††††††††††?The old world order, dominated by
the United States
is failing.?With the rise of China, as well as other factors, the U.S. led institutions
which have kept the global markets functioning during periods of crisis are
breaking down.?Various proposals have
been made addressing this situation, one of which is the Grand Alliance.?However, for a concept as innovative as the Alliance, several issues
must be addressed if it is ever to become a reality.?Perhaps the greatest problem lies in creating
a convergence between the US
and European Union as the nucleus of the Alliance.?On the American side, the U.S. has historically avoided entanglements such
as the Alliance.?Therefore, leaders in the U.S. and EU who wish to create the Alliance, or a similar structure must take the peculiar
characteristics of the U.S.
into account.?The U.S. cannot be
drawn in through a top down method.?Instead
must be eased into the alliance until it becomes more acceptant.?This can be achieved though careful media
campaigns to influence the American people and a slow subtle building of
economic ties between the two powers.
problems exist which impede convergence between the U.S.
and EU, one of the most significant being the U.S.ís historical disinclination to
international arrangements such as the proposed Grand Alliance.?Three problems must be addressed.?First of all, the U.S.
economy remains bound to the Chinese economy, specifically the continued
Chinese financing of the U.S.
trade deficit.?Consequently, there
exists some reluctance on the part of U.S. political and business leaders
to take actions which could harm the joint economy.?Secondly, the U.S., like all democratic states,
is reactive instead of proactive.?Strong
actions are taken in response to crises, rather than in preparation.?Finally, the U.S.
historically does not form many stable alliances, and almost never an alliance
based on partnership instead of U.S.
leadership. ?/span>Rather than alliances among
equal partners, the U.S.
historically forms alliances characterized by bilateral relations and U.S.
commitments in this area have been unstable, as demonstrated by the breakdown
in the strength of the G7 under the Reagan administration.?Thus the U.S. seems ill suited for something
such as the Grand Alliance, however, the solution to this problem does not come
from trying to fight and reverse these tendencies.?Rather, the solution lies in redirecting and
manipulating these constraints into more advantageous forms.
first step involves manipulating isolationist and protectionist tendencies in
the U.S. population against China.?While the specific tactics are beyond the
scope of this proposal, efforts ought to be made to influence the media to
in a negative manner.?More specifically,
a campaign would have to be carried out to associate unfair Chinese competition
with the cause of economic trouble in the U.S..?Such concerns already exist, such as the
issue of outsourcing to states like India.?Current concerns about other nation could
even be redirected towards China,
perhaps by claiming such things occur only because of Chinese competition.?So, this is merely an exercise in cultivating
these concerns about China.?While more technical concerns may prove
inadequate for capturing public attention, plenty of issues exist which may be
used.?Incidents such as the recent
product recalls might prove much more useful in the battle of public opinion.
goal of this campaign is to agitate the public into demanding action.?Ultimately a sense of crisis needs to be
present.?After a certain point, this
pressure will be stronger than resistance among business leaders and
politicians who a concerned over jeopardizing the economic relationship with China.?Once this has been achieved, the U.S. government
will be in a reactive position, and thus able to take stronger actions.?
developed an anti-Chinese sentiment, the next step is to channel public opinion
into something more favorable for the Grand Alliance.?First, protectionist tendencies must be
avoided.?The public will call for more
protectionist policies as concern over China increases.?This must be avoided for obvious reasons. ?/span>Here counter pressure from economic interests
should provide a sufficiently strong deterrent from protectionism.?At this point, actions can be taken to start
convergence with the European Union.?However,
this course must be framed correctly to properly use public opinion; it may be possible
to take advantage of already existing sentiments.?Overtures towards the EU ought to be framed
as attempt to prevent the U.S.
from having to perform the entire task alone.?
At first, the American public will be too proud to accept an equal
partnership with the EU.?However, they
would be more accepting if they thought of any overtures as an attempt to keep
the EU from profiting off of U.S.
efforts.?Such a move would also draw
support from those political elements favoring multi-lateral approaches.
the early stages, strong formal agreements still would be too
controversial.?Rather, the convergence
should involve a slower, more subtle strengthening of relations based primarily
on increasing economic links.?Initially
this should take the form of highly technical agreements.?Joint committees should be formed to address
more detailed economic issues allowing the U.S. and European economies to
begin to synchronize their regulations.?These
actions should not be described as precursors to a larger effort, but rather as
small discrete actions to provide mutual economic benefit.?In the long run, this more subtle action will
prove the foundation.
