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NATO and the changing nature of transatlantic relations

Sword or Ploughshare? New Roles for NATO and the Changing Nature of Transatlantic Relations

February 2008, Number 017

1. A Shattered Transatlantic Bargain

1.1 The Transatlantic Rift

The Western community is currently experiencing “a defining moment of international relations”1 as it undergoes one of its biggest and most severe crises. Some authors are already speaking of the “end of the West,”2 while others see chances for its rebirth.3 As the institutional epitome of transatlantic relations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has always been the most important yardstick for gauging their state. It is now once again at the center of the crisis. During the Cold War, NATO and hence the transatlantic partnership were based on three central elements: Firstly, a shared direct existential threat, which applied equally to all Western states; secondly, a broad base of common values, standards and convictions; and thirdly, a division of labor and system of burden and risk-sharing that were born of necessity.4 As the biggest military and economic power, the U.S. assumed a dominant role as ‘primus inter pares’ in the transatlantic alliance, which the weaker European partners voluntarily joined without becoming completely subordinate.5

The partnership between Europe and the U.S. no longer exists in this form. Therefore, the West as a system of highly coordinated security organizations “with the United States as its central element – characterized by strategic unity – is a thing of the past.”6 While both sides still emphasize their common values and convictions, the general threat posed by the Warsaw Pact has been overcome, and none of the new threats, including international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,7 have had the same unifying effect. A loose and pragmatic partnership has emerged from what was, of necessity, a closely-knit community. This partnership must continually redefine and justify its usefulness to the community.

For this reason, achieving consensus on the division of labor and sharing of burdens and risks will prove even more decisive to the future of the transatlantic alliance than a common threat analysis.8 On the other hand, the division of labor will no longer be a source of mutual trust and willingness to compromise,9 but will instead increasingly become grounds for distrust and dispute within the Alliance. The historical system of burden-sharing led to extensive specialization, with static European “shield” forces and mobile American “sword” forces. In the new conditions that emerged after the Cold War, the associated structural differences became a source of transatlantic conflict. The European Union’s increasingly obvious shift in recent years from purely “soft” economic capacities to “hard” security policy capacities has further intensified the existing divergences.

NATO’s – and also the EU’s - further institutional development is of crucial importance in two respects: Firstly, the shape of these institutions reflects the current status of transatlantic relations, and simultaneously has a decisive influence on their future development. In this context, it is especially significant that the U.S. has recently been “evaluating all of the international organizations strictly in accordance with the criterion of their usefulness to its own interests, and has been drastically reducing its commitment when it does not consider these to be guaranteed.”10 Secondly, the respective tasks and roles attributed to NATO and the EU clearly reveal the different positions held by European and American decision-makers: “Member states use (or abuse) Europe’s key security institutions to further their own national foreign policy and security agendas.”11 In this way, Washington’s proposals on the further development of NATO and the reform of its structures and capacities are consistently associated with specific ideas regarding its allies’ place within a broader American strategy. By the same token, the Paris and Berlin initiatives on the further development of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) provide the most tangible proof of an increasingly self-confident EU in its role as a security policy actor.

Governments and elites on both sides of the Atlantic are currently advocating different concepts for a potential division of labor within the Alliance. At present, the debate is centered on potential task-specific division of labor between American combat missions and European stabilization measures,12 or a division along geographical lines, “in which Europe would concentrate on Europe and the United States on everything else.”13 These sometimes differing proposals are underpinned by essentially irreconcilable ideas about the influence that military power can and should exert on international politics: “Today, Americans and Europeans have differing instincts....”14 This, in turn, gives rise to different expectations of the roles of NATO and the EU as the two central instruments of transatlantic security policy. To oversimplify matters somewhat, the issue for both institutions essentially boils down to whether, in the future, they should be a sword or a ploughshare, an instrument of military power and intervention or one of stabilization and nation-building.15

1.2 Searching for a New Transatlantic Partnership

The new strategic environment “has challenged the mission and identity of the Atlantic Alliance”16 and caused serious disputes. Disputes between the European nations and the United States of America over burden-sharing and different roles have been a recurring feature of transatlantic relations. However, a crucial difference exists between the debates that took place in the “golden age” – from a transatlantic perspective – of the Cold War and the current tense situation. The shared existential threat that existed between 1949 and 1989 required the common definition of roles within NATO, along with a concomitant division of labor and system of burden- and risk-sharing.17 The fact that this often only succeeded by excluding a great deal of global development – and thereby preparing the current rift between Euro-centralistic European and globalized American thinking – did no harm to the basic admission of mutual dependence.18

However, this harmonious transatlantic security partnership does not seem to have survived the victory of the Western alliance in the Cold War: “The United States is ending its days as a European power at the same time that the EU and its member states are becoming ready to emerge from the shadow of American influence.”19 America’s shift away from a Europe that is at peace and united for the first time in over a century, on the one hand, and the EU’s development into an independent international actor increasingly capable of security policy action, on the other hand, mean that the traditional transatlantic divisions of labor which have worked so successfully until now are no longer functional: “The unavoidable conclusion is that the old transatlantic bargain is mostly over.”20 The relationship between the transatlantic partners has increasingly been dominated by different self-conceptions since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The 1990s saw a series of disputes which revealed each side’s growing dissatisfaction with their own role and that of their partner. The Iraq crisis of 2002/2003 in particular, “which even claimed diplomatic etiquette as a victim,”21 plunged transatlantic relations into a deep crisis. “It marks the end of the transatlantic era that opened amid the Second World War,”22 or to quote Ronald D. Asmus, “somewhere between Kabul and Baghdad, then, the United States and Europe lost each other.”23

The small cracks in the once rock-solid transatlantic partnership appear to have deepened into a large chasm.24 The American political scientist Robert Kagan goes so far as to speak of a “great philosophical schism”25 that has emerged between Europe and the U.S. The United States, or at least the part of it that is currently predominant, is thus increasingly defining itself as a unilateral actor which is still willing to form alliances, but wants these to be as flexible as possible and to place minimal restrictions on its own freedom of action.26 America’s new basic security policy position is described in the U.S. National Security Strategy of September 2002.27 Clear consequences were drawn in the form of a “grand strategy of primacy” from the new security threat, on the one hand, and the historically unprecedented extent of its military, political, and economic power, on the other hand.28 The United States’ willingness to take into account misgivings from its militarily weak European allies has been decreasing steadily since at least the second half of the 1990s.29

For Europe, the end of the Cold War meant the disappearance of both the heavy burden of bloc confrontation and the comfortable “politico-strategic niche, in which integration was able to develop in the shelter of post-war alliances.”30 Under these changed circumstances, some European states sensed a rising tension between their augmented scope for national action31 and the increasingly conspicuous power-political dominance of the U.S., which was effectively resulting in a “demotion of Europe.”32 These states reacted to this development by attempting to increase their own influence on world politics by turning the EU into a security policy actor. This move also aimed to strike a new balance between national ambitions and power-political realities. The result is something that Charles A. Kupchan refers to as “a more muscular Europe,”33 whose conception of politics has nonetheless largely retained its regional orientation, with a civilian and multilateral focus.34 This development has the potential to either drive a wedge between the U.S. and its European allies35 or to create a strong new transatlantic partnership.36 However, the EU is also divided over the potential future of Europe and how to deal with its more powerful partner on the other side of the Atlantic. This division does not so much exist between the nations of Europe, as it “cuts across every country, with national positions less stable than they are often perceived.”37 The institutional developments in NATO and the EU, and especially the crises within NATO and its rivalry as a security policy actor with the European Union, reflect this inner turmoil on both sides of the Atlantic.

A great deal of thought is currently being given to new forms for the transatlantic partnership, although a viable outcome is still a long way off. At present, the political elites in the U.S. and Europe are in a phase of redefining their relationship to one another. In Washington, conclusions and consequences are gradually being drawn from the difficult experiences of the Iraq crisis,38 while in Europe the “controversy that has existed since the beginning of the European integration process between “Atlanticists” and “intergovernmentalists” on the one hand and “integrationalists” on the other has still not been settled.”39 Given that the outcome of these developments remains largely open; this article seeks to contribute to the debate on the future of NATO and the transatlantic community. A description of the main developments in NATO since the end of the Cold War – with special emphasis on the Alliances new military roles and missions – and a summary of different trends in the U.S. and Europe will provide a basis for analyzing the factors influencing a future transatlantic bargain inside, or in cooperation with, NATO. Finally, we examine the different options as to where transatlantic reactions may be headed.

2. NATO’s Evolution

Until 1990, NATO had three specific functions as the main Western security institution. Its primary military task was collective defense of the territory of the Parties to the Alliance.40 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization performed two additional tasks of a predominantly political nature: transatlantic cooperation and the guarantee of a certain level of collective security for its members. The radical upheavals that occurred in the European security policy context in the late 1980s necessitated a review of the classic raison d’être of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Although the phase of rapid change which started in 1990 has made it almost impossible thus far to definitively state which tasks the “new NATO” will have in the future, some essential features have nonetheless begun to crystallize at the political and military level in recent years. The three original tasks of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were not abolished, despite the changes occurring at the international level after 1989. However, their character was altered, the individual emphasis shifted, and their significance to the Alliance put into perspective in response to newly acquired tasks.

2.1 The New Core Tasks of the Alliance

2.1.1 Collective Defense

The task of collective defense has become a kind of safeguard against potential threats originating from the periphery of the Alliance, due to the disappearance of the threat of a simultaneous massive attack on all of NATO’s European fronts. These risks, which are improbable but cannot be entirely ruled out, include the possibilities of a renewed Russian expansionism41 or an attempt at nuclear blackmail, along with regional military threats from the politically unstable “crisis arc” that extends from Morocco to the Indian Ocean.42 The dangers posed by international terrorism were added to the list of potential security risks as early as the mid-1990s. Following the events of September 11, 2001, this new threat became a permanent fixture in NATO’s catalogue of tasks alongside curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.43 On the one hand, the Alliance stepped up its passive efforts to fight terrorism by means of an intensified dialogue and an increased exchange of information in the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Ukraine Council (NUC), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), and the Partnership for Peace (PfP).44 On the other hand, NATO is also actively participating in the fight against terrorism in the context of collective defense within the framework of American activities (Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Active Endeavour)45 and in the context of collective security within the framework of the UN mandate to stabilize Afghanistan. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which has been composed almost entirely of NATO members and has received indirect support from NATO right from the outset, was subsequently converted into a NATO operation in 2003. Additionally, NATO plays a marginal role in stabilizing Iraq with its training mission for Iraqi armed forces,46 which could also be considered a contribution to the American global war against terrorism.

