10 National Security Threats in 2013

In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on

The New Year brings reflection and prediction—hope for the future tethered to the problems of the past. 2013 ushers in a host of national security and foreign policy threats that may boil over during the coming year. In a two volume book on national security doctrines I analyzed these threats through the lens going back three centuries. Our republic faces a myriad of threats, but 10 threats stand out as both immediate and long term. In this column I will focus on the problem, and next week the solutions.

1. Al Qaeda and terrorism. The first realization is that a new terrorism emerged in the late 1970s and 1980s, primarily one of Islamic extremism focused on apocalyptical designs to bring about a new Islamic era. These groups, both Sunni and Shiite, are willing to use any means, especially the use of weapons of mass destruction. The groups are divided into core leaders and organizations, franchises, lone wolves, and aspirational individuals who seek maximum destruction. There are about 44 transnational foreign terrorist organizations that seek the destruction of the United States, the American people, and Western civilization in general. The debate over law enforcement versus counterterrorism versus war should long be over. It is a war where all national resources need to be used. The rise of Wahabism, Salafism, and extreme Shiism poses the greatest long-term ideological threat to the United States and its Western allies, especially as it transcends geography, race, and group. The ability of the movement to mutate and multiply will continue to spawn terrorist and insurgent movements until, and unless, a strategic formula is found to defeat them. The long-term strategic threat to the United States by the toxic nexus of transnational terrorism, rogue states, and weapons of mass destruction is primarily driven by Sunni extremism (with the notable exception of Shiite terrorism, which is primarily state sponsored by Iran).

2. Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans have a penchant for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The debate over whether the United States should have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan is long over, and the focus should be on how to achieve victory. Iraq has stabilized and is at a fork in the road on whether it succeeds or fails, whether it progresses or descends into violence, whether it allies with the United States or Iran, and whether American sacrifices were for triumph or tragedy. Iraq has already given a template to the Arabs that an Arab Muslim democracy can be created; for the United States to back away now would be tantamount to betrayal of them and U.S. values.

3. The Arab Spring. Unclear is the depth or sweep of the Arab spring or whether it will reignite the Green Revolution in Iran and topple the Alawite regime in Syria. However, it is clear that at the very time that the Bush Doctrine had promoted Arab democracy in the beginning of the 21st century, the Obama administration has failed to lead. Should this continue, the ramifications will be calamitous: Any hope of democracy, human rights, and civil society could fail; the old or new dictators could take power; the revolutions could be overtaken by Islamic extremists; the region could descend into factionalism and chaos; and other great powers could gain influence to threaten American interests.

4. Energy security. It is, after decades, in vogue to discuss national security and energy policy. The energy policy of the United States must reflect its grand strategy and be based on some fundamental and permanent declarations and actions.

5. Threat to primacy. The United States took a long road to military primacy, which has ensured world order, world commerce, and world peace. It has achieved all three more than any territorial empire in the past and any international treaty or organization of the present or future.

6. Rogue regimes. In 2002, President Bush identified the “axis of evil.” Two of those nations continue to spread evil and malevolence abroad and to their own people. Iran, seeking a Persian-Shiite empire in the Persian Gulf, has engaged in a laundry list of policies and behaviors designed to kill Americans and hurt American interests since 1979. Iran is engaged in a massive campaign to produce its own nuclear weapons; it is engaged in building, modernizing, and developing long-range ballistic missile capability; it is the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah; it is the No. 1 partner or sponsor of other rogue regimes like Syria and Venezuela; it is the No. 1 conduit for the training and arming of Shiite militias in Iran to kill U.S. troops and Iraqis; it has assisted, when it deems its own interests are at stake, both al Qaeda and the Taliban (regardless of theological differences, just as in the case of Hamas); and it continues to be one of the worst human rights violators of its own people. North Korea is a more difficult problem, as it already has an advanced nuclear and missile program, proving the need to have acted in Iraq and the need to take action immediately on Iran. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has developed nuclear weapons and is a massive arms proliferator, counterfeiter of U.S. dollars, drug seller, and, worst of all, the worst violator of human rights on the planet. North Korea operates a vast empire of concentration camps where people are treated worse than animals and punishes any type of dissent with torture and execution.

7. Destabilization of Japan and Mexico. Two U.S. allies, for very different reasons and under very different circumstances, face destabilization: Japan and Mexico. Japan has been in economic and societal turmoil since the mid-1990s and fears abandonment by the United States either in favor of China or for withdrawal and retreat. Japan is a classic example of what happens when a U.S. president fails to operate with muscular, forceful, worldwide leadership. The entire Pacific realizes that the only creator of order and stability in Asia is the United States, just as it realizes that the only sense of order for that ocean is the United States Navy. In a much different setting is the potential for a failed state on the United States’s southern border. The results of a failed state in Mexico are beyond calculation.

