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The End of Alliances Hardcover – March 22, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"Menon offers a clear picture of the global shifts that have thrown the role of alliances into question."--G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"Rajan Menon's book is indispensable reading for anyone interested in understanding America's position in the world in the decades to come."--Hendrik Spruyt, Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations, Northwestern University

"In this book, Rajan Menon has accomplished something that many people call for but almost no one actually does. He has thought originally, from the bottom up, about how the United States should conduct its foreign policy--and proposes a major shift in the way America spends money, makes promises, and commits troops. A change like the one he outlines is coming sooner or later, and it will turn out better for America and the world if his argument gets the attention it deserves."--James Fallows, national correspondent of The Atlantic Monthly and author of Blind into Baghdad

"In this powerfully argued and elegantly written book, Rajan Menon makes the case that the American foreign policy of the future will differ dramatically, and in ways not yet fully appreciated, from the international role of the United States to which the world, and Americans, became accustomed in the second half of the twentieth century. The End of Alliances will be widely discussed and debated both in the United States and in the rest of the world."--Michael Mandelbaum, author of The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the Twenty-first Century

"This is a book worthy of attention and debate, particularly from those whose responsibility it will be to repair US global influence. It is a very smart book that makes a fundamental argument--that a US grand strategy grounded in multilateral or bilateral alliances (NATO, or with Japan and Korea) has become a brittle, dispensable relic of the containment era....What Menon does extraordinarily well is write about all of this in a marvelously erudite style, while maintaining a succinct delivery....Highly recommended."--CHOICE

"Menon makes a compelling case that Washington's foreign policy is at a critical juncture: if the United States alters its policy with a maximum of speed and grace, it can preserve--even strengthen--its political and economic relationships with long-standing allies; if American leaders stubbornly attempt to preserve obsolete security arrangements, they risk permanently damaging those important relationships. This is an important book on U.S. foreign policy in the twenty-first century."--Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute

"With elegance and wisdom, Rajan Menon shows why America's Cold War alliances make little sense, and why they need to be jettisoned in order to deal more effectively with the fundamental realities of the contemporary world. Whether one agrees or disagrees, this book both illuminates and stimulates. The End of Alliances is an outstanding contribution to the ongoing debate about America's role in the world."--Melvyn P. Leffler, Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia

"Menon shows that the role of traditional alliances is fated to diminish even if America shifts to a more restrained global stance. Menon's astute analysis is a warning against relying on these allies to be the linchpin of a new, post-Bush foreign policy."--Jack Snyder, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University

About the Author

Rajan Menon is Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University and a Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195189272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195189278
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,990,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lehigh History Student VINE VOICE on March 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Rajan Menon attempts a very ambitious project in this book and raises some thought provoking questions. The idea of why the United States remains in NATO is a question that is not asked often enough. Menon raises an excellent point in asking should the United States have ever formed NATO in the first place. Military alliances are not a natural extension of containment and the policy was based on economics. NATO's role in the post war world lacks focus and the alliance was not meant to go beyond the European continent. While there was some success during the Balkan crisis's the growing role of the EU as opposed to NATO is something that is worth considering. It is a group of countries and not NATO that are showing themselves to be the most useful allies in the war on terrorism. France and Germany have served as detractors opposed to US policy leading to a question of how well the NATO alliance will succeed.

In addition to the questions about NATO Menon also explores how the US relationship with Japan and South Korea are in need of reevaluation. Both of these countries are now economically self sufficient and do not need the United States for defense. While South Korea is at risk from an attack by North Korea there is little that the presence of United States soldiers will do to tip the balance. The need for redeployment of forces to Iraq will force the United States to reevaluate both of these relationships. These analysis points are right on target. Japan and China will have to work out a new balance of power system that will allow them to look at their place in the world. It will be a system that the United States will not factor into within the region.

The biggest drawback to this book is that it does not go far enough.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Malys on September 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It presents new and exciting theories on foreign policy which diverge from the hegemonic view point that we all hold of the U.S. and its alliances.

People always expect the U.S. to turn to NATO and other western countries for help while we should be creating alliances tailored to specific problems. Dr. Menon's book causes anyone interested in politics or international relations to open their eyes and ears to new strategies and foreign policy.

I am currently taking a class taught by Dr. Menon at Lehigh University and he is definitely one of the most well educate people that I have ever met. Having read the book before taking his class, I know hold even more respect for his theories and opinions since I have begin studying under him.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Just Some Guy on February 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book that reads more like a history book that makes predictions rather than a book for policy-makers. It can be a bit dull at times, but it contains excellent analysis of historic trends. There's a good review of it at [...]
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