2.1.2 Projecting Stability by Political Means

NATO acquired another new and demanding task in 1991, namely that of projecting stability to the periphery of the Alliance. The political approach of dialogue and cooperation is making a contribution in this regard, and has gradually developed into a core political task for NATO as a security institution.47 A whole range of new committees and mechanisms were established within NATO for this purpose. The founding of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) provided a fixed institutional framework for NATO’s dialogue with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe as early as 1991.48 The creation of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in 1994 extended the dialogue-based approach of the NACC – and its slightly modified successor as of 1997, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)49 – by offering military cooperation and the prospect of future Alliance membership in the medium or at least long term.50

The NATO countries’ “open door policy” was explicitly linked with their wish to support the development of democracy, the market economy, and the rule of law in the states of Central and Eastern Europe.51 The first round of enlargement after the end of the Cold War was exclusively driven by this motive.52 The second round of enlargement in 2004 was the logical extension of this cooperative political approach to the near future of the Alliance, although it was probably also driven by other factors as well. Considering the deep transatlantic rift at this time, these most likely also included America’s interest in enlarging NATO’s potential to cooperatively train partners for ad-hoc coalitions, as well as the intent to widen the U.S.’s ability to use its various special relationships to counter a possibly united European voice. A possible third round was prepared at the Riga Summit in November 2006.53 The enlargement of the Alliance further east was indefinitely postponed, while only the Balkan states were explicitly named as potential future candidates for membership. Again, this step is basically driven by the attempt to stabilize the regional environment of the European NATO territory. Only the future NATO membership of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia,54 Serbia, Montenegro, and a possibly independent Kosovo will complete the ideal of a Europe whole and free as elaborated by George Bush senior in the late eighties.55

The Alliance’s intensive efforts to build cooperative relations with Russia are another aspect of the transfer of stability to Eastern Europe. Russia was granted an initial consultation right, followed by an actual co-decision right, through the creation of a special instrument for dialogue, the Permanent Joint Council (PJC), in 1997 and its subsequent upgrading to a NATO-Russia Council with decision-making powers.56 However, regarding the rarely openly visible but continuously existing rivalry between the United States – including its western allies – and Russia, strict attention was paid to ensuring that the NATO Council’s autonomous decision- making capacities were not put at risk. NATO has also since launched an intensified —albeit still somewhat limited in terms of scope and depth — Mediterranean Dialogue57 and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.58 American-led initiatives to broaden this dialogue and reach out to the nations of the broader Middle East were surely not as successful as hoped for.59

2.1.3 Projecting Stability by Military Means

However, the transfer of stability is only partially a political task. The violent disintegration of the former Yugoslavia rapidly made it clear that the political and civilian aspects of crisis management could not be successfully applied without an externally guaranteed minimum level of security. Therefore, NATO has been gradually developing into a central military instrument for the transfer of stability beyond the borders of the Alliance to meet the new challenge posed by crisis management. The process began with a willingness to take over CSCE and UN mandates in 1992,60 which set the precedent for NATO’s basic position on out-of-area operations. The long-term presence of NATO troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1995 to 2004, in Kosovo since 1999, and in Macedonia from 2001 to 2003, and, most recently, NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan since 2003, in Iraq since 2004,61 and in northeast Africa since 2005,62 are proof that the new military task of stabilizing areas at risk is being consistently implemented. Today, “NATO has become the world’s most effective peacekeeping organization.”63

The importance of this new operational focus of NATO cannot be overestimated, because it is increasingly changing the nature of the Alliance and how it does business.64 NATO’s new military crisis management experience has transformed not only the military structure but also the image of the institution as much as the expectations nations put in NATO’s crisis management proficiency. This could not be without consequences for the way the Alliance conducts its internal day-to-day affairs. Today, military effectiveness has to be proven in several different operational theaters on a daily basis. The failures and successes of these efforts are constantly informing the transformation process, so that NATO has not only adapted to a changing environment once, but rather is constantly undergoing adaptation. In addition, the current and future crisis management challenges are putting NATO’s cohesion under considerable political stress. Today, building political consensus by finding formulations with enough “constructive ambiguity” to achieve general agreement is rarely sufficient. Instead, the political consensus has to be executed mostly in tangible activities, always accompanied by the serious issues of risk, burden, and benefit-sharing, tested and exercised in the field day by day.

2.1.4 Preserving the Transatlantic Link

Compared to the headline-making activities in the area of crisis management, the core task of collective defense – emphasized in all relevant NATO documents – runs the risk of being entirely forgotten. It took the appalling events of the terrorist attacks on the Word Trade Center and the Pentagon to remind the general public of this NATO task. However, the policy debacle within the Alliance, which saw NATO playing almost no role during the time immediately following the first invocation of Article 5 in its history, and in the campaign waged by the U.S. against the Taliban in Afghanistan in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001,65 changed not only the traditional self-image of NATO as a “Eurocentric Alliance,”66 but also its perceived usefulness from the Washington perspective. Because of the new American emphasis on coalitions of the willing, the European allies attempted to regain the interest of their strongest partner. They did so collectively by, for example, agreeing to globalize NATO’s potential area of operations and to accept additional radical military and structural reforms based on the American model at the reform summit in Prague, and at consecutive meetings.67

In order to live up to these new ambitions, the new command structure provides for only one operational headquarters in Europe and just a few command staffs with exclusive responsibility for conducting mobile operations worldwide, along with a planning headquarters in the U.S.68 A potentially powerful military strike capability was also created in the form of the NATO Response Force (NRF), basically composed of European elite troops.69 It was declared fully operational across the whole spectrum of potential operations at the Riga Summit in November 2006.70 The basic idea was that the “new NATO” should be able to use the elite unit to defend threatened common security interests around the world as effectively as the “old NATO” defended the territory of its member states until 1990. It was declared fully operational across the whole spectrum of potential operations at the Riga Summit in November 2006.71 But less than one year later, serious problems became visible. The new level of ambition, which calls NATO to be able to conduct about six global missions simultaneously – including all necessary training, equipment, rotation levels and potential reserve forces to sustain them – consumed already a considerable amount of troops. In addition to that the already existing force- and cost-intensive operations seems to put at risk the ability of namely the European Allies to fulfill their commitments. Forced to choose between their commitments to ongoing missions and to the NRF – deployable only in rare circumstances – the priority was clear.72 The Response Force proved to be “a luxury member states cannot afford.”73 Therefore, in September 2007 NATO was forced to “retreat” on its decision to create a global attack force, because it lacked “money, the troops and the equipment.” New creative ways for handling the NRF shortages without jeopardizing the original concepts of a global Response Force will be necessary. Parallel to this, NATO’s mission on Afghanistan lacked also necessary troops and transport capabilities. These problems will not be without serious negative spill-over effects to the chances of success in ongoing missions, and, closely related, to Alliance cohesion.

2.2 Alliance Cohesion and NATO Operations

2.2.1 A Minimalist Approach

The first challenge to the NATO states’ security and stability interests occurred with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait at the end of 1990 and the beginning of 1991. In addition to providing mostly indirect support to the U.S.-led coalition forces, the Alliance also responded with the first operational deployment of the ACE Mobile Force (AMF) in NATO history. The Alliance thereby successfully demonstrated its solidarity by protecting Turkey against a potential aggressor. However, it was here that new factors threatening Alliance cohesion resulting from a new security environment as much as from increasingly divergent military and political developments inside the Alliance also became evident for the first time. The successful participation of British and also (with restrictions) French armed forces in Operation “Desert Storm” sent an important signal regarding the future military utility of NATO’s structures in the context of ad hoc alliances with recourse to NATO resources and experience.74 At the same time however, public debates in Germany made it clear that NATO’s cohesion could potentially be subjected to completely new kinds of pressure from regionalized threats.75 The changed security policy framework conditions meant that such threats would only affect individual members of the Alliance, rather than the Alliance as a whole.

The Alliance’s new security tasks below the Article 5 threshold, i.e. out-of-area operations, posed a much greater risk to political cohesion. However, despite major differences of opinion between the allies, the pressure of external events caused crisis management to develop into a new NATO core task after 1991. The American administration had been an early advocate of including out-of-area tasks in the Strategic Concept. The U.S. Government believed that, in the new strategic environment, which was difficult to predict and assess, it made sense to maintain visible capacities for strong political actions, which were supplemented and backed up where necessary by overwhelming military muscle. For this reason, the U.S. armed forces needed to be capable of performing both in and out-of-area tasks. The then Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, stated that: “We need heavy forces that can go up against sophisticated weaponry; forces that include power projection assets, airlift and sealift; forces that will be the best trained and best prepared in the world. These are the forces that can fulfill our commitments to NATO. They are also well positioned for use outside the NATO area.”76 This sent a single clear signal to the European allies in relation to the latter task: “Where there are congruent or common interests, out-of-area operations must be supported.”