8. Israel and Palestine. The United States has been a partner with the state of Israel from the beginning. President Bush turned away from the policy of accommodating Palestinian terrorists in an effort to promote democratic Palestinian forces. There is no other way of dealing with the crisis. The ambiguous signals to both the Israelis and the Palestinians has encouraged the crisis to swell and spread.

9. Crisis of confidence in Europe, and feelings of betrayal in Eastern Europe. The United States has gone to war two times to save Europe. The landscape of Europe is occupied by many American graves. The special relationships with the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, to name a few, are critical to American values and American interests. The term Atlanticist, once a badge of honor, is being relegated to history. NATO, even with some success in Afghanistan and Libya, is on a precipice of an identity crisis.

10. Resurgent Russia and the rise of China. The last great challenge is the same one a young George Washington faced in the French and Indian War—that of great powers. There is no need for bellicose statements of war or aggression, but the simple realization that the interests of a resurgent Russia and a rising China are often going to be at odds with American interests, both in values and in material ways. China also poses a different kind of problem. It is a power that inherently believes in a destiny of greatness with imperial designs. It is focused on the future of dominance, in particular, of Asia. Don’t Believe the Left–America’s Still Number One

In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on

The time in between Christmas and New Year’s is always a bit strange. The second greatest Christian holiday is over and the most over indulgent secular holiday is about to commence. New Year celebrations have become excuses for excess and are in many ways the polar opposite of the story of Christmas. It is in this vein that this column will slightly deviate from foreign affairs and address a trend that clearly affects national security, namely, the glee that some feel in the denigration of America, especially religious America. A symptom of this trend appears (and due to the internet has gone viral) in HBO’s attempt to resurrect respect for the mainstream media with its show Newsroom. In the first episode the struggling news anchor, Will McAvoy rants about America no longer being number one in the world:

“We’re seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies … We sure used to be the greatest nation. We used to stand up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in our last election. And we didn’t … we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.

America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.”

This television tirade would be of no matter had it stayed in the dystopic universe that is Hollywood, but alas, the internet has pushed the statement across borders and time. The temptation to go line by line and deconstruct this outburst will be resisted, and would do little but add credence to the inanity. It is, naturally, what is not said that is more important, more enlightening, and more reasonable. In many ways it is reminiscent of the constant and continuous calls for America’s demise as a superpower, and those that took joy in those obituaries are the same who propagate rants like this one.

These are the analyses that told Americans they were finished after Vietnam, finished after OPEC, finished after the Cold War, and now finished because of the fiscal cliff. American education may be in crises, but it is a crisis that still produces the greatest innovation, the most dynamic entrepreneurs, and unparalleled leaders. We may lack in the ability to take standardized tests that often measure insect-like technicalities, but our best students are without competition. The engine of the world economy still has a “Made in America” label on it, and the sane economic elite of the world hope that there is no change in the pit crew.

Our defense spending is unparalleled because our enemies are numerous and our allies lack American leadership directing them. How clever HBO was when it chose to say that we lead the world in defense spending, rather than the important fact, which we lead with the world’s greatest military: an American military that is the only force for good on the planet; an American military that is all that stands between us and the darkness. McAvoy’s veiled attack on religion belittles himself and his creators more than the religion they seek to denigrate. America is not the country where people believe in God because they believe in angels; they believe in angels because they believe in God. Man brought himself out of the mire only by his obedience to God, and if the only variable that differentiated America was this (as opposed to thousands of other elements that do), then America would be the greatest nation.

There is only one force for good in the world that has any will or strength to stand against the dark forces of the earth, and that is the United States. If there is hope for the family facing human rights atrocities by brutal dictators, that hope will only come from the United States, but only if that United States has the leadership that it deserves to stop it. The speech that McAvoy might have given, one that would have had some merit, would have been one where American greatness, though not lost, has diminished. This has not happened due to statistics about literacy and household income. This has happened, in what degree that it has, due to leaving traditional American beliefs. This fundamentally comes down to the American adherence to natural law, as immutable, unchangeable, forever, and God given. The late great scholar Russell Kirk, in The Roots of American Order, explained this best with his description of five cities: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and Philadelphia. The roots of Western Man exemplified by these cities were the well spring of monotheism, Christianity, philosophy, individual morality under God, law, civilization, art, science, and liberty. This all combined to create American civilization. This legacy is the true nature of American Exceptionalism; America is the great inheritor of all the good that came before it. Its greatness will not be judged on manipulated statistics governed by popular culture, whether this is symbolized by a fake reporter on HBO, or worse, by fake newscasters on Comedy Central. It will be judged only on its zeal to fulfill its inheritance. President Obama Can’t Neglect Great Britain

