Dump Our Double-Dealing, Thuggish ‘Allies’

Dump Our Double-Dealing, Thuggish ‘Allies’, by Ted Galen Carpenter in the US.

[E]ven during the Cold War, the United States was the most secure great power in history. How many other great powers ever enjoyed the luxury of two oceanic moats on its flanks and nothing more than weak and friendly neighbors on its other borders? Most confronted geostrategic situations that did not even faintly resemble such a benign environment. Moreover, although the Soviet Union was a credible military challenger, in the end, it proved to be a much weaker and more fragile great power than the image that members of America’s national-security bureaucracy had created.

Some Soviet-era alliances are not needed and are now undesirable:

It was a logical and moral stretch to justify some of the alliances that Washington forged with repulsive, autocratic regimes to wage the struggle against the Soviet Union. …

The Saudi alliance is utterly contrary to basic American values. There is also growing doubt whether it serves legitimate American security interests in any meaningful fashion …

Saudi Arabia may be America’s most odious ally in the neighborhood, but Turkey seems determined to be an increasingly close second. … From the flirtation of Turkish security personnel with ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups to the reckless decision to shoot down a Russian military aircraft that had strayed into Turkish airspace for all of seventeen seconds, Turkey has shown itself to be an irresponsible and untrustworthy ally. …

Time to terminate some alliances?

Enough is enough. NATO is supposed to be more than an amoral security alliance, especially in the post-Cold War world. It is supposed to be (and portrays itself as) an alliance of enlightened democracies. Linking America’s identity to that of an increasingly corrupt, opportunistic, and thuggish Turkey, absent an utterly dire threat to our security, betrays this country’s most basic values. It is time to give the other NATO members a stark choice: either Ankara goes, or we go. ..’

The American people face the necessity for similar soul searching regarding both the Saudi and Turkish alliances. … [W]hen only secondary or peripheral interests are at stake, it is shameful to forge or sustain such relationships.