When courting quasi-allies like Ukraine becomes a moral hazard, responsiblestatecraft.org

Benjamin H. Friedman, Policy Director at Defense Priorities, adjunct lecturer at George Washington University and Natalie Armbruster,Foreign Policy Research Associate Fellow at Defense Priorities

At a recent virtual summit, NATO leaders reaffirmed their intent to admit Ukraine to the alliance.

In doing so, they indicated an odd preference to directly defend Ukraine at some point, just not now while it’s under attack. As the dominant power in the NATO alliance, this puts the United States in the familiar, but dangerous, position of vaguely and half-heartedly offering to defend a non-ally.

These states, which we call “quasi-allies,” in our recent report, are not true allies, in that the United States has no treaty commitment to defend them. But they hover in a kind of geopolitical purgatory, encouraged by Washington to believe that they might be under the U.S. defensive penumbra. Quasi-ally status creates danger, not only for the United States, but also for those states it feints at protecting. Washington should stop creating quasi-allies, with word and deed, and either commit to defending states or, as should be the case most of the time, be clear that we won’t. Läs artikel