In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on

The issue of American allies is often neglected. The mainstream media has propagated a myth that during the George W. Bush years American alliances were hurt and dwindling. They continued the fable by promoting the idea that the current administration has “repaired” the relationship with our allies. Neither of these propositions is true. Not only has the current administration not bolstered the number of American allies, it has actually neglected and hurt the most important ones. In the next few months this column will focus on those alliances: Great Britain, Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Australia, and NATO. We have spent so much of our energy and effort focusing on America’s enemies, we have forgotten that it takes much greater effort to support and bolster our friends; we have spent so much time complaining about America’s burden, we have forgotten that American allies want American leadership, strong and steadfast. However, just as in any friendship, this requires sacrifice and sincerity.

If there is a real version of “American Foreign Policy 101” it would have a simple subtitle: “Be friends with the British.” There is simply nothing more fundamental to the present or future of the United States than solidarity, friendship, and support for the United Kingdom. The antics by the current administration surrounding our relationship with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are legion. It began with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s 2009 visit and the removal of the bust of Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. These genesis events illustrated either a deep vein of naïveté or a gross miscalculation. This is why the removal of Churchill’s bust from the White House was no mere act of whim, but either a calculated snub or incredible incompetence. The bust, given to the White House following the 9/11 attacks was a token of Anglo-American unity, and was a physical symbol of Churchill’s rhetoric. Before leaving on his trip to America, Prime Minister Brown stated, “There is no international partnership in recent history that has served the world better than the special relationship between Britain and the United States.” Here is the key point: “served the world better,” not merely the two aforementioned nations. The entire system of international stability and order is predicated on this special relationship.

The dust up regarding Prime Minister Brown’s visit concerning the ill-conceived DVD gifts from the Obama’s, the lack of a Camp David invitation, and the curtailment of the regular, important, and symbolic Star Spangled-Union Jack press conference, were all small indicators of the same problem that the return of the bust represented. Two explanations were hastily concocted. The first was that President Obama’s aides were “unfamiliar” with the expectations of a visit by the most important American ally; the second explanation was that the White House had been too “overwhelmed” by the economic crisis to attend to foreign policy. Is either of these credible or possible? If we cannot get it right with the Brits, how can we dream of it anywhere else? The most disturbing piece to come out of this affair was the comment, reported by the Sunday Telegraph, of an unnamed State Department official involved with planning the prime minister’s visit who was quoted as saying, “There is nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.” Hope for a better relationship was frittered away when the administration presented Queen Elizabeth an iPod as a gift containing audio files of President Obama’s speeches. This occurred while the first lady broke protocol by touching the queen, an act from an administration who enjoys lecturing the previous one on cultural sensitivities. In 2011 the president continued to speak at Buckingham Palace while the British national anthem was playing. These might all be brushed off as the actions of an inexperienced administration that fails to understand the basics of American foreign affairs. However, there is a darker, more pragmatic side as well. Currently, the anti-British attitude of the Obama administration most difficult to understand was and is over the Falkland Islands. The Falkland Islands are British; they re-established their sovereignty by force in 1982 with the help of the Reagan administration. The Obama administration is now pushing for Great Britain to enter into United Nations sponsored negotiations with Argentina to discuss the issue of sovereignty. If this is not an example of national security tone deafness, then there isn’t one. There were 46,000 British troops fighting alongside the United States in Iraq and there are 9,000 British soldiers in Afghanistan. They have consistently been the second largest force fighting the global war on terror. More than any other country, they have faced the greatest threat of Islamic extremism inside of their own country. Many Americans and British take the relationship for granted. We have all heard the derision of the pseudo intellectuals with phrases such as “all the United States has is the British.” If there is a book of phrases for ignoramuses, this should be in the top five.

