The Corner

What Are Allies For?

Some of the folks on the left have criticized me for arguing in the Corner that we should stand by Israel in the latest crisis. Sorry– no apologies. Sure, I believe Israel erred by conducting its raid in international waters rather than closer to the Gaza coast. I will never apologize for the U.S. military or that of an ally seeking to use far greater force than our adversaries. We don’t go after the Taliban with Kalashnikovs; we go after them with Predators.

The larger issue however — and this is something that, alas, the Obama administration and many self-described realists don’t understand — is that allies have intrinsic value, something which simply does not appear in the Walt and Mearsheimer calculation. Countries that support the United States fully deserve our full support. It’s not just a question of Israel – the same holds true with Georgia, Colombia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Poland, among others. If the United States gets the reputation of casting allies to a lynch mob to make the United Nations, Russia, China, or Syria happy, then we will soon find ourselves with no allies willing to come to bat for us when we ourselves are down. Likewise, if we want countries to be our allies, we need show the world that their is a value to siding with us.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.


The Latest