In Europe, on the other hand, the narrowing of NATO’s purposes to the single task of protecting the territory of the Alliance had become so entrenched in the general public, politics, and among security policy experts over four decades that it appeared to have become almost a constitutional requirement in some member states.77 The consequence of this European opposition to any out- of-area task for NATO, which remained strong at the beginning of the 1990s, was an initial strict restriction of the new military concepts to “in-area” fields. Thus, in the 1991 Strategic Concept, the Rapid Reaction Corps, which was expressly intended for crisis management, was to be used solely to respond to crises presenting a direct threat to the territory of a NATO member state.78 Furthermore, its area of deployment was strictly limited to the territory of the NATO member states. This minimalist interpretation of the new NATO strategy was supported by the definition of the term “crisis” as a “transitional phase between peace and war”79 that predominated at the time. The term “war” referred explicitly in this context to the potential need to defend the Alliance arising from a crisis. The “Principles of Alliance Strategy” also indicated a limited concept of crisis management. The Strategy categorically stated that: “The Alliance is purely defensive in purpose: none of its weapons will ever be used except in self-defense.”80

This wording, which was primarily designed to assuage Eastern European and Russian sensitivities, actually excluded offensive crisis management: “The Alliance Strategic Concept of projecting stability was short of political approval for NATO out-of-area operations, but provided the critical first step in that direction.”81 However, it can be assumed that the military side had already included the possibility of “out-of-area” operations in the concept in 1990/91.82 Due to the formative influence of SACEUR General Galvin on the process of military reform, the Americans succeeded in defining the actual requirements for operations of this type, which also permit more flexible ad hoc alliances along the lines of the Gulf War coalition, in addition to operations conducted under the NATO flag. The violent disintegration of Yugoslavia showed that a restrictive interpretation of the Alliance’s tasks had become definitively outdated. In the summer of 1992 NATO offered to take over CSCE mandates for peacekeeping measures as a result of the atrocities in the Balkans and the first waves of refugees flooding into Western European states.83 This was followed in December by a decision to also perform UN mandates.84 The political Rubicon on the out-of-area issue had been crossed.

2.2.2 Difficult Experiences – NATO and the Conflict in Bosnia

There was certainly no unity at the political level about how the Alliance should proceed, despite the consensus reached in the NATO Council on the decision of principle. Stanley Sloan from the American Congressional Research Service believes the tensions were caused by the unwillingness of both the U.S. and the European partners in the Alliance to accept the risks involved in building peace in Bosnia.85 In the meantime, the sometimes intense and damaging disputes had very dangerous consequences for NATO’s inner cohesion. The disputes, which were triggered by an unfortunate combination of differing assessments of the situation with diverging concepts of order and even competing national interests, brought NATO to the brink of an existential crisis of cohesion in 1994/95. Examples include the institutional rivalry between the CSCE/OSCE, the EU and WEU, and the UN and NATO in the search for solutions; the dispute between NATO and the WEU over jurisdiction in the Adriatic during the implementation of the trade embargo against the Yugoslav states; the abject failure of the NATO air strikes to defend UN protected zones and the fall of Srebrenica; the discussions on lifting the weapons embargo on Bosnia, including the attempt by the U.S. Congress to have it unilaterally lifted by the U.S.; and finally, the risk of European blue helmets being taken hostage as a result of U.S. air strikes.86 Against this background, it can certainly be asserted that “only the at times far more spectacular incompetence of the other organizations involved with Yugoslavia, such as the UN, the EC, the WEU, and the CSCE appears to have saved NATO from a serious crisis of legitimacy.”87 The crisis in the Alliance could only be overcome through the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995, which was the result of massive American pressure. It became clear in all of these instances that the members of a defense alliance could not automatically rely on support from their partners in security-related situations which did not qualify as direct Alliance obligations.88

The political crises surrounding the Bosnian conflict have been almost completely forgotten by now. This is due to the irrefutable fact that the NATO operation in the Balkans has been a success so far, at least in a military sense. The Dayton Peace Agreement and UN Security Council Resolution 1031 of December 16, 1995, resulted in 60,000 soldiers from all NATO states and 17 non-NATO states being moved into Bosnia in the framework of the NATO Implementation Force (IFOR). This prevented a new flare-up of hostilities, thereby enabling over 300,000 refugees to return home. Even if many of the political objectives of this mission could not be successfully achieved – with corruption, organized crime, and inadequate cooperation between ethnic groups still presenting a serious obstacle to the full implementation of the Dayton Agreement ten years down the line – the overall security situation has improved markedly. Since 1995, the Alliance has been able to gradually reduce its military presence in the framework of the Bosnian operation - which since 1996 has been known as the Stabilization Force (SFOR) - to its current total of around 7,000 troops. In December 2004 the military mission was basically transferred to the European Union, which had already assumed a large share of the responsibility for ensuring civil stability via its police missio and the Stabilit Pact for South Eastern Europe.89 But still, to ensure further commitment by NATO to the Bosnian peace process, a NATO Headquarters was established in Sarajevo with special responsibilities for defense reform, counter-terrorism, and support to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.90

2.2.3 Power and Weakness – The Kosovo War

Independently of the final political and military developments in Bosnia, this operation primarily has sent a clear signal that NATO has been willing and able to intervene in crisis areas outside its own territory. As the NATO states were no longer able to ignore this fundamental development, it became merely a question of when and where a new out-of-area commitment would emerge for the Alliance. In fact, NATO was needed once again in the Balkans. Increasingly violent clashes between the Albanian independence fighters of the UCK and Serbian security forces led to civil war-type conditions developing in Kosovo in 1998. A humanitarian disaster loomed in the fall of that year, due to the increasing numbers of internally displaced persons and the onset of winter. Furthermore, the events jeopardized the success achieved until then in stabilizing Bosnia, while the crisis also threatened to spill over into FYROM, Montenegro, and potentially even Albania and Greece.91 Against this background, and on the basis of a unanimous decision by the North Atlantic Council, NATO officially threatened in October 1998 to use military force should ethnic Albanians continue to be expelled from Kosovo. The NATO states thus made an important preliminary decision, which they could not go back on without severely damaging the Alliance’s credibility.

Under pressure from the Western community, Slobodan Milosevic rapidly announced his agreement to withdraw his armed forces and the heavy weapons of his police troops, to have the police return to their normal peacetime activities, and only to respond to any provocation from the UCK in accordance with the principle of proportionality. This briefly eased tensions in the region again just prior to the critical, and legally problematic, decision on the use of military force. Fighting resumed in Kosovo in the spring of 1999 in the presence of the OSCE’s Kosovo Verification Mission, and there was a renewed dramatic increase in the number of refugees. As the negative stance of China and Russia seemed to rule out a formal authorization from the Security Council for the use of military force in accordance with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, NATO made a highly controversial decision to proceed outside the boundaries of formal international law.92 NATO portrayed itself in the Kosovo conflict as an almost militant community of legal and moral values which, according to General Naumann, had “assisted in the birth of further international law.”93 At the urging of the U.S., NATO did not wish to be dependent on other institutions or their decision-making mechanisms; however due to European reservations it also wished to impose a corresponding level of reserve and self-restraint on the use of force as an international policy instrument.

Once the Serbian side had rejected a final ultimatum in Rambouillet, Operation Allied Force began on March 24, 1999, with the aim of ending the expulsions in Kosovo. Despite the deployment of over 1,000 aircraft belonging to 14 nations, which flew around 37,000 missions (of which approximately one-third were combat missions) and dropped more than 23,000 bombs and missiles onto their targets with varying degrees of accuracy (around 35 percent were classed as “intelligent” ammunition, which at the time was the highest proportion of “high-tech” weapons systems used in air operations,)94 the main political objective of protecting the Albanian citizens of Kosovo could not be achieved.95 It is highly likely that Slobodan Milosevic relented only when he became concerned that ground troops would be deployed. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia signed a technical military agreement with NATO on June 9, 1999. The former withdrew its security forces from Kosovo immediately; the latter ended its air strikes the following day, and had already begun to deploy the Kosovo Force (KFOR) on June 12, on the basis of UN Resolution No. 1244. The main objective of KFOR, which was composed of 50,000 soldiers from a total of 39 countries, was to prevent renewed outbreaks of violence and military or paramilitary operations by Yugoslav forces against Kosovo, and to enable refugees to return unhindered. These objectives were largely attained, and numerous forms of humanitarian and technical assistance were rendered.

However, even with a ratio of 1 peacekeeper to every 65 Kosovars, Operation Joint Guardian (KFOR) could not prevent the expulsion of over 100,000 Serbs and other ethnic minorities from Kosovo. Thanks to a basically stable, although not really peaceful environment, NATO reduced its forces to 17,500 soldiers by the end of 2003.96 The sudden flare-up in violence against the last remaining Serbs in Kosovo in the spring of 2004 emphatically proved that NATO’s long-term presence had not been able to achieve more than a forced ceasefire until that point.97 Since then, NATO has restructured KFOR from multinational brigades towards a new taskforce concept in order to gain more flexibility.98 The United Nations started multinational status talks in October 2005, conducted in close cooperation with the Contact Group.99 So far, the situation has remained stable, but still, it seems impossible to predict whether the status discussions launched in the spring of 2006 will be able to ease tensions in the medium term.100 Political instabilities in Serbian politics, as well as continuous pressure by Kosovo Albanians towards independence, are still hindering western attempts to stabilize the region without creating new boundaries.

The sometimes tense debates about the Comprehensive Proposal presented by the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari in February 2007101 and its transformation into a new UN Security Council Resolution on the future status of Kosovo is only the latest obstacle on the long path toward stability in this region.102 Whether or not a newly-formed Troika of negotiators from the United States, Russia, and the European Union can resolve the still remaining differences concerning a final status for Kosovo still remains to be seen.103

Despite all the weaknesses and doubts, the Kosovo operation can be considered a military policy success. NATO succeeded in maintaining its inner cohesion in this difficult situation, despite major domestic policy disputes and its uncertain position under international law. Under American political and military leadership, NATO was thus able to achieve something which many of its critics had thought it incapable of doing at the beginning of the war. Nonetheless, the sometimes intense internal tensions within the Alliance led the U.S. and the Europeans to draw very different conclusions for the future from the Kosovo conflict. These conclusions would themselves become the cause of major disputes within the Alliance.

2.3 Opportunities for Cooperation and Conflicts within the Alliance

2.3.1 Combined Strengths – The Macedonian Crisis

The developments in both Bosnia and Kosovo showed a clear need for better coordination of the various military and civilian measures in connection with crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction or nation-building, as part of an overall security policy concept. This process should involve all of the security institutions active in Europe, namely the UN, as well as NATO, the OSCE, and the EU. This need for a comprehensive approach – first referred to as the concept of “interlocking institutions,” but which in reality became “interblocking institutions” during the 1990s due to national as well as institutional rivalry – was most of the time overshadowed by the parallel need for military transformation. The United States was concentrating basically on adapting their military in line with the new challenging security environment in order to keep their unique position of power. At the same time, most European nations put their emphasis more on European institution-building in order to keep the fragile balance of power in a European Union alive that was challenged as much by German reunification as by its promise of enlargement. The Kosovo crisis had made it impossible to ignore the problems resulting from the growing military power gap between the United States and the European Union. But the potential prospects of coordinated civil and military crisis management, and the promise of institutional cooperation between NATO and the EU, remained hidden despite the initial successes.

