Alliances and partnerships are mutually beneficial, and they’re crucial to the DOD’s strategy. Our allies and partners have been coming to our aid for 75 years, including after 9/11 and during every major U.S.-led military engagement since.
Before we explain how the DOD plans to strengthen and building on these, it’s important to know the difference between allies and partners. Our allies are countries with which we have formal, long-term relationships built on shared values and common forward momentum. For example, NATO was formally established by the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, and its 29 members are allies. Partnerships usually focus on something mutually beneficial during a specific amount of time or for specific circumstances. The U.S. relationship with its Caribbean and Latin American partners, for instance, helps to stem the tide of illegal drug activity.
As the old saying goes, there is strength in numbers. Why? When we pool resources and share responsibility, our burdens become lighter. It also gives us a better chance to advance our interests and maintain a balance of power that will keep enemies from thinking twice about aggression. The stability that comes from alliances and partnerships can also generate much-needed economic growth.
We plan to strengthen our alliance and partnership network by:
The long-term alliances and partnerships we’ve built are a priority to maintain and expand, including in the Indo-Pacific region and with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which provides collective security against Russian threats.
In the Middle East, the DOD also plans to form enduring coalitions. Why? To consolidate the gains we’ve made in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq to defeat terrorists. With their help, we can work to make energy markets dominated by oil stable and trade routes secure.
In Africa, the DOD is boosting partnerships that already exist, as well as building new relationships to help address terrorism that threatens U.S. interests and contributes to the challenges we face in Europe and the Middle East, such as human trafficking, the illegal arms trade and complex criminal networks.
We’ll also deepen our relationships with Canada, Mexico and Latin American countries to build on our regional security.