As in update to my previous posting “Barnett’s Path to a U.S. Grand Strategy in Three Paragraphs“, Curzon at “Coming Anarchy” has an excellent post (”The New Allies”):
The United Kingdom is our main ally inside the EU. Althouh a part of the union, Britain does not use the Euro and emphasizes the “one market” aspect of the union, not a unanimous foreign policy. There is no better way to limit EU meddling than by allying with a powerful country inside the union that wish to limit the scope of its power.
Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltic Three fear Russia and yet are wary of Franco-German dominance in the EU. The US has brought all these countries into NATO, Poland has the fourth largest number of troops in Iraq, and Bulgaria and Romania are in the final stages of negotiating the installation of US “lilypad” bases.
Ukraine and Georgia look to the EU and the United States as their possible protectors in the face of Russian aggression.
Strong relations with Vietnam, Mongolia, and Japan can be attributed to the fear of China flexing its muscle in the region.
All of these countries save Vietnam have troops in Iraq.
Though its a great overview, I think Curzon could have gone in greater depth in analysis. Most suprisingly for me is his omission of India from the map. Here’s my initial response to his posting, which attempts to inject further analysis on this topic:
The majors players working with the US are the major players of the Angolosphere (India, UK and Australia) and US former quasi-colonies in the East (Japan and possibly Philippines). Israel is also a strategic partner.
The other states are to all some degree buffer states with Poland the exception. In Europe, the Baltic states are too small to matter, while Romanian and Bulgaria don’t count so much other than possible military bases. With its internal political issues, Ukraine is a toss up at this point. Poland is still out to make a name for itself within a New Europe, but I dont know if it’ll ever have even comparable clout to Germany, France and the UK. Not until Poland can pull its GDP up.
The mentioning of Mongolia etc as part of the “Coalition of the Willing” is a joke. Only the UK, Poland, formerly the Ukraine and 1-2 other countries contributed substantial troops. Mongolia sent a token force of less than 300 troops. And the Ukrainian troops were famous for retreating under fire from the Insurgents.
Overall, the map looks pretty lonely. What about Turkey, South Korea, Latin America (lots of lng and oil) or Canada (possible large source of future oil)?
Heck, what about China as a limited partner? We have common interests in the security of the sealanes (where oil is transported); stability in the Korean Peinusula and also in the overall world; our mutual economic relationship direct and indirect; and stability in energy supplies.
Also, the question of where Russia fits into the “New World Order” is still in question. Russia has historically needed to expend its sphere of influence to feel secure. Indeed, the U.S. needs a stronger Russia to keep Central Asia and the Caucasus in line, while also holding a check against China.
Iraq maybe a future partner, but only fools would consider this so early in the game. Overall, we are pretty isolated in the Middle East, Israel excepted. With Iraq, Iran is a major puzzle to U.S. foreign policy there.
In the future, China may or may not be the next superpower, but no doubt it will be an even bigger player in the world. We need a major player in every region, especially those growing in power, e.g. China and Brazil. We can either ride the wave to the future or try to stubbornly stop it like fools.
Overall, the US is in a diplomatic low point, but it also presents the real partners we can depend on, mainly the UK and Austrialia. I would hope that soon we can add India (a new raising power) into this category.