The Anglo-American special relationship is not just a set of realist shared interests, magnified exponentially by the war on terror, but also a shared cultural and political destiny rooted in Anglo-American ideas of natural law, liberty under law, and Western civilization. It was Winston Churchill in Fulton, Mo., who first made the phrase famous when he said, “Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States. This is no time for generalities, and I will venture to be precise.” This salient concept has guided American foreign policy and national security as the anchor for more than 50 years. The Obama administration’s perceived coolness towards the British, if true, is a colossal misunderstanding of American history, culture, and politics and is, hopefully, not be an indicator of the new term or a new direction in American foreign policy, as this is not reminiscent of “hope” and “change,” but of coarseness and childishness. The destiny of the English speaking peoples is only true and good if it is a shared destiny. The United States and the United Kingdom share that destiny more than any other. This will take all the blood, toil, tears, and sweat that both sides can muster. America Must Retake Lead in Space Exploration

In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on

Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the American people. Its permanent mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no American has gone before.

The above homage to the opening lines of the real Star Trek, the one where an American from Iowa was the captain, may seem odd at a time when the majority of the country is concerned about gas prices and mortgages, and those that are paying attention to events outside their hometown are focused on Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear program. However, it is precisely at this time that a call for American primacy in space must be made.

Last Friday, December 7, marked two anniversaries that are locked together by fate and destiny. It was the 40th anniversary of the last manned mission to the Moon and the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Should we neglect the space race, the threat of another such attack looms large. Much was made in 2009 when America went back into space with the Ares I-X rocket. However, unless the United States is serious about being a space-faring people, this will be a mere sideshow experiment.

In January of 2004, President Bush called for a “renewed spirit of discovery” where America would again take the lead as the primary space-faring people. “We will build new ships to carry man forward into the universe, to gain a new foothold on the moon, and to prepare for new journeys to worlds beyond our own.” This sentence hearkened back to the 1962 when Americans were challenged by President Kennedy to take their civilization and values to the stars. The fundamental piece of President Bush’s speech was the American commitment to manned space exploration, with a near term goal of a manned mission to Mars. This may have been missed by the media or popular culture, but it is the salient point. America needs not only to lead technologically; it needs to lead by example through a robust space exploration program with astronauts.

The 10 member Augustine Commission reported in 2009 a pessimistic scenario of the space program, being limited to near earth asteroid exploration and to “gravitationally significant” points in space, known as Lagrange points. This will do nothing to inspire the generations of Americans alive now and in the future.

It is time for President Obama to call for Americans to rise up to the challenge posed by President Kennedy. This cannot be done on the budget of $18.7 billion dollars, equating to a paltry .48 percent of the federal budget. We are spending less on the most essential aspect of America’s future than we did on the automobile industry bailout. This fiscal absurdity occurs while we are forced to hitchhike into space on Russian rockets. The spending on the space program will determine whether or not America will lead in space, create the next advances in medicine, receive the benefits from space technology and be able to dominate the next battlefield. Whether we like it or not, the militarization of space is inevitable. The question is not if, but when. The civilization that is first past the post here will be first past the post permanently. There is nothing short of American superpower status at stake. The country that dominates space and space exploration will also have the most vibrant and dynamic economy, the most advanced, high-paying jobs, and a technological edge that is second to none. It is a national security and economic imperative, where anything else palls in comparison. It is up to the president to explain to the American people how the need is more than ever, not less. It is up to the president to place it squarely and fully in the context of the economic crisis, not shy from it.

The president should make both an ideological and practical case for the space program. On the ideological side he needs to hearken back to President Kennedy demanding that America and Americans must lead this human endeavor, that the banner of freedom and democracy must be at the forefront, and that it is not only our challenge, but our duty and responsibility. If not us, who? If not now, when? On the practical side he needs to make the national security and economic case in stark and clear terms. The cost of both, for another power to supersede us, would be catastrophic at every level. The one presidential candidate who understood this concept, Newt Gingrich, and was serious about space and its ultimate role in national security, technology, and economics, was unjustly mocked.

There are specifics that should be stressed. First, NASA must be given the flagship duty again. It must be NASA, not the private sector, as an arm of the American government, representing the American people, that explores the final frontier. NASA needs to have the resources, backing, and support of the White House. This needs to be public and overt. The first manned exploration beyond the Moon must be under a NASA aegis. Second, a firmer commitment to manned exploration must be made. The dalliance with probes and robotics is fine for the purpose to advance manned exploration, not the other way around. Third, there must be real commitment to build the space elevator, the result of which would be to reduce the cost of putting weight into space from $10,000 dollars per pound to $100.00. This could be operational within 15 years with a cost of $10 billion. It is the linchpin to future space exploration, a permanent lunar base of operations, future space mining concepts, and a fully comprehensive space based missile defense. Fourth, promote the development of a real starship (perhaps based on fusion technology) instead of single use rockets, or limited use shuttles. Although the technology is not there yet, the promotion of this in a “Kennedy-esque” manner might generate new ideas and concepts that could advance our understanding. Fifth, inspire the American people to promote the space program, the heroism of NASA, the necessity of space exploration, and tie our future to it.

