Stable Alliances and Unstable Alliances


Remember when Thomas Jefferson advised that Americans should avoid entangling alliances? Well, what did he mean by that? He was referring to George Washington’s Doctrine of Unstable Alliances, and George Washington there was warning against the idea of making alliances with unstable regimes. But how do we tell this kind of alliance apart from a Stable alliance in today’s foreign policy topics?

Should libertarians set a standard of Stable Alliance?

Yes, absolutely! We the libertarians should totally base our standard of a stable alliance on our top political priority: freedom

Much to both my surprise and my enjoyment; CATO Institute has come up with the Human Freedom Index, something that measures how much individual liberty and minimized government is the norm in all manner of different nations world wide.

Looking at the Human Freedom Index, I would say that any nation in the world with a HFI score of 6.90 or more is fair game for “stable alliance”.

But we should also have more to this libertarian standard, specifically we need to look at a nation’s record to make sure they have never sponsored terrorism and also never conducted a post-WW2 genocide.

Does this decide which countries to drop alliances with?

Of course it does. Israel is the only alliance we have in the Greater Middle East that is not an unstable alliance; all three stable alliances we have in the Islamic world are in southeast Europe; the five stable alliances we have in East Asia are with Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan; the only unstable alliances we have in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe are with Russia and Central Asia; India is our one stable alliance in South Asia; South Africa is the nation in Africa that our alliance with is a stable one.


So, yes, Jefferson was referring to unstable alliances. But from what I can gather from him and from the other Founders, many of them including Jefferson favored stable alliances.

Thank you all for reading,



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