Is The West An Unreliable Ally?

I’m noticing this trope from many pundits — that America and the West are not stalwart allies.

Is anyone a stalwart ally? I fail to see how the West is less reliable than other entities.

Betrayal is inevitable in all relationships, including international ones between states. As soon as you form any connection, you generate fantasies about the other party’s priorities which will inevitably be dashed. It is built into the human condition to imagine that the world and other people and ourselves are more stable than we really are. To reduce our anxiety, we believe things that are not true (such as that there is an essential nature to ourselves and others, a true self, while in reality we are all different in different circumstances and often the situation will have more influence on our behavior than our personality). For example, we will tend to explain away our friends and our own bad behavior as not truly reflective of who we are. We will be quick to make excuses for ourselves and other to avoid changing our minds.

Betrayal is simply the hyperbolic term we give to others having different priorities than what we expected. If your best friend sleep with your wife, you may well call it a betrayal of your friendship, but for your friend, he was simply placing his relationship with your wife at a higher level of importance than his relationship with you. His priorities were different from what you expected.

If you knock yourself out at work and do the work of three men, and then you get fired because in your zeal for productivity you didn’t cross all the Ts and dot all the Is, you might be feel betrayed by your boss, but all that has happened is your employer has different priorities from what you expected.

In the above video, Israeli Sam Vaknin says: “We are in the throes of a global reordering of powers similar to the period of the 1950s and 1960s when the US tried to contain both the USSR and communist China. Now the United States is a much diminished and spent force. It is polarized. It is paralyzed. It’s democracy is threatened from within. It doesn’t even have a regular budget, only stopgap ones. The USA can scarcely provide to more than two allies or proxies at any given time. NATO is under-funded and under-trained. As Ukraine and Israel will find out soon, the West is not a reliable or long-term ally. The axis of resistance (Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Hamas) is becoming aware that the West is not what it used to be. It is a facade, a potemkin power.”

Many pundits have noted diminishing American support for Ukraine and Israel. If true, that is not an indictment of the fickleness of America. It is simply an acknowledgment of reality — that the previous level of American support for these countries was not aligned with America’s best interests.

When America withdrew its forces from Afghanistan in August of 2021, it looked bad, but it was in America’s best interests. There are many times in life when it is best to leave something in a shambolic way than to hang around to try to preserve your dignity. America’s influence does not ultimately depend upon such appearances. Rather, it springs from America’s military and economic might.

So can you depend on America? Yes, if your interests and America’s interests are aligned.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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