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A nation must think before it acts.
The United States has had, and will continue to have, a difficult time gathering allies because of the supremacy it enjoys. States support the United States not because they share a common objective, but because they want to benefit politically, economically, and strategically from being associated with Washington. In other words, the United States has allies not because of the objective it tries to achieve but because of what it can offer to them. Such alliances are fickle and last only as long as the benefits allies derive from Washington outweigh the costs. For the United States, managing this situation requires three skills: first, the continued ability to offer benefits to potential allies; second, diplomatic dexterity to manage mostly bilateral alliances; and third, the strategic flexibility required in order to be able to change swiftly from one ally to another.