Frequently Greece, Japan, South Korea, Balkan countries in NATO, Turkey, Israel, are also tacked on to “the Western world” at various freequencies. The “core” (USA, Anglos, NW Europe) is pretty much set in stone but away from there the “West” slowly begins to fade and fray.
Some people claim that Huntingtonian cultural affinities regardless, the West doesn’t act really act as a unified bloc – i.e., that it’s not a geopolitical unit in any meaningful sense. For instance, the central European vs. US split over the 2003 Iraq War is often cited.
But for every Iraq War you have:
- Recognition of Palestine (NATO + US allies and satraps Colombia, Thailand vs. Third World and former Warsaw Pact)
- Recognition of Kosovo (NATO minus Spain with its own separatist troubles, plus US allies, satraps, and the more Islamist Muslim nations vs. BRICS and non-Muslim Third World)
- Recognition of Crimea as Ukrainian (NATO plus allies, satraps, and a few others vs. BRICS and Third World which abstained for the most part)
- Russia’s resolution to combat glorification of Nazism (US against, NATO and allies abstained, Third World and BRICS for)
- Attendance of 2015 Moscow Victory Parade (US and NATO boycotted vs. RICS, ex-USSR bar Ukraine and Baltics, attended)
- Exception: Even speaking of the Iraq War, did Germany or France push sanctions against the US? Was there even any talk of it? The US was far more overtly involved, and with arguably far less reason, than Russia in the Ukraine. Exception proves the rule.*
Anyway some mapmaker on Reddit has quantified this anecdotal impression of fairly consistent Western unity to produce the following map of how frequently different countries vote with the US in the UN General Assembly.
The West is delineated with truly remarkable precision. Three of the four Anglo countries – all the relevant ones – agree with the US more than anybody else. So does Israel. All of Europe (most of it in NATO) occupies the second tier. Non-NATO allies like Japan, Korea, Ireland, Chile, and Georgia occupy the third tier.
Almost without exception, the parts of the world that are largely neutral/independent of the US are in the light red categories. The darker red categories are occupied by so-called “rogue regimes” (predictable ones like Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria) as well as by some stranger ones like India and Egypt. This I am sure is because of the latters’ policy of Non-Alignment during the Cold War. It is also oft forgotten that US-Indian relations during the Cold War were pretty bad, with the US coming close to declaring war against it in 1971 (incidentally, the USSR played a crucial role in preventing that by a show of naval power; this helped create Bangladesh, and partly explains warm Indian attitudes to Russia today). If you measured UN votes only since 1991, I suspect India would be the same color as the other BRICS.
Incidentally, the very last UN vote on Crimea (alleging that it was occupied by Russia) tracked the above pattern with stunning precision, the only significant exception being South Korea’s neutrality.
Again, I emphasize all this is nothing unexpected. But it’s always good to quantify and visualize such things just to make sure.
* Another exception: Recognition of the Armenian Genocide vs. Holodomor as genocide. This seems to reflect more the 20th century division in the West between the more ardent anti-Communist bloc (USA, Latin America, later “New Europe”), and its less ideologized members (core Europe).