Crisis management in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was the first – and so far only – example of almost exemplary, successful cooperation between NATO and the EU.104 This small and young republic, which had been considered a successful model for a multi-ethnic community, saw increasingly serious skirmishes between radical groups from the Albanian minority and the state security forces in the spring of 2001. NATO once again felt obliged to intervene, as this was a direct result of the situation in Kosovo, and thus the international community had at least an indirect share in the responsibility, but also because clashes of this type would have a reciprocal destabilizing effect on the situation in Kosovo. The three consecutive NATO operations in FYROM – the Essential Harvest disarmament operation, which involved 4,800 troops and took place from September 6 to 26, 2001; Operation Amber Fox to monitor the political implementation of the peace agreements and to protect over 280 EU and OSCE observers, which involved only 1,000 troops and took place from September 27, 2001, to December 15, 2002; and the Allied Harmony follow-up operation, which involved 700 troops and took place from December 15, 2002, to March 30, 2003 (AFSOUTH 2003) – were quite special in many regards. Firstly, NATO was acting at the behest of a sovereign state which was not one of its member states; Operation Essential Harvest was in fact NATO’s first “blue helmet” operation, as it was based on contractual agreements with both parties to the conflict and their voluntary cooperation; these missions definitely saw the most intensive level of coordination with the cooperating institutions and committees of the EU and OSCE in NATO’s history; and this was also the occasion on which NATO for the first time handed over an operation to the first independent EU military mission, thereby strengthening the European pillar of the Alliance through a new form of transatlantic burden and labor-sharing.105

Admittedly, the operation in FYROM was not entirely free of tension. However, it was NATO’s first real preventive operation, as it had intervened in both Bosnia and Kosovo only following major military clashes. It was a resounding political and military success, which at least hinted at the potential for a coordinated overall approach with recourse to military, diplomatic, and economic instruments. However, the success in FYROM went largely unnoticed, due to its limited duration and relatively low expenditure, and NATO’s activities there were rapidly buried under the constant stream of negative headlines from Kosovo. Even worse, the problems in Afghanistan showed that the rare positive combination of political, military, and civilian crisis management measures did not work as a universal model for common transatlantic stability building efforts. For these reasons, FYROM remains a marginal, albeit positive, event in the history of NATO.

2.3.2 The Price of the Gap – First Afghan Experiences

The European partners’ military weakness, which had become manifest in the Kosovo conflict, together with the striving for dominance and military and political unilateralism of America, NATO’s leading power, added significantly to the existing tensions within the Alliance.106 This resulted in two independent initiatives by the former allies, which once again plunged the Alliance into a deep crisis, the effects of which are still being felt. On the one hand, the experiences and impressions gained during the Kosovo conflict, and especially Washington’s at times highly abrasive conduct towards its weaker allies, served as a catalyst for the development of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). This was viewed very critically by the U.S., with some justification, as a potential weakening of NATO, even if it was welcomed in principle in Washington as an opportunity for improved burden-sharing.107

On the other hand, the U.S. also shifted away from its weaker European partners following its experiences with the Alliance in Kosovo. Instead of relying on the highly regulated rules of cooperation within NATO, the Bush administration increasingly sought support for its security policy in the form of flexible possibilities for creating “coalitions of the willing and able.” While NATO still played a role in these considerations, it was no longer seen as a “coalition in waiting.” Instead, the Alliance was viewed only as a forum in which flexible coalitions could be prepared through joint training and political consultations. These new, flexible, ad hoc alliances had the advantage of providing military contributions which exerted a minimum of political influence: “There’s no headquarters, no Secretary General, no talk-fest – and perhaps most important of all, no French or Russian veto.”108 The practical implementation of this new concept of “multilateralism by invitation, asking others to work with the U.S., follow its leadership, and trust its judgment”109 occurred only a short time later, in response to the events of September 11, 2001.

Directly after the terrorist attacks on the U.S., the NATO Council spontaneously offered to activate Article 5, informing the American government in an impressive act of solidarity that “the United States’ NATO Allies stand ready to provide the assistance that may be required as a consequence of these acts of barbarism.”110 However, the European contribution to “Operation Enduring Freedom” was initially confined to a few limited measures.111 Furthermore, these were not coordinated at the multinational level through NATO, but instead bilaterally between the relevant capitals. The European side presumed with some justification that the U.S. had foregone more comprehensive assistance from NATO as a whole because the necessary search for consensus within the Alliance is laborious and its flexibility limited.112 Nevertheless, this was generally perceived to be “a fundamental misjudgment about the nature of the Alliance that devalued the importance of strategic solidarity.”113 On the other hand, at least some members of the U.S. administration probably viewed the European signal of solidarity as an attempt to limit the American room of maneuver by binding the United States in NATO’s complicated structures. Thereby, the events surrounding September 11 threatened to completely devalue NATO as a military defense alliance.

Only as the U.S. increasingly turned its attention to the long-term conflict with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq following its successful campaign against the Taliban, Washington began to seek possibilities for reducing its role in Afghanistan and the Balkans. This brought both the UN and its European partners back into play, as the U.S. considered their strengths to lie specifically in the area of stability measures and nation-building. The UN had already established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in December 2001, directly after the victory over the Taliban, in accordance with the conclusions of the Afghanistan Conference on the Petersberg, which brought together all of the Afghan and international actors involved in the stabilization process. Based on UN Resolutions 1386, 1413, and 1444, ISAF’s main task is to support the provisional government of Afghanistan and to facilitate reconstruction by maintaining a stable and safe environment around Kabul. Furthermore, it works closely with the new transitional government in Kabul and the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) to further develop the skills of the Afghan police and military units and to operate Kabul international airport.114

However, each time a contingent was due to be relieved, major problems were encountered when trying to find a new lead nation that was willing and able to act. For this reason, various members endeavored to directly involve NATO, with its proven systems of force generation, in Afghanistan. Thus, the third ISAF contingent was already actually provided by NATO, even though the mission still officially operated under national leadership. Germany and the Netherlands were the first two NATO states to act as joint lead nations, and were able to deploy a joint multinational unit with headquarters in the form of the German-Dutch Corps. The North Atlantic Council unanimously approved this decision in October 2002. This was necessary, as the operation involved armed forces structures that were directly assigned to the Alliance. NATO also provided indirect support for this operation outside Alliance structures in the form of intelligence, logistics, and planning capacities. In August 2003, the Alliance officially assumed command of the fourth contingent of the ISAF mission, whose approx. 8,000 troops now came from over 30 nations. A new UN Resolution in October 2003 paved the way for ISAF’s area of responsibility to be extended in 5 phases far beyond Kabul, establishing Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) to assist the Afghan government in stabilizing further regions and preparing for free elections. Thanks to NATO’s involvement, elections could be held in the fall of 2004 largely without disruptions. At the same time, stage 1 was completed with the expansion of the NATO mission to the North of Afghanistan. Expansion in the west (stage 2) was completed in September 2005, southward expansion (stage 4) followed on July 31, 2006, and on October 5, 2006, expansion was completed by also establishing a NATO presence in the east of Afghanistan. In the summer of 2007, more than 37 nations had stationed approximately 40,000 troops in Afghanistan, a total of 25 Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) had been established and 20 training missions for the Afghan National Army (Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams or OMLTs), out of a planned total of 37, had been put in place.115

However, the continuing unstable security situation especially in the south of Afghanistan and the regained strength of the Taliban forces mean that the Alliance will not be able to conclude its activities in Afghanistan in the foreseeable future, despite all of the successes achieved until now. All Nations are aware of the fact that “their ultimate success depends on political and economic development rather than military preponderance,”116 but there seems to be no clear consensus on how to achieve these goals. Therefore, in view of deep frictions between NATO allies regarding burden and risk-sharing, growing skepticism about the current strategy in Afghanistan, and expecting renewed Al Qaeda activities and Taliban insurgent strategies, 2007 could prove a crucial year for western efforts to stabilize this war-haunted country as well as for NATO’s image as a successful provider of stability. Therefore, the stakes remain high for all participating nations and the institution itself: “What has emerged in Afghanistan is a test of [NATO’s] ability to overcome a challenge of enormous consequence to our shared values and interests.”117 Failure seems not to be an option.

2.3.3 Institutional Adaptation to the Post-9/11 World

Alongside the continuing challenges in Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism in response to the events of September 11, 2001, was carried on with the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom. Even though the actual activities in this context were performed on a bilateral basis, i.e. without NATO, the organization’s wealth of experience and function as a forum for dialogue played a very positive background role. Thus, U.S. Secretary of State Powell pointed out that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had substantially increased the efficiency of the multinational coalition’s conduct of the war in Afghanistan, even without being directly involved: “NATO is and remains an extraordinarily useful military organization, because it has so many operational possibilities. We think too frequently only of tanks and aircraft. No, this is something else. Individual units and entire nations train together; they have a common doctrine, and are capable of technical cooperation.”118 Strengthening this ad hoc aspect of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was one of the central aims of America's post-9/11 NATO policy.

