Jessica Leterle

INTL 4770


October 2, 2007

America as a Part of a Stable Alliance: Using the Examples of NATO and
NAFTA and Along with the Delegation of Powers to Make the Grand Alliance
               Throughout history the alliances created by America have been inherently unstable. America’s enormous power has allowed it to ally itself with other nations in times of need, but as the relative power of the US shrinks?its ability to maintain alliances in the heavy handed way it has handled them in the past is no longer feasible. The Grand Alliance presents a very promising solution for the protection of America’s democratic and mass capitalist system at home and abroad. The problem, however, with this particular alliance is getting the US, still the world’s single most powerful country, to cooperate in such a way to make the alliance lasting and to allow other member state to have just as strong a voice as America does in the decision making process. These two things can be achieved by relying on the models provided by NATO and NAFTA while also delegating leadership and policy decision-making among the member nations in order to get the Grand Alliance through its formation and difficult initial stages. 
               All of the states expected to make up the Grand Alliance share strong economic ties with non-democratic states. Therefore in order to keep the Grand Alliance from becoming just an exclusive economic community there must always be a focus on both economic and security cooperation from the very beginning. Firstly this focus gives incentive to semi-democratic nations to move toward greater freedom and democracy in their own countries, which would be required before their inclusion in the economic community. Defining economy and security both as priorities also draws a clear line from the very inception of the Grand Alliance that simply being strongly connected economically with a country does not necessarily mean that nations outside the democratic realm of the alliance can expect to be exempt from political and military pressures. Both military and economic cooperative organization can be based upon models the America is already a part of, NAFTA and NATO. 
               NAFTA’s is based upon freeing up trade from state supported restrictions such as tariffs and transport restrictions, providing increased transparency of economic institutions and also requiring certain basic standards for environmental protections. All of these things are exactly what the Grand Alliance needs to protect the global market from collapse. NAFTA has also proven to be firm in implementing its policies; even the US has been unable to stop the initial unemployment problems it is facing due to the treaty. However, the treaty also gives states some time to absorb the more substantial blows to their most protected markets in order to keep countries from having to risk economic depression and political turmoil. Using NAFTA as a basis for economic cooperation within the Grand Alliance helps to ease the transition for one of its most problematic members, the US, while also providing a set of solid foundations without have to deal with the delay and conflict created by interstate debate and negotiations on the issue. 
               Since the 1950’s the US has been part of a military alliance that has maintained a relative degree of integrity and stability throughout its existence. This alliance, of course, is NATO. One of America’s greatest aversions to getting involved in any sort of military alliance is its fear of obligating itself and its troops to cause that they have little control over (simply look to their refusal to ratify the League of Nations or the Genocide Treaty to see this). NATO has been organized in a way that there is debate and discourse among all the member states and this is how policy and an agenda are set, but throughout the existence of the alliance, military leadership has been taken by an American military officer. This setup is perfect for the purposes of the Grand Alliance in that is allows for international cohesion while still allowing for the US to be in the lead, which, of course, lessens much of its fear about involving itself in ill-lead and undesirable military campaigns. All NATO would need to do to transition into a Grand Alliance structure would be to expand its membership to states outside of the North Atlantic area in order to include Russia, India, Japan and other democratic states outside of this region. There would be some need to reorganize the military leadership structure in order to accommodate the Russian powerhouse, but this organization will be discussed later in the section relating to the delegation of powers among the member states of the Grand Alliance.
                The US is not the only state of the future Grand Alliance with doubts of losing their sovereignty. Because of this fear, the Grand Alliance needs to be formed in a way to make all of its members feel as though they have a significant and meaningful amount of control over the actions and policies of the Alliance. In order to do this, as the Grand Alliance is being formed there should be a delegation of powers among the largest and most powerful member states. These powers should be carefully weighed and delegated to each country according to need, ability and with sustainability of the Alliance in mind. Dividing the powers into two groups, geopolitical economic and security, allows for simplicity and avoids creating a burdensome bureaucratic system. 
               Tasks and decisions relating to the geopolitical economic realm of the Grand Alliance should be delegated to the European Union, India and Japan. There are many reasons for the need to put these particular states in this particular arena. First, these three regions have the more fragile economies of the Alliance therefore they need to have greater control over the policies in this area in order to assure themselves that they will not be thrown into situations that will be detrimental to their own states. In the case of the EU and Japan their strong socialist tendencies have created a good deal of stagnation and more importantly inefficient and uncompetitive markets (this is true to a lesser degree in Japan than in the EU). These two countries need to focus on protecting their economies in the short-term in order to be able to slowly integrate themselves into more competitive markets in the future. 
