Alliances And The Contemporary International System


The following are a few thoughts that I put together in response to a discussion on a LinkedIn discussion board about the idea of an Asian NATO

I think an Asian ‘version’ of NATO would not have much of a foundation based on shared values and interests of Asian nations.  Furthermore in an increasingly globalising world geographically based alliances are not as relevant as they once were.  NATO itself is a relic of the Cold War based on Cold War realities rather than the challenges of the contemporary world.  Increasingly some of its member states have diverging interests, and conflicting values.  Alliances need to be based on shared values and shared interests and just as NATO no longer has that basis a potential Asian ‘version’ of NATO would not either.

To protect Western interests and western democratic values a new alliance system needs to be devised that operates in the context of globalisation.  There is already an emerging alliance that operates in the United Nations that is at odds with Western democratic ideals and that is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  That ‘alliance’ of states has been active in diplomatic circles trying to undermine basic Western values such as freedom of expression and impose its own value system on as much of the world as possible.

An alliance of democracies incorporating European and North American countries together with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Israel, and India would have a much better basis for an alliance that championed shared values and interests an which would protect the freedoms and way of life that we hold dear.




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