The past half-century of geopolitics and international relations holds many lessons. For American and allied European policy makers, one lesson transcends the others. When the great democracies of North America and Europe stand together, they are an irresistible force for peace, prosperity and stability. When, on the other hand, the great democracies of the West fail to coordinate their foreign policies, defense strategies and military actions, chaos is invited, and evil may triumph. Synchronization of strategies and foreign policies among democratic states faced with hard challenges requires bargaining and coalition building. From the guns of August, 1914 to the guns of August, 1990, burden-sharing was the electric current that makes possible the congruity of aims and means by which alliances accomplish their stated purposes.