Accession Number:

ADA478923

Title:

Western Unity and the Transatlantic Security Challenge

Descriptive Note:

Occasional paper no. 4

Corporate Author:

GEORGE C MARSHALL CENTER APO AE 09053 EUROPEAN CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2002-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

67.0

Abstract:

This paper examines the current state of the transatlantic relationship and assesses the possibilities for future U.S.-European cooperation. It argues that transatlantic relations are troubled and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Many Europeans believe that the United States is not taking into account the views and interests of its traditional allies. The emerging transatlantic division of minds will only intensify if the United States decides to invade Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. These political problems are aggravated by a massive increase in the U.S. defense budget, accelerating a Revolution in Military Affairs that will, in turn, widen the gap between American and European military strategies and capabilities. In addition, a so-called value-gap seems to be opening, illustrated by the refusal of European countries to extradite suspected terrorists to the United States because America allows the death penalty. The events of 911 have underscored that Europe still has far to go before it will be a military actor of any real significance. Thus, Europeans will find it difficult to remain militarily relevant to the United States for the foreseeable future, given Washingtons key priority fighting international terrorism. The current transatlantic relationship is dangerously asymmetrical. A consolidated Western approach to global problems is essential and is only possible when current allies see eye to eye. Clearly, the U.S.-European relationship is once again at a crossroads. It may become increasingly difficult for the United States and Europe to act as a cohesive and unified West. Politically, strategically, and culturally, the United States and Europe appear to be slowly drifting apart. The only way to keep the transatlantic partnership from sliding into irrelevance is for Europe to become a serious partner of America. In the coming years, the fight against international terrorism will remain the key point on the Wests security agenda.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE