Convincing the U.S.
to join the Grand Alliance:
Making the case for coequal alliances and China as an
paper proposes how to increase the likelihood of forming a Grand Alliance of democracies,
as conceived by Dr. Carlo Pelanda in his book, The Grand Alliance.?Dr.
Pelanda describes the global situation as heading toward two tendencies.?The more likely scenario is that no Grand
Alliance will emerge, and that the world will divide into regional blocks, the
largest of which will be controlled by China.?In this scenario, China will use its position of
greatest power to continue to disrupt and eventually destroy the global
market.?The second, less likely scenario
is the formation of the Grand Alliance, a cooperation and convergence of the
world’s democracies that will contain China from gaining the global
hegemony of the first scenario.?This
second scenario will remedy the problem of the U.S.’s diminishing influence around
the world and will place responsibility for protecting the global market in a
set of hands larger than those of the market’s would-be destroyers.?As this paper advocates the second scenario,
it will focus on elements that will encourage the U.S. to join the Grand
Alliance.?To convince the U.S. to join the Grand Alliance, the U.S. must
recognize its decreased ability to act as a governing force in world affairs
and consequently accept coequal status as a member of the Grand Alliance.?Not only must the U.S. realize those things,
but the U.S. must also come to view China as a threat to the global market
system, not a trading partner but an enemy to the global system the U.S. wants
Necessity of the Grand Alliance for the U.S.
first section will examine elements that encourage the formation of a Grand
Alliance.?To speak somewhat simply, from
the perspective of a U.S.
citizen, forming the Grand Alliance requires two things: the cooperation of the
and the cooperation of other democracies.?
This paper, coming from a U.S.
citizen’s perspective, will focus on gaining U.S. support for the Grand
Alliance.?Cooperation with the formation
of the Grand Alliance will come from the U.S.
with the realization that the U.S.
is too small to be effective in its role as global hegemon.?This will require quite the shift in
attitudes toward the U.S.
and its global role, particularly concerning the U.S. public’s willingness to
relinquish the “number one?status of their home country.?For example, discussion in class about the U.S. joining the Grand Alliance questioned the U.S. public’s willingness to see the U.S.
as an equal of allied countries, and not as the leader.?This particular kind of national pride must
be overcome in order to convince the U.S. to share global governing
Pelanda makes it clear that U.S.
power is diminishing, and that the U.S. can no longer police the rest
of the world alone.?The U.S. has not
yet adjusted to this reduction in power, meaning it has not modified the
structures of its alliances.?The U.S. typically forms “star?alliances, where the
U.S. dominates the agreement
and the other countries follow the lead of the U.S.?This type of alliance requires the U.S. to be a
very strong power and is less stable than a “matrix?alliance where all powers
are equal.?Since the U.S. does not
have the power to be the bright star that leads the world, it must enter the
Grand Alliance as an equal.?If this is
to be accomplished, the U.S.
must become aware of its drop in global influence.?As was discussed in class, in the past the U.S. has
recognized its limits as global hegemon.?
This was the case in 1973, when President Nixon signed a true with North Vietnam, ending both the Vietnam War and
the public illusion that the U.S.
was an unbeatable military power.?When
the U.S. failed to win in Vietnam, the
door was opened to considered matrix-style alliances instead of star-style
alliances.?Nixon’s National Security
Advisor, Henry Kissinger, proposed this shift away from U.S. dominance
and toward coequal alliances, arguing for collective management in place of
it is not beyond the capacity of the U.S.
to step down from being global leader; this only requires that the right
circumstances manifest themselves, so that the U.S. will realize the limits of its
governance and become more inclined to join a Grand Alliance as a co-member,
and not the leader.?At this time, the U.S. again is
involved in a long-term, unpopular war against guerrilla factions.?This situation in Iraq,
which is similar to the Vietnam War in terms of public support, may be an
element to discourage the U.S.
from wanting to be global leader.?
Looking at public opinion polls, “Americans demonstrate growing
disapproval of the US role
in the world and believe that current US
policy is contributing to a greater instability that could post a threat to the
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn1' href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title="">?U.S.
citizens have also become increasingly dissatisfied with the U.S.’s global role; this dissatisfaction has
increased markedly since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.?This dissatisfaction and doubt concerning the
U.S.’s global role, similar
to the dissatisfaction and doubt felt in 1973, could be the impetus needed to
convince the U.S.
of its fading power, and of the necessity of joining with a Grand Alliance to
maintain some power in global affairs.
the U.S. to Rally against China
force behind the Grand Alliance is to act as a power large enough to check a
rising China.?This means that getting the U.S. to join will involve more than convincing
it is not powerful enough to lead the world alone or that the best strategy of
alliance is a membership of equals.?The U.S. will also have to be convinced of the
growing threat of China.?Currently, the U.S. sways between two possibilities.?The U.S.
may see China
as an economic ally, a place for investment and cheap imports, or as an
unstable competitor and threat to the global market system.
greatest block to persuading the U.S.
to join the Grand Alliance may be a complacent public that is unconcerned with
the rise of China.?Many U.S.
companies are invested in China,
which makes viewing China
as an enemy difficult.?The prospect of
bombing China, as Dr.
Pelanda notes, makes the U.S.
businessperson wonder, “We’ll have to bomb our own businesses??a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn3' href="#_ftn3" name="_ftnref3" title="">?This economic exchange with China may be a reason that the U.S. is not very alert to the threat posed by a
rising China.?Looking again at public opinion polls, most
of the U.S. citizens polled believed China’s economy would grow at least as
large as the U.S.’s, and they did not believe that China’s growth would have a
negative global impact.?A recent article in the Economist echoes this
lack of concern.?The article posits China’s growth as the savior of the global
economic system, not the destructor:?
“The fate of the world economy now hinges not just on America, but also on China's economic fitness continuing
over at least the next two years.?a style='mso-footnote-id:ftn5' href="#_ftn5"
name="_ftnref5" title="">?This article also mentions the close economic
ties between the U.S. and China, making
the two economies out to be interdependent, rather than in competition.?Currently, the U.S.
is too economically tied to China
to consider China
order to convince the U.S.
that the China is not an
ally, but a threat, to the global economic system, the U.S. first must be weaned away from economic
inter-reliance with China.?Recent events have created an opportunity to
begin separating the two economies.?Lead-painted
toys, poisonous pet food, and other dangerous imports from China have made U.S.
consumers more wary about goods from China.?This bad publicity for Chinese goods has
sparked wariness and boycotts of Chinese goods,
creating the potential for less reliance on China without instituting
protectionist economic policies.
sum, the U.S. must join the
Grand Alliance in order to curb the growing, destructive influence of China on the
global market.?This will require the U.S. to accept a coequal role in the Grand
Alliance and to distance itself economically from China.?These two objectives will not be accomplished
easily; the U.S. has grown
accustomed to its role as global governor and is also very economically engaged
with China.?However, current factors, like public
disapproval of the U.S.’s
global role, particularly concerning the war in Iraq, and wariness about unsafe
Chinese imports, put these goals within reach.?
Policymakers must seize these opportunities now if the Grand Alliance is
ever to be realized.