International Security coverDo American alliances provide stability at acceptable cost and risk to the United States, or do they ensnare the U.S. in wars it need not fight? The debate is a key one: if alliances entangle, it would seem prudent for American leaders to heed the advice of President Thomas Jefferson, who prescribed “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none,” as well as President George Washington, who in his farewell address famously warned his countrymen to dodge alliances so not to be drawn into the “quarrels” of others.[1] In his article, Michael Beckley has constructively advanced this important debate; this review essay summarizes his research design and findings, and raises questions about both that should be the focus of future inquiry.

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