After the shock of being basically ignored during the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan, the European allies were very open to further reforms. NATO has been making its own contribution to the fight against terrorism since the fall of 2001 with the Active Endeavor maritime interdiction mission, which patrols the sea routes in the entire Mediterranean region with the assistance of its Standing Naval Forces and provides an escort for civilian merchant vessels.119 However, this could only be seen as a minor contribution to America’s new “War on Terror.” Therefore, it was clear to all members of the Alliance after the events following September 11 that NATO once again required major reforms. Despite foreshadowings of the Iraq Conflict, the two sides of the Alliance showed signs of rapprochement and were able to agree upon a new and profound transformation process at the Prague Summit in November 2002. Pursued almost independently of the deep transatlantic rift over Iraq, these reforms were a logical continuation of the process of change begun almost ten years earlier with the American Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) initiative.120

In addition to the expansion of dialogue-oriented relations with states in the Mediterranean region and the wider Middle East, the creation of a NATO Response Force (NRF) and the Prague Capability Commitment (PCC) have been the most decisive changes in recent years.121 With its 25,000 soldiers, the NRF is to function as an “intervention force and anti-terror task force” to combat terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction around the world.122 Despite continuing skepticism about the future will and ability of European NATO Member States to fulfill their NRF obligations, its full operational capability was declared in November 2006. The PCC’s aim is to ensure that the European armed forces are able to acquire the most up-to-date equipment and skills as quickly as possible to achieve interoperability with the U.S. armed forces.123 It was hoped that NATO would fulfill this condition in order to be able, with the aid of an NRF composed predominantly of European assets, to make an effective medium-term contribution within the framework of a U.S.-designed global security policy and, thereby, to safeguard its relevance to its strongest member. However, under the pressure of the events after 2001, most Europeans may have promised more than they could live up to. Most of their forces are undergoing a long-term transformation process, while at the same time the bulk of available investment resources are needed to sustain several ongoing missions under a UN, EU, or NATO umbrella. Therefore, it is not really surprising that several NATO members have serious problems fulfilling their responsibilities in the NRF, while at the same time bearing their share of the burden in NATO’s most challenging mission in Afghanistan.

“NATO’s position today is a paradox”124: On the one hand, NATO has once again adapted its military instruments to the changed circumstances, and conducted a cost intensive but basically successful transformation process in its military capacities and structures that is still ongoing. But on the other hand, this was done without having first achieved a new consensus on the overall purpose of the Alliance, on its political and military priorities and, thereby, on a new transatlantic bargain about sharing the necessary burden and risks. Therefore, political frictions and misunderstandings are paramount and the future survivability of the transatlantic Partnership remains in doubt. The Iraq conflict showed to an alarming extent how little political unity exists within the Alliance regarding new security risks and the way in which they should be combated: “The litany of transatlantic policy disagreements over security challenges from beyond Europe’s borders as well as of their causes, can lead to the conclusion that the United States and Europe’s NATO members will never, or only very rarely, agree to undertake joint military operations outside of Europe.”125 These differences are unlikely to be overcome in the short term, at least partly because of the lack of a strategic dialogue in NATO.

Due to these fundamental political problems, NATO’s most probable military contribution to combating new global risks such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be primarily restricted to the possibility of forming ad hoc coalitions of member states who are willing and able to participate in specific operations, and whose common experience and proven interoperability have been acquired through integration into NATO. This was the case in Iraq, where individual NATO states are participating actively in the U.S.-led coalition forces, while the Alliance as a whole was only laboriously able to agree on a compromise - a year after the war in Iraq - on training new Iraqi security forces. In the long term, this kind of limited contribution cannot be satisfactory, if only because of a potential lack of viable alternative partnerships for the nations willing to act in a specific circumstance.126

However, intensive reflections are now under way within the Alliance on a reform of the political apparatus and decision-making structures, and new discussions on NATO’s future purpose and strategy are to be expected. The Riga Summit of November 2006 was intended to be a first step in this process.127 But again, political differences threatened to overshadow the newly found transatlantic harmony. The worsening security situation in Afghanistan put the NATO- forces in the south under considerable pressure. American, British, Canadian, and Dutch forces experienced continuous fighting and personal losses in 2006, and there was even more to be expected for the spring of 2007. This led to deep frictions inside of NATO about the appropriate share of burdens and risks.128 These frictions about Iraq and Afghanistan are clear signals that the transatlantic partnership between rather unequal partners remains fragile, that there is still a considerable gap between “our political decisions and our military commitments.”129 Therefore, the North Atlantic Alliance seems still to be in turmoil.

3. Time for a New Vision? NATO and EU Cooperation in the Context of Transatlantic Cooperation

To understand NATO’s potential purpose(s) in the 21st century and the possible benefits of a renewed transatlantic partnership, one first has to take a close look at the roles the United States played in the transatlantic framework, and at how these have changed since the end of the Cold War.

3.1 America’s Changing Role in Europe

3.1.1 The U.S. as a “European Power”

At least, the victory in the Second World War and the permanent stationing of American armed forces in Europe ensured that the U.S. became not only a relevant factor in European development, but also a “European power.”130 The United States thus assumed some important roles in and for Western Europe between 1945 and 1990. Its major conventional capabilities, and especially its nuclear capabilities, made the United States the direct protecting power against Soviet military power in the East. Under its leadership, Western defense was organized in a cooperative and multilateral manner within NATO, and was guaranteed by an effective combination of deterrence made credible by the capacity to make war, on the one hand, and offers to promote détente through dialogue, on the other. At the same time, the U.S. was also the undisputed leading Western nation in a political and cultural sense, whose advocacy of democracy, the market economy and human rights made a substantial contribution to creating a common identification with the “West.”131 The “American way of life” became a formative model for the lifestyle of entire generations around the world as a result of its economic success and increasing prosperity, but also due to its leading role in art and literature and their mass dissemination through the medium of cinema, for example.132

The fact that the European Union of today would not have existed without the massive support, and sometimes political pressure, of the U.S. should not be combination of self-interest and idealistic endeavors ensured that, from the outset, the United States of America was a promoter and supporter of all of the European attempts to peacefully integrate a continent that had been buffeted for centuries by wars and conflicts. On the one hand, the U.S. actively promoted the development of the European Community, from the European Coal and Steel Community to the establishment of the European Union, through consistent urging and constant encouragement.133 On the other hand, many European states would have found it significantly more difficult to cooperate with their neighbors and relinquish national sovereignty to a European capital in Brussels without the presence of the U.S. as an external balancing factor in the background.134

Economic relations also played an important positive role, despite the competition involved, as both sides benefited substantially from reciprocal market access. The importance of trade relations and inter-corporate cooperation for creating a positive public opinion of transatlantic relations should not be underestimated. Conversely, the “relatively rapid and largely unproblematic symmetrization of economic relations” promoted the development of a solid “social foundation for Atlantic relations.”135

3.1.2 America as a “Power in Europe”

Since the end of the Cold War, the role of the U.S. in and for Europe has changed substantially on all these levels. A transatlantic security partnership still exists, which is based on close cooperation and a mutual interest in its continuation. However, the conditions that apply to this partnership have changed fundamentally. The United States is no longer the primary guarantor of European security, which can expect support or even allegiance in other matters or areas in return for this service: “The argument that Europe needs the protection of U.S. military power, which is often used to justify the “subordination option” in European discourse, has become less persuasive since the end of the Cold War.”136 The disappearance of the direct threat posed by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact has resulted in a new independence for the transatlantic partners, which is reflected in the desire for greater national and regional scope for action. At the same time, the U.S., which has always been the superior military power, has further widened the gap with its European partners since 1990. While the EU member states concentrated on institution-building and their populations sought a peace dividend, the U.S. focused consistently on expanding its global intervention capabilities. The result is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization that has definitively lost its internal equilibrium.

For a long time now, only one member has been capable of independent military action. This circumstance has taken on a completely new significance now that the need for a massive military presence along the inner-German border has been replaced by the need for global intervention capabilities. Furthermore, the gap between the military capabilities of the old partners has been steadily widening, thereby becoming a major obstacle to transatlantic relations:137 “If you consider the military/technical developments that began to emerge during the last high-tech wars, and were systematically taken into account by the U.S. in its operational command... it becomes clear that the armed forces of the European nations have no interoperability with the U.S. armed forces in any of these areas, let alone the ability to act independently.”138

Given the complex security policy developments in recent years, this growing dependence in the area of military capabilities creates what many Europeans consider a painful contrast to the increased scope for political action being anticipated or even subjectively attained by the EU member states. The changed framework conditions have thus fundamentally altered the leadership role of the United States. Instead of continuing to seek consensus in NATO as “primus inter pares,” which sometimes involved years of persuasion, the political elites in Washington announced a new style at the end of the Cold War: “together where we can, alone where we must.”139 With the two Bush administrations the U.S.’s position at the forefront of a politically and culturally-based consensus appeared sometimes to have been replaced by pure power-based dominance. A further complicating factor is the observation that the increasingly unilateral nature of U.S. foreign and security policy in recent years140 has caused many governments to ask themselves whether this is really helping to increase their national security or, despite commonly-proclaimed interests, may actually pose the risk of unwanted and perhaps unnecessary entanglement in U.S. conflicts.141 The war in Iraq, which many European actors consider to have “reduced international and regional security and engendered incalculable risks,”142 is an example of this, even though it was waged by the U.S. in the name of global security.

The tone of economic relations has also changed. While economic rivalries and conflicts also existed in the transatlantic relationship during the Cold War, the consensus-based overall political relationship meant that their effect on other areas of foreign and security policy remained marginal. However, concerns emerged in the mid-1990s that the increasing number of “transatlantic economic wars” with negative spillover effects would put pressure on political relations.143 A whole range of mechanisms have been created to curb economic conflicts of this type. However, globalization and the fact that the Economic and Monetary Union has resulted in the EU member states “not just withdrawing from the dollar zone but instead using the euro to openly challenge the dollar as the world’s reserve currency” - with a great deal of success so far144 - have added a new dimension to the transatlantic economic rivalry.

Given this background, it is not surprising that the U.S.’s relationship with the EU has also changed fundamentally. America’s active promotion of the process of European integration and its role as a benevolent “external balancer” has been replaced by mistrustful observation, increasing rivalry, and a constant temptation to exploit the many bilateral “special relationships” the U.S. has with its European partners. Conversely, European governments have provided sufficient reasons for mistrust, for example by attempting to define and establish the European Union as a potential “anti-America” in the context of the disputes over the Iraq conflict and its consequences.145Such sentiments are strengthened by scandals146 like the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib,147 CIA practices like the kidnapping of terrorist-suspects, rendition flights and the rumors about secret prisons located in Eastern European countries.148 These developments are signals of the changing nature of transatlantic relations: “The United States is ending its days as a European power at the same time that the EU and its member states are becoming ready to emerge from the shadow of American influence.”149 This change, which has been passively experienced and at times also actively pursued equally by both sides, is having dramatic consequences for the role of the U.S. in and for Europe. Instead of continuing to participate in the process of consensus-building as a European power, the Bush administration was tending to act like a “power in Europe,” like a classic external power. In this regard, Washington was prepared not only to implement its specific interests in Europe, even in the face of resistance from its partners, but also to use its several special relationships to overcome this resistance. The American influence in Europe was preserved or even strengthened by these policies, but the price for this was a European Union, that was weakened not only as a potential counterweight but also as a potential transatlantic partner.

3.2 A Comprehensive Approach?

3.2.1 The End of Military Predominance

The United States of America is, and will remain, the nation that sets the tone within NATO and is the driving force behind the military and political changes in the Alliance. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has been the last remaining superpower - it is politically, economically, and culturally predominant. However, it has attained “hyper power” status primarily due to its historically unprecedented military superiority, which is the result of decades spent transforming its armed forces. The United States owes its rather impressive military successes on the battlefields during the second Gulf War, in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and finally at least during the first phase of the third Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, to these superior military capabilities. It is not surprising, therefore, that the U.S. administration continues to regard America’s military strength as a major asset for pursuing its foreign and security policy. Washington has been urging its allies to improve their military capabilities for many years, in reflection of the widespread desire for burden-sharing within the general public and the political sphere. NATO was the logical main tool for this policy, as its membership includes most allies of the U.S. with the greatest economic and military capabilities.

U.S. influence has caused NATO to radically transform its range of military instruments and its understanding of security policy since 1990. Static and defensive armed forces have become highly mobile and flexible intervention forces. The Alliance’s concept of threat-oriented deterrence has given way to capability-oriented contingency planning. This progress on military transformation would not have been possible without constant pressure from the U.S., and yet the changes consistently fell short of the expectations of successive U.S. administrations. At 200 billion dollars, European defense expenditure is currently around 40 percent of that of the U.S., while of the 2.5 million European NATO troops, “only 5 percent have operational capability”150 and the overall capabilities remain less than 10 percent of the United States.151 The consequence of this consistent failure to meet American expectations was a gradual shift by Washington away from NATO in favor of a stronger emphasis on flexible coalitions of the willing and able.

However, the problems encountered by the coalition forces in Iraq have caused the U.S. to rethink its approach, or rather to change its priorities.152 Following the swift military victory against Saddam Hussein and the Republican Guard, the United States is still having enormous difficulties also winning the peace in Iraq. While the mistakes made by the American occupying power in the immediate post-war period may not have caused these problems, they certainly contributed significantly to their exacerbation.153 The Comprehensive Approach was the obvious but also hard to accept answer to a lesson learned from the problems the U.S. faced in Iraq. Painfully slow, the United States had to accept the wisdom of the British General Sir Gerald Templer: “Military force cannot change opinion. It can only create a framework in which economic reform and good government can take effect.”154 But in order to “win the hearts and minds” of the people in Iraq and in Afghanistan, more and more effective civilian capabilities for such tasks as nation-building or post conflict management were needed.155 Precisely these capabilities, which many in the Bush administration had dismissed until then as unimportant or unworthy of consideration, had long been valued and further developed by the European allies.

A now commonly held view in security policy circles is that “no single member state of NATO or the EU will be capable of dealing with the full spectrum of security policy challenges alone in the future.”156 Given the continuing problems in Iraq, this statement also applies to the last remaining superpower, i.e. the U.S. This is demonstrated particularly clearly by the Bush administration’s newfound esteem for the efforts towards a new Comprehensive Approach in Afghanistan, which are now primarily being undertaken by the Europeans. Responsibility for implementing and coordinating the civilian reconstruction of Kabul and the other regions of the country, which have been battered by over a decade of civil war, lies with NATO, the institution which had been largely ignored by the U.S. during the initial Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Due to this development all NATO nations have finally agreed at the Riga Summit in the fall of 2006, that “practical cooperation at all levels with partners, the UN, and other relevant international organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and local actors in the planning and conduct of ongoing and future operations” has to be improved.157 Also at Riga, NATO Heads of State endorsed the Comprehensive Political Guidance, which acknowledges that “of particular importance because of their wide range of means and responsibilities are the United Nations and the European Union.”158 In particular, this document recognized the fact that “the European Union, which is able to mobilize a wide range of military and civilian instruments, is assuming a growing role in support of international stability.”

3.2.2 Merging the Sword with the Ploughshare

In this way, NATO and the EU regained the interest of Washington, as they both now offered new possibilities for burden-sharing that went beyond the classic military approach.159 As security institutions, NATO, and the EU offer their member states optimal possibilities for a strategic dialogue, and hence also for the accumulation of military and economic capabilities to implement a common strategy. Furthermore, both institutions have an almost identical membership, and their nations are linked by close cultural and economic ties. The Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, stated that: “NATO and the EU, with their coinciding values and goals, should not view themselves as competitors on the foreign and security policy market.”160 The growing competition between these two institutions thus appears even more infuriating and incomprehensible. What is worse, this competition could permanently weaken both institutions, even though both NATO and the EU currently seem to be making good progress with their development.

While NATO remains an alliance with a primarily military orientation, it has also developed and institutionalized a whole range of cooperative political approaches since the end of the Cold War. NATO’s “Comprehensive Political Guidance” expressed the need for the “ability to conduct the full range of its missions, from high to low intensity,”161 i.e. the lower spectrum of peace-building and post-conflict management. In this way, a substantial set of instruments for political dialogue and security policy cooperation has extended the Alliance’s spectrum of military action far beyond its own borders. This development has been accompanied by the current tendency to supplement NATO’s global military operations with the political and civilian measures necessary for lasting success. However, civilian crisis management capabilities of this type do not need to be created directly within the Alliance framework. Instead, NATO is engaging in increasingly frequent and close cooperation with other institutions such as the EU, the OSCE and the UN, which possess the requisite security-related capabilities. Regarding not only the difficulties of NATO-EU relations, but also the constant reluctance of some member states to accept a growing role of NATO in civil crisis management, the agreement on and implementation of a Comprehensive Approach will not come easily. But the NATO operation in Afghanistan is a good example of the pressing need for finding new answers to the complex political, social, cultural, economic, and military challenges. Despite tense political differences between some nations that are fought out on the floors of NATO’s Headquarters in Brussels, the needs of NATO’s ongoing operations pave the way for practical mission-related cooperation. The European states are not only playing an active military role in Afghanistan through NATO and in close cooperation with the United States Armed Forces, but also a crucial financial role through the EU, the G8, and the World Bank. Furthermore, in order to strengthen Afghan ownership of their own domestic security, NATO’s ISAF Mission is depending on national and – since the summer of2007 also EU162 – engagement in training and equipping the Afghan National Police. The European Union itself has provided over one third of all reconstruction investment and humanitarian aid made available by the international Community since 2002. “The EU and NATO, therefore, need each other in Afghanistan,”163 as they do in the Balkans and in every future stabilization effort that Western nations might agree on.

In tandem with these developments, the Alliance is increasingly endeavoring to move away from being solely an executing body for the community of states, and instead become a decision- making forum. The Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, believes that this will require a goal-oriented policy dialogue in the framework of the North Atlantic Council: “Simply put, we need to understand NATO not only as a forum for action. We must also understand it as a forum for debate. During the Iraq controversy, NATO was manifestly under-utilized as a consultative forum. (Not only NATO by the way.) And we paid a high price for that. I am confident that we learned our lesson. If we want to preserve and strengthen NATO as a central framework for effective multilateralism, we must engage in multilateral debate.”164 Furthermore, the Alliance has also been pursuing the aim of becoming an independent actor in decision- making on broader policy in the affected crisis regions. It makes no sense in the long term to have soldiers risking life and limb to achieve policy objectives during NATO operations if the Alliance’s decision-makers have had no say in their formulation or adaptation to the specific situation. For example, the unrest in Kosovo in the spring of 2004 led to NATO being represented in the Contact Group: “It is clear that also NATO, through KFOR, by being involved in the Contact Group Plus, has a stake in the way this political process evolves; has a stake in the outcome of this political process.”165

Like NATO, the EU has also undergone a lengthy process of institutional reforms and changes. Until 1992, the European Community could still be described as an economic giant but a political/security policy dwarf. However, the European Union has developed into a “mature player in international politics” since then,166 with a broad range of civilian and military security policy capabilities. Although these capabilities are still insufficient for the global “projection of power,” the European Union’s military potential has developed impressively in recent years. Today, despite widespread skepticism, a basically “positive assessment of the EU’s (performance) in this spectrum of the Petersberg Tasks by its members and the United States” has become a fact.167 Operation “Althea” has definitively proven that the EU of the 21st century has learned from its mistakes made during the 1990s. Should a new crisis flare up in its immediate vicinity, the EU would no longer be forced to look on helplessly. The EU’s increasing military capabilities are at least partly a result of continuing pressure from Washington in a dual sense. Firstly, strengthening the ESDP was a direct response to the consistent disregard for European reservations and the painful experience of American politicians imposing their will on European states. Secondly, it can be maintained that “since 9/11, the American-led war on terror puts pressure on all security institutions to be more output-oriented, including what they actually do to address key security challenges and how effectively they operate.”168 A related problem is that no European nation can afford to establish separate military units for NATO and the EU. The transformation of European armed forces is thus a reaction to the strong desire of the U.S. for greater transatlantic burden-sharing, while their integration into the ESDP concept is due both to the desire for greater weight and influence over the more powerful Alliance partner, and to inherent financial imperatives that can only be addressed through enhanced European cooperation.

