conceive the notion of America openly asking for the assistance of the Europeans, and equally as difficult to believe that the Europeans would ask for American assistance. Sovereignty is at stake as well as global reputation, and neither is easily surrendered. With the creation of the European Union and the NAFTA agreements, the Americans and the Europeans have shown willingness to cooperate with other nations for the overall benefit of a regional block. These agreements could be extended to benefit all those who believe in the principles of a free market and a free society, i.e. democracy. The key to uniting these two powers (America and Europe) lies in the ability to bring both powers to a mutual understanding of what is to be gained by aligning themselves; this can not be achieved with out communication between parties. A statement at the Summit of the United Stations and the European Union in Gutenberg supports this: "Experience has taught us that, when the EU and U.S. work hand-in-hand, either bilaterally or multilaterally, we can be an engine for positive global change, nurturing the development of democratic regimes, opening trade and investment, working to reduce poverty, and protecting the environment"[3]. However, the recent events of global affairs, most notably the war in Iraq, have demonstrated that there is a distinction between European rationale and American rationale, but hope still exists.

          ?When looking for American allies in the European community, there is little question of the United Kingdom’s commitment.?Looking strictly at alliances for the Iraq war, Poland, Italy and Spain are additionally on the list of allies. The main point of concern is thus winning the support of the French and Germans, even more so since they and the United Kingdom represent the three largest economic powers of the European community. French sentiment towards America will undoubtedly be changing with the recent election of President Sarkozy, who has made no attempt to hide his desire to strengthen the ties between the French and the Americans. This can certainly prove to be a catalyst for future change occurring in the minds of the French. The Germans, who have been far less vocal about their disapproval for the Iraq war, were nonetheless non-allies; this is not to indicate that the Germans were enemies, but they were hesitant to give support for a war that was less than popular at home, much like the French. However, the German government's perception towards America is different than that of its citizenry. The German Embassy writes that “[t]he United States is Germany’s closest ally and partner outside the European Union. The European Union and the United States are important partners in a transatlantic relationship based on vital mutual interests and values. We share a deep commitment to the advancement of democracy and human rights around the world?a style='mso-footnote-id:ftn4' href="#_ftn4" name="_ftnref4" title="">[4].

          ?Despite the French's possible change in sentiment and the German government's stated friendship with the U.S., it would be naive to believe that a union of France and Germany to the United States will be easily achieved; but to achieve the Grand Alliance, true desire to cooperate with all parties must be demonstrated. For this to take place, America must show a desire to listen to the concerns of other nations, as well as a willingness to relinquish some of its authority in world affairs for a governance of many democracies. Neither the Americans, nor the French, the Germans, or the British will offer to be the first party to promote this agenda and initialize discussion; a country that is respected by both the Americans and the Europeans and that shares the same western values must take this role, i.e. Canada.

          ?Canada is the perfect candidate for this task because first and foremost, it is a democracy. It is not only a neighbor and close ally of America; it is the most important trading partner, as well. The European Union ranks second only to the United States in exports and imports with Canada, and the fact that the majority of the population of Canada is of either British or French origin helps maintain very strong ties to Europe. Furthermore, the Canadian desire to push not only for multilateralism in international affairs, but its commitment both to NATO and to the UN bolsters its respect around the world as a country of peace, which will be necessary to counter fears of aggression that the Chinese might feel.  

          ?The role of the Canadians would be to bring both the Americans and the Europeans together, and to ask them to take the first steps in building the Grand Alliance. Canada is needed for this task simply because it would be unwise to assume either power would initiate the talks and risk being viewed as worried or weak in the other's eye. Canada would be a welcomed negotiator for both the Europeans and the Americans because it is a country that has never once showed a desire to create an empire, nor have the Canadians ever been accused of trying to “Canadianize?people. Their intentions would be considered genuine, and their cause just. The United States would be unable to refuse to listen to the Canadians simply because they would not want to jeopardize relations with their most important trading partner. The Europeans would also listen to the Canadians for the same economic reasons, but also because they share a common concern about international affairs and the use of a multilateral position to defend freedoms and promote democracy. The incentive for the Canadians would be the obvious fact that they would suffer both security and economic losses if the Chinese were allowed to secede the Americans as the dominate power in the world. By being offered a place in the Grande Alliance, the Canadians would be offered incomparable security. In addition, they should have little reserve about initiating it because of their peaceful history.

          ?It would be immature to assume to know what will take place in the future. All that is possible is to make predictions based on history and trends. In reviewing the evidence, it is apparent that China will at some point surpass America in terms of global authority. If the hope to spread peace, democracy, and overall human development is desired, this cannot happen or these very values will be challenged. America and Europe must unite, and through this union, pull the rest of the democracies into the Grand Alliance. For this alliance to ever be achieved, America and Europe must first see the common ground that they share, and with the assistance of Canada, their common link, this may be achieved.

[1] Quoted from U.S. Department of State website, found at

[2] Refers to an interview with Elizabeth C. Economy, the C.V.Starr fellow and director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.?Interview can be found at

[3] Refers to the article on U.S. Department of State website found at

[4] German Embassy of Washington DC, found at