Foreigners turned to an online “Ask an American” forum to get opinions on which allies Americans underappreciate the most. Americans and foreigners alike chimed in with their opinions.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
Many people cited Poland as being a far too unappreciated American ally. “Poles view the United States more favorably than people that live here,” ponders an American. Another believes that Poland has historically been unappreciated by the U.S. However, they say, “I think that’s changed since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.”
The Mexican Marines are a “bright spot” despite the country’s corruption, says one commenter. They point out, “They [the Mexican Marines] were the ones that caught El Chapo and couldn’t be bribed/blackmailed/extorted.”
Despite being self-described as “weak,” an Albanian says to Americans, “You have the Albanians always supporting you.” Another agreed, saying they recently heard this saying: “Be the America the Albanians think you are.”
According to one person, Liberia is the most underappreciated American ally, with the commenter pointing out many Liberians “tote their country as ‘Little America’ even as the nation is embroiled in conflict.”
The person reminds Americans that when the war in Afghanistan started, Liberians were among the first of America’s allies to volunteer to help. “Are they powerful? No. Are they stable? No. But I cannot think of a more underappreciated and unknown ally as them,” they conclude.
How could one forget about the first country to recognize the United States? Perhaps because most Americans don’t know it was Morocco in December 1777? As a result, many agree that Morocco is a far too unappreciated American ally.
Contrary to some of the countries on this list, many Americans know Australia is a U.S. ally. But that doesn’t mean they get sufficient appreciation. “Australian troops fought beside American troops in a lot of conflicts, from Vietnam to Afghanistan,” says one commenter. “But we never really hear of them.”
France is a U.S. ally that too many Americans dismiss, according to some. People cite France’s trade in aerospace technology as being a huge contribution to the States.
“Canada gets mocked quite a bit for its military stateside,” says one commenter. However, they note that the U.S. and Canada’s “mutual alliance has been immensely beneficial for both parties.”
A commenter leads by recognizing that it might seem counterintuitive to some to see Vietnam on this list. But Vietnam is a far too overlooked ally, they say, especially given the “questionable things” the U.S. did in their country.
Not enough Americans appreciate Japan as an ally, according to one American. “They contribute a lot to American society in the realm of trade in the spheres of electronics, autos, and auto parts.” They also describe Japan as serving “as a nice buttress for us against the Chinese and, more distantly, the North Koreans.”
11: The Baltics
The Baltic region, which includes countries such as Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and Latvia, is hands-down underappreciated, says one commenter. They say, “As the first line of defense against Russia, those allies are forced to take the full force of a conventional attack. They are worth all the training we can give them.”
The U.S. has dozens of allies, with the 30 fellow countries that are part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) being those that most Americans think of.
The U.S. has allies and strong partnerships in many other countries that aren’t part of NATO. For example, treaty allies include Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand.
America’s Ally Role
According to a Pew Research Center survey, the majority of the 17 countries they surveyed consider the U.S. their top ally. Israel ranked the highest, with 82% of participants saying the U.S. was the most dependable ally. Turkey ranked the lowest, naming Azerbaijan as their top ally.
The American Perspective
Based on Pew’s findings, 31% of Americans believe the United Kingdom is the number one most dependable ally the U.S. has, which is the highest-ranked country. One percent of Americans view their own country as the most dependable “ally.”
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