The wise have learned many things over the eons of time in the universe, many things that humanity has not yet discovered or is only beginning to learn. The wise have learned that all nations require resources and must either build their own self-sufficiency and trade amongst very trusted partners or take the great and unfortunate risk of becoming involved in larger networks of trade and resource acquisition—larger networks which will always compromise their integrity and self-determination.
For if you are dependent upon others for the very things you need, then they, even more than you, will determine the nature of the engagement and the terms by which such an engagement must be met.
In your own world, you have seen smaller nations fall under the over-arching persuasion of other nations—persuasion that was garnered without the use of force, persuasion that preyed upon the weakness and the divisions within these weaker nations, making them now dependent upon larger nations beyond their control and to which they are forced to submit.
The wise in the universe know these things. The unwise either do not know or choose not to listen.