The space program, and manned space exploration in specific, are the keys to America’s future, not only as a global superpower, but as the leading economy. The two cannot be separated, and neither of them will have a future without America leading the way, now, not in some murky future. It is precisely because of the economic downturn, the threats posed by other great powers and rogue states, that this is the time for such a clarion call. This time needs to be capitalized on, to advance the real need for a renewed American commitment to space. The country that makes this commitment will be the country with a secure future.

We should all take the words of the last American on the moon, Eugene Cernan, to heart : “America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.” Replace the United Nations

In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on

Living in a city like Vienna, one feels as if one is in a living museum. Vienna was not only the final redoubt for European civilization in 1683, but was the heart of the system that governed international relations from 1815 to 1914, known as the Congress of Vienna. The Vienna of today, exemplifies much of what ails European foreign policy and trans-Atlantic relations: the lack of a dynamic goal and a failure to build upon roots that made the civilization great. The European Union is in disarray, and NATO is searching for a redefinition. This is happening while the United States has made no clear signal as to the future of Atlanticism, NATO, or leading the West.

The world has emerged from the so called post-Cold War era transitioning through three phases of American leadership. Phase I under the Bill Clinton presidency illustrated national security and foreign policy drift. Phase II under President George W. Bush exemplified clear national and global goals driven by events in the Middle East and Central Asia. Phase III under the Barack Obama administration is similar to Phase I, but has embraced a policy of “leading from behind.” Meanwhile, the world’s geopolitical situation has shown signs of three major threats that will require a new international order. These threats are a resurgent Russia, a rising China, and the waning and waxing fortunes of Islamic extremism. This does not count the numerous middle level and low level threats that dot the international landscape. The successful Pax Romana and Pax Britannica were much more triumphant than the multipolar order making attempts such as the Congress of Vienna or Versailles Treaty. The most successful international order maker has consistently been the United States and the Pax Americana. In order to ensure the continuance of international stability many strategic decisions must be made. One of these decisions concerns the future of American international leadership: A dynamic international system must rise to meet these challenges, a system where the United States spearheads the creation of an amplification of NATO by fostering the D.A.N—Democratic Alliance of Nations.

The United Nations, an attempt by leaders like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to inject some realism into the failed League of Nations by creating five policemen has failed. It has failed to create stability and order except in those instances backed by the use or threat of American force. The current situation in the United States is one of war weariness and fear of over extension. The president will need to gain electoral support for America’s preeminence in world affairs. A new organization, one that has credibility with the American people, could go a long way to solving all of these issues. This new dynamic organization could go by many monikers; the one used here is the D.A.N. The Democratic Alliance of Nations would model itself on NATO, and if successful could replace NATO and cease the endless bickering about the future of that historically critical organization. The basic essence of NATO would remain; this would include a supreme commander that would be an American, a rotating political head, and Article 5 would serve as a similar trigger for action. However, there would be some drastic differences as well. Only nations that were willing to employ proportional military force (not token support) would be allowed membership. The Article 5 style trigger of “an attack on one is an attack on all” would be broadened. These triggers would have to include preemptive and preventative threats, as well as a mechanism to deal with genocide, massive human rights abuses, regional despotism, rogue states, and failed states. Further, there would have to be a clear mandate that military force would and could be used under these trigger conditions. This does not mean that military force would be the first or only option; but unlike the Security Council, it would be a viable coalition response. Critical to the composition of the Democratic Alliance of Nations would be that membership be reserved for only true democracies. This would be subject to scrutiny of the founding members and include such benchmarks as working democratic constitutions; the real rule of law; a vibrant civil society; the full protection of private property; and obedience to natural law. The foundation of the organization would have to start in the Anglo sphere (United States/United Kingdom/Canada/Australia/New Zealand) which would bring in elements of both NATO and ANZUS. Membership would hopefully be expanded to states such as (but not only) those in Western and Central Europe, Israel, South Korea, and Japan. Obviously, it goes without saying that some of these nations would need to make fundamental changes in their foreign policy legal mechanisms and even political culture.

It would therefore be through the Democratic Alliance of Nations that the United States could lead the free world in a dynamic 21st century, as it had through the tribulations of the 20th. It would further the security of the United States and the American people, and would serve as a way to illustrate to the electorate that the United States is not forced to act alone nor bear the only burden. It would further enhance the political and economic connections of members for stronger ties and bonds.