In historical terms, it is the seventy-year era of alliances that is the exception. This point is well made every time NATO prides itself on being without precedent: yes indeed, but that is not reassuring. The norm is what prevailed in previous centuries or millennia.
In this interesting article Heisbourg frames his speculation about the transformation taking place the international environment in terms of a shift from a structured system founded on US-sponsored liberal values to a more dog-eat-dog anarchic situation; “the future may look more like the pre-1914 past than an extension of the post-1945”. In this new “post alliance” arrangement dominated by sovereignism, transactionalism, and authoritarianism, the US, China and Russia will be the top predators.
While focussed on options for Israel’s policy responses in this projected world, Heisbourg’s analysis provides stimulating grounds for strategists in states that might find themselves to be quarries.