Who wouldn’t want a security guarantee from the US, especially when the US is picking up the tab? From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
Opposing war is a lonely task in Washington, D.C. Possessing the world’s largest and most powerful military encourages US administrations to use it. And use it they do – often.
This attitude was captured by Madeleine Albright, then America’s UN ambassador, when she accosted Gen. Colin Powell: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Casualties obviously don’t matter much to ivory tower warriors as long as someone else is doing the dying. (The amazing Albright was responsible for multiple idiotic aphorisms illustrating the defects of US foreign policy.)
The problem is not just the willingness of American policymakers to go to war for no good reason, which is why “endless wars” entered the political lexicon. It is officials’ willingness to risk war without thinking. Especially by expanding military alliances.
Security cooperation is an important means for nations to advance their security. However, such arrangements risk becoming transmission belts of conflict. World War I is the classic case. As Germany’s famed “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck warned, “One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.” An assassination in Sarajevo, Bosnia eventually sent Germany, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom careening off to war. They ultimately were joined by several other states, including America. In this case, alliances proved to be dangerous, undermining the very security they promised to protect.