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phaedryx's avatar

Can you posit a situation where the United States would ally with a country it is currently on unfriendly terms with?

Asked by phaedryx (6113points) August 21st, 2010

“Politics makes strange bedfellows”

I was reading about the Pan American Union during World War II and noticed that the conference formalizing the union was held in Havana, Cuba. Cuba and the United States were allies. It got me thinking about how alliances have changed through our history, starting with the American Revolution.

Basically, pick a country that the United States is on unfriendly terms with, currently, and propose a situation in which they would become allies.

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16 Answers

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Something like this happened between the US and Japan after WWII.

Directly after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the subsequent surrender of Japan in WWII, most Americans had very negative feelings for the Japanese. The US was basically in charge of rebuilding Japan after the war, so they could have pretty much done anything they wanted to it. Many people felt that they should put Japan back to the stone age economically, so that they would no longer be a military threat to any other country.

However, this all changed as the Cold War began, and China went communist. The US had originally wanted an ally in Asia for the Cold War (especially when the Korean War broke out), and with China now communist, Japan was the next bet. They quickly decided to make Japan a new industrial and economic powerhouse and give them back the military they were stripped of in the initial post-WWII negotiations.

So, basically, wars can change allies greatly. Having a common enemy usually makes two countries allies, as the US and Russia were during WWII (Both wanted to get rid of Hitler, and once that was done, they could go back to hating each other). I suppose a similar situation could easily happen with the eruption of a new war.

ETpro's avatar

Sure. Charles Dudley Warner gave us the ubiquitous quote, “Politics makes makes strange bedfellows. Well, politics is nothing when compared with international relations and individual national interests. We certainly were not great fans of Joseph Stalin when we allied with Russia against the Axis powers in WWII. In fact, Stalin wanted to join with Germany in attacking the West, and if Hitler hadn’t been such an ideology driven, communism hating egomaniac as to preemptively attack Russia, WWII might have gone very differently for us.

phaedryx's avatar

Basically, pick a country that the United States is on unfriendly terms with, currently, and propose a situation in which they would become allies.

Austinlad's avatar

Great examples above, and I think it’s safe to say if the U.S. hadn’t modified or at least softened its adversarial relationships with various governments in the past we might be in worse shape globally than we are now.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@ETpro the Russo-German conflict was inevitable. Tooze will give you a comprehensive list of concrete economic justifications for German aggression. There are those on the Russian side that claim Stalin was waiting for the right moment to pounce on the Germans.

CaptainHarley's avatar

SCENARIO: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is deposed. His successor signals that he wouldn’t be averse to restoring relations with the US. The US agrees.

And it probably would be just that simple. Chavez is a nutcase.

ETpro's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop I am sure that’s true. It is equally true that Hitler’s unpublished “Final Solution” called for enslaving all non Aryan peoples and using them as slave labor to keep things going till a breeding program could produce enough racially “pure” blond, blue-eyed Aryans that he could exterminate all other humanity. His Italian and Japanese allies were just as much at risk as the rest of us.

jaytkay's avatar

Cuba would have been a democracy and a close US friend decades ago if it were not for the ridiculous embargo. US trade and culture would have overwhelmed the authoritarians.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Sorry if that last post sidetracked the discussion.

An interesting thing to note is our relationship with Pakistan, which officially is called our “partner in the War on Terror”. However, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan originally recieved support from Pakistan. Then there are regions of Pakistan that we are told are essentially autonomous from the central government, and its long been publically surmised that bin Laden is hiding out there.

lillycoyote's avatar

Alliances between nations are very often, if not most often, based on expediency and what each nation needs and wants from the other nation rather than based on “friendliness’ or shared values and those alliances, any alliance, can turn on an historical dime. I wouldn’t really want to make any specific predictions.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

The U.S. and China, maybe? Maybe some form of an ecomonic unity?

anartist's avatar

Can you not?
US supported Saddam as long as he screwed the Kurds whom we supported before. US will wham-bam-thankyou-ma’am almost anybody. Watch Pakistan.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

We could easily find ourselves allied with mainland China against some combination of aggressive Muslim states or allied with Russia against an expansionist China. We could easily find ourselves allied with Iran again once the people get sufficiently tired of theocracy.

MrItty's avatar

Alien invasion.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Zombie apocalypse would bring all us live ‘uns together.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Sure, we are currently unofficially allied with China and Russia in the fight against the pirates from Somalia.

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