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Foreign Policy Analysis
#AskIvo: Are Alliances ‘Easy’ for the United States?

#AskIvo: Are Alliances ‘Easy’ for the United States?


I’m Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. And this is “#AskIvo. ” Something President Trump said the other day caught my eye. “Alliances are very easy, but you know our alliances….” Are alliances easy? No. They’re hard work. They require the investment of time, of energy, of diplomatic resources, because you have to build trust, and confidence in each other. As in any relationship, whether it’s between two people or between two countries, building trust, building confidence is something that takes time. That’s what alliances are all about. And the United States is a master at building alliances. We’ve been doing it for well over 75 years. We have fought wars with our allies and we have deterred wars at other times. How do we make sure that we maintain alliances? Well, first by standing by allies when it matters, whether it’s in Syria, in Europe, in Asia, or anywhere else in the world. And why does it matter? Because when we need allies, they will be there. Remember, on 9/11 our NATO allies came to our defense. An alliance that was built for the United States to help protect Europe became an alliance in which Europe helped protect the United States. That’s why alliances matter. So alliances, easy? No. Important? Absolutely. Thanks for tuning in. Want ask me a question? Shoot me a tweet with the hashtag, #AskIvo.

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