"Does America need allies? The United States is the strongest nation on earth, the only standing superpower, and its natural impulse is to assume that it can act unencumbered.
Paradoxically, America needs allies because of its overwhelming strengths and the vulnerabilities that lurk in the shadow of such unprecedented national power.
"In this era of American predominance, alliances are more compelling than ever, yet U.S. citizens are largely unaware of or uninformed about who their allies are. For example, in the recent uproar over the potential acquisition by a Dubai company of contracts for management of U.S. ports, many were ignorant of Dubai's status as a long-standing partner providing critical support to American policies in the Persian Gulf. The lack of clarity underscores the fact that policymakers and analysts have failed to think strategically or systematically about the role alliances should play in American national security in the 21st century. As a consequence, they have also failed to build the public support necessary for sustained global engagements."
--from the introduction of "The Case for Alliances," by Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, in Joint Force Quarterly