An Uncanny Alliance

In the world of possible scenarios outlining what humanity might encounter when it sees an alien race for the first time, rarely is one possibility addressed.  We often hear of how life might be changed if the alien race is friendly.  And we often hear of the difficulties we might face if a technologically superior race were hostile.  But there’s a very reasonable third option that outlines a different kind of alliance that may have to be made by a visiting race of creatures.

Imagine the following scenario.  Television programs are interrupted by an important announcement from the White House.  The president comes on and announces that he has life changing news for the entire planet and virtually no time to carefully plan how to make it.  After only a few moments he introduces a strange being.  The being comes forward announcing it has come to our planet to request our assistance.  A hostile force is quickly approaching and we have the choice to either join or be destroyed in the wake of an oncoming enemy.  As the seconds turn to hours and days, the entire human race learns that it is now on the verge of its first true world war.

It may sound like the premise of an upcoming film or novel, but let’s speculate on what we might actually do if we really found ourselves watching this unfold on the screen in front of us.  Obviously there would be a lot of mixed emotions, but there would also be a lot of tricky questions to answer.

First, how would we as the human race come to such a decision?  No single nation would be in charge of the others, and even such bodies as the United Nations are not qualified to make decisions for the whole human race.  Regardless of questions about effectiveness, the UN has several nations in its membership, but by no means all.  And many nations even within the UN don’t take one another seriously.

And if such a war were taking place, and a few countries agreed to get involved while others abstained, would this abstinence be reason for invasion?  What if hostile alien forces offered an alliance with these nations?

There’s little doubt that there are still several questions to be answered along the lines of whether an alien invasion and alliance could happen and how precisely to handle it.  Just as we don’t offer our best technology to our allies on Earth, they may not offer us their best technology either.  How would relations with this mysterious but possibly friendly alien race continue after the conflict?

While the idea that we would have to ally with an alien race to fight in a war might seem unlikely, we must look to our own history to tell us about what could happen in the future.  Often cultures that are contacted for the first time are taken advantage of by powerful figures calling themselves gods, but it has been shown, as was the case with the French during the French Indian War that occasionally that technologically advanced cultures can and sometimes do ask for the help of any and all they contact regardless of their own technological level.