The End of Alliances / Edition 1

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Why should the United States cling to military alliances established during the Cold War when the circumstances are now fundamentally different? In The End of Alliances, Rajan Menon argues that our alliances in Europe and Asia have become irrelevant to the challenges we face today. The United States must be actively involved beyond its borders, but by relying on coalitions whose membership varies depending on the issue at hand. While a strategy that ceases to rely on alliances will mark a dramatic shift in American foreign policy, he reminds us that states routinely reassess and reorient their strategies. The United States, which studiously avoided alliances for much of its history only to embrace them during the Cold War, is no exception. The End of Alliances predicts that the coming change in American strategy will force our traditional allies to rethink their choices and create new patterns in world politics. The controversial argument advanced by Menon will provoke debate among foreign policy specialists and the general public.
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Editorial Reviews

Mick Sussman
…Menon is a level-headed analyst, and though his prescription for an updated grand strategy is tentative, his diagnosis of the ills besetting the current one is persuasive.
—The New York Times
Foreign Affairs
Alliances have been the cornerstone of U.S. foreign relationssince the 1940s. Even now, they remain the foundation for global security cooperation. But in this provocative book, Menon asserts that such formal military ties are destined to fade away. It is not a return to isolationism that will drive the dissolution of alliances but rather a slow -- and, to Menon's mind, welcome -- strategic reorientation of the United States' global position, with more informal and shifting alignments of states. Menon's thesis is based partly on his reading of the past: the United States has always been ambivalent about security commitments and maintaining a long-term overseas military presence, a national orientation only temporarily overcome by the Cold War. The new security environment, Menon goes on to argue, marked by the rise of terrorism and the absence of threatening great powers, makes alliances dispensable. Moreover, Washington's European and Asian allies are now economically revived and able to provide for their own security. In the end, Menon offers a clear picture of the global shifts that have thrown the role of alliances into question, but his argument that the costs of alliances are rising relative to their benefits is less convincing. Nor does he explore the role of the U.S. alliance system in facilitating cooperation among the advanced democracies. Today's alliances may have outlived their historical causes, but their usefulness remains.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195189278
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/26/2007
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rajan Menon is Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University and a Fellow at the New America Foundation.

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Table of Contents

The Impermanence of Paradigms     3
Alliances and America's Grand Strategy     23
Whither the Atlantic Alliance?     53
A Japan That Can-and Will-Do more     101
Korea: Coming of Age     145
Conclusion     181
Notes     201
Index     233
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2007

    Superbly written, far-reaching and brilliant

    This beautifully written book addresses one of the major foreign policy issues of our time: the future of America's alliances with other countries. Rajan Menon is a brilliant analyst who writes and thinks with a clarity that is rare. I admire this book and highly recommend it.

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