alliances like the Grand Alliance are generally unacceptable in American
political thought; therefore the foundation is the key.?Eventually, as the bond between the U.S. and EU
strengthens, such an alliance will be less and less of a shock.?Gradualism is the key to this approach.?As the economic environment becomes more and
more similar, corporations should take advantage of the situation to
expand.?Hopefully, mergers would even
occur between larger U.S.
and European corporations as they became used to the environment.?Nevertheless, at some point discrete actions
will no longer suffice and the issue will come fully into the open.?Some political elements might resist such a
move for various reasons.?The specifics
will vary based upon the particular group, but the general guidelines
hold.?At this moment the media campaign will
have successfully energized the American public on the issue, and the economic
ties, corporate mergers, joint committees, and other institutions, should be
strong enough to hold the two together.?The
purpose of the previous actions is to make any action to remove the U.S. from the
path towards alliance politically unfeasible.?
Pressure should be coming from the public, who are concerned about the
Chinese, and business leaders who are profiting from the U.S.-EU
convergence.?Consequently, future collaboration
with the EU will be the path of least resistance in the U.S..?In this manner, the U.S. can be
brought into convergence despite initial skepticism and divergent tendencies.
this plan focuses on the U.S.,
European leaders can and should assist with various aspects.?First, assistance can be given in the media
efforts against China.?However, such assistance as can be given
should be through influencing media organizations and other behind the scenes
actions to set the agenda.?If too strong
a foreign influence is present the American public would resist the perceived
intrusion.?The manner in which European
leaders publicly approach the U.S.
also factors into the problem.?By
approaching the U.S.
with an appearance of humility, there is much less of a risk of a hostile
reaction.?Such an approach conflicts
with some tendencies in Europe towards
anti-Americanism.?Thus states which have
more favorable feelings towards the U.S.,
such as the United Kingdom,
would have to work more on this aspect than those that have less favorable
sentiments.?As the U.S. becomes
more and more entangled with the EU, European leaders can then start to assert
a more equal position.?In this manner
Europe can work to bring the U.S.
into a convergent path.
any plan, especially one so fluid, complications can arise, and for this plan
they fall into a few discrete categories.?
The first set of complications arises in the initial manipulation of
public opinion.?If the public opinion in
the U.S. cannot be sufficiently
agitated against China,
the entire plan will fail.?Even if this
is achieved, it may not be strong enough to combat the traditional American
skepticism and pressure from U.S.
leaders favoring different action towards China.?Likewise, if the public becomes overzealous,
it could lead to the adoption of protectionist policies in spite of the
economic consequences.?Finally, too
strong a furor could strengthen isolationist tendencies and thereby preventing
the redirection necessary to begin working with the EU.?Thus public opinion needs to be kept in a
potentially delicate range, and given the free nature of the American media,
such a task will be troublesome.?China
will not sit out from such a public opinion battle.?Chinese elites will recognize the danger of a
strong anti-China view in the U.S.
and take actions.?They may use their own
power to influence the U.S.
media.?Likewise, pressure may be placed
political and business leaders to counter the public reaction.?On the other hand, China
may take a few small steps to placate the U.S..?These steps may create the appearance of
cooperation, and thus hinder the entire plan.?
Not only could the U.S.
public become less alarmed, it may also decrease the apparent threat of China
to leaders around the world.?Thus it may
even be necessary to goad China
into an overreaction around this time to prevent such actions.
next category of complications lies in the interaction between the U.S. and the
EU.?Anti-American sentiments in the
European population may keep the EU from accepting an initial weaker role.?It may even be the case that such sentiment
keeps the EU from making any sort of overt gestures.?Given this situation, the EU would be unable
to draw the U.S.
into an alliance.?Likewise, if the issue
of a more formal alliance arises too early, the U.S. may still back out.?U.S. leaders have broken from
alliances before and if the ties are too weak they still may.?The proper sort of economic convergence would
prevent this.?If the U.S. and EU have
very similar economic interests, convergence would remain the path of least
summarize, the U.S.ís
historical pattern of unstable alliances complicates efforts to align with the
EU.?Leaders in both areas must realize
cannot move rapidly into an alliance.?By
combining a media campaign against China
and a slow building of economic ties, a situation will be created where there
is pressure from below on U.S.
leaders to act, and a strong set of ties with the EU.?In this environment, working with the EU would
be the course of least resistance.?This
is only a general framework; the specifics are flexible and adaptable to
political realities.?However, these considerations
form a useful starting point of action for those leaders in the U.S. and EU who
understand the need for a Grand Alliance.