1 An alliance is a formal union or league between States designed to achieve a common objective through combined action. An alliance can be offensive or defensive in nature, though offensive military alliances are today considered contrary to international law. Alliances act to preserve and enhance the individual and collective power of States and to deter outsiders from aggressive or hostile acts. They may have economic, political, or security functions. These functions are defined in treaties setting out rules by which their members have agreed to be bound....
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