“Alliances should be understood as a

means to expand our influence, not as a

constraint on our power.”

–Chuck Hagel

An alliance can be a political, economic or military agreement between two or more countries. The issue of what to reveal to the public is then decided by the two parties involved. During the early 19th century, before the First World War, a chain of secret alliances were made between countries, who assured each other of intervening if one was to be attacked. The Treaty of London was signed between Great Britain and Belgium, A Dual Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary, A Franco-Russian Alliance between France and Russia, all behind closed doors which heightened suspicion and scepticism within the continent of Europe.

These alliances can be blamed to a great degree for the start of one of the most atrocious and imperialistic wars ever. A hotchpotch situation was created when Russia decided to invade Austria-Hungary therefor including Germany in a war. German involvement in Russia led to France intervention through Belgium which brought in, the then isolationist, Britain. A domino effect pushing the world into a global war.

Concepts like alliances, though important for diplomacy, can be a major cause for aggression on part of countries due to the backing they receive. The fact that they were secret in the past also allowed more countries to deceive each other thus creating a great degree of confusion about who stood for what. In modern times, such a practice would keep irrational countries on their edge and wary. Progress into open and clear support for one another removes the idea of alliances being catalysts of war.