However, much must still be done to further develop a common European Security and Defense Policy at both the political and military levels. The controversies in Europe over the war in Iraq showed very clearly that ongoing national differences of opinion on many important international political issues mean that “a truly common European Security Policy remains more of an objective than a description of the current situation.”169 Military capabilities, which are a central issue for the United States, also provide no grounds for self-satisfaction in the European capitals: “The low national defense budgets are resulting in…not only European deficiencies in the ‘hardware’ sector, [but also] shortcomings which can already be discerned in the area of research and development. These are perpetuating the Europeans’ inadequate level of military equipment, and hence their dependence on the U.S. for arms technology.”170 For the EU, this will result in at least a medium-term, if not also a long-term, dependence on NATO and the U.S. if it wishes to become active outside a very limited area on the periphery of Europe. Regardless of the ups and downs in EU developments as experienced in the process of the European Constitution and its downsizing to a “normal” European treaty agreed upon at the last EU summit in June 2007,171 “when put in a comparative and historical context,” the basic development trend points “definitively to its success, not its shortcomings.”172

3.2 Sword and Ploughshare – An Optimistic View

For both institutions, the future clearly does not lie in specializing in either military or civilian capabilities. NATO has developed from a purely military alliance into a multi-faceted “security management institution” with complementary civilian capabilities,173 and the EU has undergone a similar process to move beyond being a purely economic and civilian power. The EU has also gradually developed military instruments to implement common goals and interests, and begun to demonstrate and further develop their operational capabilities. Both NATO and the EU have clearly opted for a combination of sword and ploughshare. The need for a comprehensive approach to security policy arises less from the structure of the two institutions than from the nature of the security policy challenges. Mastering such threats as terrorism, proliferation, or “failing states” will require a “sword” on the one hand in the form of robust military intervention capabilities, and a “ploughshare” on the other in the form of civilian conflict resolution strategies and capabilities. The right balance must be struck between the two – and it has to be done soon. The prospects for this are quite good at the moment. In their security strategies, the Western states have largely identified the same threats and risks, and thus also have similar approaches and solutions to these problems, regardless of their preference for a specific security institution. Currently, we are witnessing an expansion of security policy tasks, and of the institutional instruments to perform them. As a result, the capacity of NATO and the EU to cooperate could be enhanced or harmed. The following aims to outline a few theoretical scenarios on the future of NATO, the EU, and transatlantic relations in a very simplified form, and to evaluate the respective consequences.

3.2.1 Divergent Scenarios

First, there is a possibility that “because the EU is acquiring more military tasks and NATO is increasingly focused on the non-military elements of security, both institutions will almost inevitably get in each other’s way.”174 In this scenario, competition would be inevitable between the two institutions on the security policy “market.” However, their mutual dependence in most operational areas would appear to speak against this, as does their cooperation at the practical level, which has so far been largely unproblematic. Disagreements between the institutions result less from the structures per se than from the political objectives of their members, who are usually pursuing their own political agendas when choosing an institution.175 The competition between NATO and the EU, therefore, is not so much the driving force behind transatlantic frictions, but rather an effect. Thus, should the mutual rapprochement currently evident in European and American security policy thinking prove to be merely transitory, competition between NATO and the EU would almost certainly be inevitable. Such a development would most probably result in the permanent marginalization of NATO, which would find it difficult to comply with the American desire for burden-sharing.

However, should the EU fail to continue developing its military instruments, it would also be largely unable to implement its commendable civilian concepts in the face of resistance from uncooperative parties to conflicts. This would result in a repetition of Europe’s mistakes in the Balkans and permanently limit the EU’s capabilities as a security policy actor. Under these circumstances, it would also be impossible to fulfill the desire of many Europeans for an equal say in NATO. While a division of labor, or even cooperation between NATO and the EU, could not be entirely ruled out, it would be accompanied by constant political disputes and discord, along with more frequent recourse to ad hoc coalitions of the willing and able.176 A scenario of this type could even ultimately result in the splitting of NATO and the EU into irreconcilable European and Atlantic camps. The European states bear the main responsibility for preventing a development of this kind, as their continued weakness would still negatively impact transatlantic relations even if the United States, to the detriment of its military dominance, were to move closer to the “comprehensive approach” so lauded by the Europeans. The persistent lack of genuine burden and risk-sharing would force every U.S. administration to return to unilateralism sooner or later. The ultimate alternative of either “acting alone or not at all” is not an acceptable situation in the long term for members of a political or military alliance.

Conversely, the transatlantic alliance would probably also be doomed to failure if the European Union were to develop into a global rival with improved military capabilities, which defined its own identity not as a partner of the U.S., but instead as a “European counterweight.”177 Even if this idea were to win majority support in the EU, which is clearly not the case at present, it would be an unnecessarily risky approach. No U.S. administration would be able to react to such a development with complacence. The American political scientist Jeffrey Cimbalo, for example, feared that “the [European] constitution...would create a new international actor... [that] would seek to balance rather than complement U.S. power.”178 In response, he believed inter alia that “Washington should warn that if the constitution’s security and defense provisions go unaltered, it may be forced to seek bilateral or multilateral strategic arrangements with specific countries in Europe to try to replicate NATO’s core of supporters.” Intensive conflicts and the collapse of NATO would be the automatic consequence of such a confrontational orientation by the EU, or of an American attempt to use NATO as an instrument of containment against its European partners.179 Such developments would definitively consolidate the split in the West.

A positive interpretation of the current trends in the EU and NATO would lead to very different conclusions. Given that the two institutions are already able to work together relatively well, why should further alignment of the instruments and tasks of the organizations lead to institutional competition? Several factors indicate that the reverse may even be true, and that this development could result in a gradual improvement in relations: “Shared membership and threat assessments between the EU and NATO may ameliorate the animosity between Europe’s key institutions.”180 Political developments on both sides of the Atlantic are also favoring a renewal of transatlantic relations. The impressive victory of the Democratic Party in the mid-term elections forced George Bush to reshape his Iraq policy and the upcoming U.S. elections will provide an additional chance to renew relations, regardless if the new president is a Republican or a Democrat. At the same time, there is already a new, more conservative Government in Germany, which has helped bridge at least parts of the transatlantic rift of recent years. The newly elected French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is regarded as much more friendly towards the United States than his predecessor Jacques Chirac. At the same time, the new British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, seems to be adopting a much more independent foreign and security policy than the former head of government, Tony Blair, who was often seen as being too close to George Bush’s position.

Secondly, if the decision were made on both sides of the Atlantic to continue the current cautious rapprochement, then the outlook for the future of the community of Western states would be significantly brighter. In this case, the U.S. would not only be developing its own capabilities in the areas of civilian crisis management, nation-building, and post-conflict management, but would also far more appreciate the existing capabilities of its European partners and welcome them as a useful - and perhaps even equal - contribution to a comprehensive concept of the division of labor and burden-sharing. In this positive scenario, the Europeans for their part would continue to consistently develop their “comprehensive approach” into a civilian-oriented security and stability policy with improved military support. This foundation would substantially facilitate cooperation between NATO and the EU in a technical and tactical, as well as an operational and conceptual, sense, and ultimately also at the political level. Enhanced European capabilities would not only improve interoperability with the U.S. armed forces, but would also constructively complement U.S. capabilities, thereby creating historically unprecedented Western problem-solving capacities within the framework of a global partnership. Even if the current trend towards rapprochement does not continue, prospects are still good that the complex security risks will engender a greater understanding of the sheer need for cooperation, resulting in a lasting improvement in the transatlantic partnership and a corresponding improvement in NATO-EU relations.

On the other hand, a continuation of this trend towards rapprochement would naturally provide no guarantee of renewed transatlantic harmony and a strengthening of the West. This scenario also involves the risk that the mutual mistrust that has been gradually increasing since 1990 could stand in the way of successful cooperation.181 Some Americans fear “that EU foreign policy, led by Paris and Berlin, will actively seek to balance or compete with U.S. power.”182 Conversely, many European decision-makers are concerned about being permanently “relegated to the role of junior partner” by the more powerful lead nation.183 If such fears continue to shape mutual relations, there will be little hope for a new rapprochement between NATO and the EU, despite the current “thaw” in transatlantic relations. This would have unfortunate long-term consequences, especially given that transatlantic tensions and institutional competition between NATO and the EU are already presenting the Central and Eastern European states, who view “both the EU and NATO as an inseparable unit,” with an almost insoluble dilemma.184 In the end, a transatlantic divorce might lead to an unfavorable world for both sides. The United States might find itself increasingly isolated and – lacking not only the highly integrated and capable allies in NATO and the EU but also having lost the opportunity to build well-trained, interoperable coalitions of the willing and able – at least to some extent with limited capabilities to shape world events. Without the transatlantic partnership as a power-backup, the European Union might as well be confronted with more risks and threats than it can handle: “If the Pax Americana fails completely, a world disorder will begin that Europe is not ready to handle, not now and probably not for a long time to come.”185 Both outcomes should clearly be avoided by all. Another possibility would be a one-sided rapprochement between the EU and the U.S., to the detriment of NATO: “ is interesting that the real dynamic of transatlantic cooperation no longer lies in NATO, but in the EU-U.S. summits.…It does indicate that NATO’s role as the strategic platform for a transatlantic security policy is eroding. Obviously, Washington sees merit in working directly with the EU (rather than through NATO) to address key security issues, be they HIV/AIDS programs, airline and port security, WMD proliferation, or political reform in the Middle East.”186

3.2.2 An Optimistic Vision for the Future

However, why should increased direct cooperation between the two major actors be disadvantageous to the most important Western security institution? This scenario seems to present more of a psychological barrier, which still sees developments of this type exclusively as a “zero-sum game.” But in a partnership that has existed for more than sixty years now and that has an almost unique history of success, this pessimistic view should have been put aside long ago. Ultimately, it seems to be simply a matter of perception. Regarding partners and their activities solely in terms of the growing transatlantic mistrust over the past decade has been the predominant approach on both sides of the Atlantic for much too long now.

It may therefore be helpful to speculate in a more optimistic and innovative way. For years there have been discussions about possibly giving the EU a seat at the UN – even though at present this has not passed beyond the stage of pure speculation. This unrealistic but still tempting idea has helped form something like a common identity of all EU member states at the United Nations. So why not adopt the same optimistic approach in respect to potential future EU membership in NATO? Of course, it appears unrealistic regarding the seriousness and depth of still existing differences between some of the European partners inside the North Atlantic Alliance. But is this not also the case at UN level? Merely the idea of a potential future EU membership in NATO may change the attitude of some NATO members both within and outside the EU, at least over time.

