The Grand Alliance:?Grand Strategy or
By:?Katie R. Sciortino
for the Grand Alliance by Carlo Pelanda demonstrates forward thinking necessary
for the future of the international system.?
Since a shift in global governance is indisputable, due to the rising
powers that will eventually rival the United States, the Grand Alliance
offers a peaceful and efficient alternative structure where in his words no
other “acceptable form on the Horizon?exists.?
The plan is historically insightful and recognizes the complexity of the
current state of international affairs.?
In addition, the careful attention to the various dimensions of the Alliance beyond just
political terms, such as economics and security, is important.
Specifically, The Grand Alliance addresses the threat
of an emerging China as a
prominent concern and the Alliance
as a solution to the empire’s domination.?
Although the Islamic threat receives more attention in the media,
especially in the U.S., China
definitively deserves consideration of a greater priority.?Other global issues that require
collaborative efforts, such as environmental threats and world health concerns,
could benefit from a global governing force such as this in order to make
progress on launching preventative and remedying initiatives.?The global integration of democracies could
facilitate these future agreements effectively and efficiently.?Moreover, the Alliance based on similar interests rather
than cultural values would uphold the democratic integrity thus perpetuating
the spread to other nations, particularly those that are developing.?Based on the theory of Democratic Peace,
war-like tensions that otherwise would have arose between differing regimes
will be smothered among democracies.
between the carrot and the stick that this Alliance supports would be more effective
than solely the stick approach.
However, The Grand Alliance is
not so idealistic as to overlook the skepticism of participating and observing
nations.?The various roadblocks to
achieving the formation of the alliance are sketched out in detail for
consideration.?While descriptive and
valuable, the problems with the Grand Alliance seem to overpower the
possibilities.?The following analysis
will examine the initial formation process and provide suggestions for
improvement of the presentation.?In
addition, it will explore the issue of U.S. public opinion and democratic
consensus as a hindrance to the Grand Alliance specifically through lack of
media support and economic willingness.?
arguments as to why nations would not consider joining the Grand Alliance are
far more convincing than why they should be persuaded to join.?The skepticism needs to be countered with a
plan in which the nations involved can faithfully believe. Empirical data
supporting the claims of necessary democratic convergence should be included in
order to better illustrate the Alliance’s
value.?For example, insert graphed
predictions for the global economy as China continues as an unregulated
force or comparative charts of weapon supplies.?
?Although the proposition presents reasons
throughout the book as to why nations should join the Alliance, the argument lacks a credible
“how.?span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>?I would like to see a more
developed plan for mobilization including a timetable for action.?Understanding that some events cannot be
predicted or limited to a certain time frame, there needs to be a deadline with
a greater sense of urgency for any hope of reaching this integration in the
somewhat near future.?Perhaps a degree
of threat analysis for specific global scenarios could be presented followed by
a response as to how the existence or absence of the Grand Alliance could
impact the outcome.?Furthermore, more
intriguing incentives for individual states must exist.?The case for appeal to individual national
interests must be strengthened if the heads of the Alliance are expected to join.
The Grand Alliance pointed
out that alliances usually form in cases of emergency and not just because they
look good on paper.?The “Spark?for the
formation of the Alliance
itself is vague.?To say that it “is
based on the bet that Europe will become more
outgoing in the near future?seems like a roll of the dice that the Grand
Alliance cannot afford to risk.?It also
seems to contradict the E.U.’s “nonposition?that The Grand Alliance refers to several times throughout the
book. Unfortunately it seems that an
economic crisis and or security threat would be a more powerful trigger than
relying on the E.U. and U.S.
to initiate a convergence.?The U.S?
track record of joining alliances does not instill much confidence in the plan
either.?While NAFTA may seem like an
example of a legitimate alliance for the U.S.,
the physical proximity of the agreement to the United States is an obvious
benefit.?Yet, unless another feasible
solution for countering the Chinese power arises in the years to come, the United States
might be forced to fall back on the Grand Alliance regardless of their past
commitments or unilateral desires.?
While the first
phase involves Euro-American integration, this in itself is a monumental task
in which the issue of democratic consensus cannot be taken lightly.?Finding a politician to jump on board to the
idea and persuade their constituencies at this point in time will no doubt be
challenging.?With the 2008 presidential
election rapidly approaching, it is no secret that opposition to the war in Iraq
is a prominent issue if not the most important. The current public opinion in
the United States
tends to support more isolationist views and no politician can afford to
promote questionable international behavior.?
Regardless of the individual political stances in the U.S., a majority of the public
still believes in American supremacy and favors a protectionist domestic-first
approach to policy-making.?Although we
cannot yet predict the outcome of the election, it has the potential to make or
break the Grand Alliance proposal.
From an economic
perspective, the idea that the U.S.
will have a hard time excluding their trading partners from the alliance should
be weighed more heavily.?The Chinese
response to the formation could have a profound impact on the state of the U.S.
economy.?A blatant political alienation
of a country in which the U.S.
is invested does not prove to be the smartest move in theory.?Yet China cannot remain an unregulated
force.?Furthermore, the monetary
convergence of the three currencies does not at present seem like it would be
In addition, no
clear avenue for proposing the Grand Alliance to the public seems to exist. It
would be difficult to find any media outlets that would consider sending the
message of the Grand Alliance because of their adherence to corporations?views
as well as their cyclical relationship to public opinion.?Media gate keeping could potentially block
the chances of getting the word out about the Grand Alliance. In response to the “communications catastrophe?
referred to in the book, this is something that will need to change and it
cannot happen overnight.?Until image
control can reinforce that the efforts of the U.S. internationally are to achieve
a peaceful outcome, it will be difficult to garner support for these
endeavors.?The anti-American sentiments
must be expelled in order to further pursue the Alliance.?
Moreover, unless there is an element of “why should I care?for the
public, the call for the Grand Alliance will fall far below the multiple
domestic concerns on the public’s priority list.?As previously noted, more specifics on the
threat to international order due to the absence of global governance need to
be more widely expressed. Perhaps a solution to the problem of communication in
is a campaign to educate and alert the public on the possible specific threats,
such as Chinese emergence, before offering the Grand Alliance as a
solution.?At present there is an
over-exposure of Iraq
coverage that breeds indifference.?There
needs to be a new campaign to attract the attention and desire for change and
based on the argument, the Grand Alliance offers a reasonable alternative for
the evolving hierarchy of the world order.?
The resources and capabilities of the U.S. are not vast enough to police
the entire international system any more, and new options for global governance
are essential for the future. While the Grand Alliance will not happen
tomorrow, through greater development of the plan it could fill this void. The most crucial phases of the Grand
Alliance formation process, the “spark?and phase one, need more details and
design in order to increase the overall probability of convergence.?Sensitivity to the current state of public
opinion, particularly in the United
States, must not be disregarded especially
throughout the upcoming election year.?
The achievement of a democratic consensus will no doubt take time.?If the only time requirement for the
formation of the alliance that exists is “before the containment of China
is too late,?then the democratic process might need to pick up the pace.?But if the “spark?fails to ignite then an
emergency convergence as a result of a crisis might change minds more quickly
than expected.?A vehicle for informing
the public might prove difficult, but through indirect methods of education
campaigns the seed will be planted.?
Alliance is an idea with great potential for the future of International
Affairs.?Neither hopeless nor
impossible, it will require further development and constant monitoring of the
current global situation.?Hopefully in
time the Grand Alliance will become a strategy rather than just an idea for