               In the case of India, it has experiencing no such stagnation but instead dramatic growth and they fear any hindrances to the growth that they have been experiencing will come if other countries try to interfere in their affairs. Many of their big businesses are still publicly owned and their labor standards are less then optimal. The Indian government would need to be assured that their companies would not be forced to immediately privatize and also that they would not be forced to make any changes on labor standards, whose low prices and currently creating much of the growth in the Indian economy.
               Japan and India also come together on an issue of future vital importance. This issue is the need to maintain healthy relations both politically and economically with China in order to avoid any future aggression from this mega-nation. Though all nations that are to make up the Grand Alliance have great interest in maintaining good relationships with the Chinese, the geographical proximity of Japan and India obviously put the issue on an even grander scale.
                Lastly, the structure of the EU necessitates that it be able to control the political and economic happenings of the Alliance in order to maintain the cohesion of its regional system. This cohesion is needed in order to keep the European Union’s decisions and actions from becoming bogged down in internal political conflict. By having the EU in a leadership position in these decision making processes hopefully some of this conflict can be avoided. 
               Russia and the US may at first find it hard to swallow that these countries will be able to lead over them, but these two countries still have a great deal of leverage to keep India, Japan and the EU in line. The Russians will always have the advantage of holding countries ransom with their abundant energy supply which all of these countries in some way depend upon. As for the US their huge consumer market absorbs large amounts of all of these countries exports and if this market were to become depressed, all would suffer. Therefore it is in everyone’s interest to protect the US economy as well as their own.
               Decisions and actions related to the security of the members of the Grand Alliance would be delegated to the United States and Russia. To get these two bitter Cold War enemies to cooperate together will doubtless be one of the most difficult tasks of creating this particular structure of the Grand Alliance. There are, however, a number of advantages if it were able to happen. Out of all the countries of the Grand Alliance and possibly even the world, these two nations have the greatest resources of military technology and human capital (military expertise). They also are the holders of a vast nuclear capability. All of this military might could act as a huge deterrent to any state, individual or group that would want to harm the members of the Grand Alliance. 
               The reason for Russia and the US to be in the lead of security related matters not only comes from the advantages that the two could bring, but also from the need to do so due to the internal situations in both countries. Russia has great security concerns now that China is growing so rapidly, especially in central Asia and Siberia. Such an enormous population with so many resources now to support it could feel the need in the future to expand, if not in physical terms of land then most definitely in terms of influence. Russia will have to be vigilant and prepared to protect itself and its influence in Central Asia against the Chinese. As for the US, political sentiment and the constant threat of fundamental Islamic groups have made security the foremost priority for the country. The US will never be a member of any alliance unless it feels as though it can be in control of the military situations it is involved in, this fact is only heightened by the nature of the security issues it is now involved in. If the US is to be a part of the Grand Alliance it must be given this sort of control. 
               India, Japan and the EU may find injury in being excluded from the military leadership of the alliance but none of these three countries could possibly match the military superiority of the US and Russia, and they have to be aware of this fact on some level. Aside from the military inferiority these countries, there are other reasons that India, Japan and the EU may allow for this choice in leadership. The European Union’s pacifist culture would make them unwilling to take the lead in any sort of violent conflict. Japan simply does not have to power to protect itself in any real way from the threat of China and desperately needs a military ally that would be able to deter Chinese aggression. Lastly, India’s interest in the Grand Alliance is only going to be minimally related to security issues, therefore they may have little interest in being actively involved in security related issues. 
               All of the ideas brought forth here for the structure of the Grand Alliance are meant to be solutions for the initial difficulties that the Alliance will face in its formation and infancy. The models of NAFTA and NATO are meant to serve as institutions that will help the transition of member states to the organization of the Grand Alliance. The delegation of powers among the member states is meant to create a degree of efficiency and efficacy, but more importantly to create a feeling of empowerment and voice for the states involved. These ideas will most help the transition of the US, who will be one of its most important members but will also be the most difficult to bring under the umbrella of the Grand Alliance.