An Alliance for Democracies: With the US or for the US?,

Sven Biscop, lecturerer at Ghent University

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for an “a new grouping of like-minded nations, a new alliance of democracies” against China. The US has raised this idea before: in 2003, when it could not get its way from the UN Security Council, as an alternative format that could legitimise the invasion of Iraq. […]

Just like in the Cold War, Europe would be a secondary actor to the US, but now in a secondary theatre, for the main act would now play out in Asia rather than in Europe. European and American interests greatly overlap, but they are not identical. The EU cannot trust the US to take care of Europe’s economic interests. More fundamentally, since the US wants to remain the undisputed number one, for Washington the rise of China is a problem per se. Not so for the EU: if, and only if, China respects the basic rules of the world order, Europe can live with the fact that China is a great power again. An “alliance of democracies”, therefore, would not really be an alliance with the US – it would be an alliance for the US, to further the American interest, to which the interests of its allies would inevitably end up being subordinated. If the US really cares about bringing its allies on board, it should more sincerely consult them in the existing frameworks, such as NATO, rather than imposing its agenda. Washington should work with key players such as the EU, and build a common agenda, rather than using tariffs to try and force it into line. Läs artikel