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Shared Challenges -- Joint Solutions? The United States and Europe Face New Global Security Risks -- High Times for Grand Strategy

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It seems reasonable to take a skeptical attitude with respect to any expectation of a reversal in American foreign policy under Obama vis-a-vis the course taken by his predecessor. At the same time, one can already clearly discern a gradual shift in the policy statements of the former candidate. These changes concern precisely those new global security risks that the European Union placed at the center of its European Security Strategy ESS released in 2003 transnational terrorism, the threat to transatlantic security resulting from the ongoing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the dangers emanating from failed states. The latter are consistently present in discussions about the most effective means for securing stability in Iraq. These three areas, which represent only a sample of potential threats included in a comprehensive understanding of security, will be examined more closely from a comparative perspective in the following analysis. It should be emphasized that opinions about either the chances for cooperation or the potential for conflict that exist between the United States and Europe offer no details about the effectiveness of any efforts made to tackle the threats faced. In this regard, one must refer in particular to the Bush administrations much lamented strategic deficiencies, or, more precisely, the failure to connect political purpose with military, etc. means, in the Clausewitzian sense. However, the same charge can be directed equally against the EU and its member states. They, too, applied an inefficacious approach to the use of their foreign- and security-policy apparatuses. Consequently, it is not only a matter of fundamental strategic consensus but rather of the effective use of limited resources -- choosing the correct instruments as well as perhaps the proper division of labor needed to achieve commonly held goals.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Nuclear Weapons

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