Choosing New Allies: America's Indifference to the Academy's Expectations
Raas, James R.
MetadataShow full item record
Historically, the US has developed new partnerships to confront new challenges. With a growing China, the US may foster new partnerships to maintain a dominate position in East Asia. To understand how new partnerships may benefit the US, the study examined what benefits previous allies have provided and the timing of that benefit exchange. The study borrowed the literature’s Asymmetric Benefit Exchange Model and used four proxy measures to detect the provision of economic or political benefits to the US in the years surrounding an alliance declaration. I hypothesize that small states deliver political and economic benefits upfront to increase their chances of being selected as an ally but then pull back the delivery of these benefits following an alliance declaration to reduce their costs. The study identified one case, Argentina, in which the state delivered benefits prior to the alliance only to withdraw them once it was declared. The majority of cases, however, appear to have been selected without delivering economic or political benefits to the US, calling into question the applicability of the Asymmetric Benefit Exchange Model to the US alliance selection process. Indeed, the majority of allies appear to deliver their benefits in other ways, mostly through security provision or tailored political and economic benefits. The lessons learned in the study are then used to evaluate India as a potential future ally. It finds a credible basis for a potential partnership due to a shared security threat and India’s increasingly cooperative with the US at the UN, deepening trade relationship with the US, and increased purchases of US weapons.