Competition between the EU and NATO will be possible, and even probable, for as long as the EU is viewed solely as an international institution in the classic sense by the U.S., and also by its own member states, i.e. as an instrument for implementing a power-oriented policy promoting the interests of various nation-states. However, the European Union is much more than this, simply due to the supranational nature of the first, and at least potentially also the third, pillar. While NATO is aspiring to renew its role as a forum for political dialogue and decision-making on security policy, the EU wants to become a decision-maker per se. This fundamental difference should be taken into account when speculating on the future relationship between NATO and the EU.

The revised constitutional treaty of the European Union, even in its now slightly limited version, may just overcome the three-pillar structure and, therefore, offer new prospects for a new constructive phase of European integration. The current debate in France about a renewed rapprochement to NATO provides some additional hope.187 A potential reform of NATO’s integrated military command structure would not only enhance the prospect of NATO-EU cooperation, but also promote progress in the common European Security and Defense Policy. If this new way of thinking were to become real policy in Paris, it would help remove some organizational obstacles to inter-institutional cooperation and, more importantly, allay fears about NATO-EU competition on both sides of the Atlantic. Therefore, some optimism about the slow but steady evolution of the European Union seems justified.

“The European Union has developed into a widely-respected actor in international crisis management with growing abilities to act in all aspects of foreign and security policy.”188 But only when the EU becomes a true security policy actor capable of action across the entire political and military spectrum will it be able to work together with the U.S. on an equal footing to protect Western interests. Only then will the old dream of a “two-pillar system” become a reality in NATO: an equal partnership between two great systems of nation-states, the United States of America and the United States of Europe, with a complete set of security policy instruments at their disposal, i.e. the sword and the ploughshare.

This idea was already invoked by President John F. Kennedy on the Fourth of July, 1962, as an optimistic vision of the future: “I will say here and now, on this Day of Independence, that the United States will be ready for a Declaration of Interdependence, that we will be prepared to discuss with a united Europe the ways and means of forming a concrete Atlantic partnership, a mutually beneficial partnership between the new union now emerging in Europe and the old American Union founded here 175 years ago.”189 This optimistic vision for the future may still be a long way off. However, the mere idea of the EU becoming a member of NATO should help end the disconcerting rivalry between the two institutions, from which neither side has anything to gain, but both have much to lose.


1 Marta Dassù and Roberto Menotti, “Europe and America in the Age of Bush,” Survival, Vol. 47, No. 1, Spring 2005, pp. 105-122 (106).

2 Charles A. Kupchan, “The End of the West,” Atlantic Monthly, November 2002.

3 See: Timothy Garton Ash, “Freie Welt: Amerika, Europe und die Chance der Krise” [Free World: America, Europe, and the Surprising Future of the West], Munich, Hanser, 2004, which is representative of a whole range of publications in the same vein.

4Olaf Theiler, “Die NATO im Umbruch: Bündnisreform in Spannungsfeld konkurrierender Nationalinteressen” [NATO in a State of Upheaval: Reforming the Alliance in the Context of Competing National Interests], Schriftenreihe der Akademie der Bundeswehr für Information und Kommunikation, Vol. 26, Baden-Baden, 2003.

5 Steve Weber, “Shaping the Postwar Balance of Power: Multilateralism in NATO,” in: John Gerard Ruggie (ed.), Multilateralism Matters: The Theory and Practice of an Institutional Form; New York and Oxford, Columbia University Press, 1993, pp. 233-292 (234-235).

6 François Heisbourg, “Von der Atlantischen Allianz zur europäischen Partnerschaft” [From the Atlantic Alliance to the European Partnership], Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, No. 38-39/2005, September 23, 2005, pp. 3-8 (3) (translation by the author).

7 See: for example, Sven Bernhard Gareis, “Sicherheitspolitik zwischen ‘Mars’ und ‘Venus’? Die Sicherheits- strategien der USA und der EU im Vergleich” [Security Policy between “Mars” and “Venus”? A Comparison of the Security Strategies of the U.S. and the EU], in: Johannes Varwick (ed.), Die Beziehungen zwischen NATO und EU: Partnerschaft, Konkurrenz, Rivalität? [NATO-EU Relations: Partnership, Competition, Rivalry?] Opladen, 2005, pp. 81-96.

8 On the prospects of arriving at a common threat analysis and creating a common strategic response to these challenges, see, for example, Ronald D. Asmus, “Rebuilding the Atlantic Alliance,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 82, No. 5, September/October 2003, pp. 20-31. See also Henning Riecke, “Strategiediskussionen in NATO und EU über die neuen Sicherheitsbedrohungen” [Strategy Discussions at NATO and the EU on the New Security Threats], in: Johannes Varwick (ed.), Die Beziehungen zwischen NATO und EU: Partnerschaft, Konkurrenz, Rivalität? [NATO-EU Relations: Partnership, Competition, Rivalry?], Opladen, 2005, pp. 97-115.

9 See: Celeste A. Wallander, “Institutional Assets and Adaptability: NATO after the Cold War,” International Organization, Vol. 54, No. 4, Autumn 2000, pp. 705-735.

10 Gustav E. Gustenau and Johann Frank, “Divergenz oder Komplementarität? Entwicklungslinien des zukünftigen sicherheitspolitischen Verhältnisses zwischen Europa und den USA. Studie des Bundesministeriums für Landes- verteidigung” [Divergence or Complementarity? Approaches for Developing Future Security Policy Relations between Europe and the U.S. Study by the Federal Ministry for Defense], Vienna, April 2004, p. 14. http://, accessed on July 9, 2005.

11 Peter van Ham, “EU, NATO, OSCE: Interaction, Cooperation, and Confrontation,” in: Franz Kernic and Gunther Hauser (eds.), Handbuch zur Europäischen Sicherheit [European Security Handbook], (Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang Verlag, 2005), pp. 155-168 (156).

12 See: for example, Dr. Glen M. Segell, “Reflecting NATO Enlargement (2004) and Subsequent Relations with the European Union,”, accessed on July, 2005.

13 Robert Kagan, “America’s Crisis of Legitimacy,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2004, p. 65.

14 Ronald D. Asmus, “Rebuilding the Atlantic Alliance,” p. 26.

15 This does not mean making a choice between exclusively military or civilian instruments, which would be unrealistic and exaggerated. However, very different focuses are currently being set in terms of the use and further development of both these aspects of international security policy on either side of the Atlantic, meaning that an oversimplification of this type seems permissible for the purpose of clarifying the respective positions and their consequences.

16 Robert E. Gates, “Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy,” February 11, 2007,, accessed on March 23, 2007.

17 Olaf Theiler, “Der Wandel der NATO nach dem Ende des Ost-West Konflikts,” [The Changes to NATO after the East-West Conflict], in: Helga Haftendorn/Otto Keck (eds.), Kooperation jenseits von Hegemonie und Be- drohung. Sicherheitsinstitutionen in den Internationalen Beziehungen, [Cooperation Beyond Hegemony and Threat. Security Institutions in International Relations], (Baden-Baden, Nomos, 1997), pp. 101-136.

18 See: Olaf Theiler, “NATO: Sicherheitspolitische Aufgabenfelder und Missionen” [NATO: Security Policy Tasks and Missions]. pp. 203-222.

19 Charles A. Kupchan, “The Travails of Union: The American Experience and Its Implications for Europe,” Survival, Vol. 46, No. 4, Winter 2004/2005, pp. 103-120 (115).

20 Marta Dassù and Roberto Menotti, “Europe and America in the Age of Bush,” Survival, Vol. 47, No. 1, p.109.

21 Barbara Renne, “Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit: Probleme und Perspektiven der EU-Eingreiftruppe unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihres Verhältnisses zur NATO-Response Force” [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality: Problems and Perspectives for EU Intervention Troops with a Particular Emphasis on Their Relationship to the NATO Response Force], Hamburg, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, 2004, p. 66.

22 Charles A. Kupchan, “The Travails of Union,” p. 113.

23 Ronald D. Asmus, “Rebuilding the Atlantic Alliance,” p. 21.

24 Olaf Theiler, “All for One and One for All?” Mistrust, Rivalry, and the Enlargement of NATO and the EU,” in: Hans J. Giessmann (ed.): Security Handbook 2004. The Twin Enlargement of NATO and EU, Baden-Baden, Nomos-Verlag, 2004, pp. 34-47.

25 Robert Kagan, America’s Crisis of Legitimacy,” pp. 65-87 (65-66).

26 “September 11, 2001 can be seen retrospectively as the catalyst for a development whose essential features have been recognizable ever since the end of the Cold War.” This is the opinion expressed by Gustav E. Gustenau and Johann Frank in “Divergenz oder Komplementarität?” [Divergent or Complementary?], p. 5. It should be borne in mind however that U.S. policy is not uncontroversial domestically, at least as regards methods and style, but less so as regards the core objectives of American foreign and security policy. See, for example, Dana H. Allin and Steven Simon, “America’s Predicament,” Survival, Vol. 46, No. 4, Winter 2004/05, pp. 7-30.

27 The National Security Strategy of the United States of America,, accessed on July 8, 2005.

28 Peter Rudolf, “Die USA und die transatlantischen Beziehungen nach dem 11. September 2001” [The U.S. and Transatlantic Relations after September 11, 2001], Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, B25/2002, pp. 7-21 (11). See also Barbara Renne, Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality], p. 68.

29 Gustav E. Gustenau and Johann Frank, “Divergenz oder Komplementarität?” [Divergent or Complementary?], p. 5. See also Barbara Renne, Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality]; pp. 13-14.

30 Gustav E. Gustenau and Johann Frank, “Divergenz oder Komplementarität?” [Divergent or Complementary?], p. 15.

31 Charles A. Kupchan, “The Travails of Union,” p. 114.

32 Robert Kagan, “America’s Crisis of Legitimacy,” p. 66.

33 Charles A. Kupchan, “The Travails of Union,” p. 104.

34 Barbara Renne, “Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit” [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality], p. 69.

35Jeffrey L. Cimbalo, “Saving NATO from Europe,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 6, November/December 2004, pp. 111-121.

36 “Perspektiven der Sicherheitspolitik im Zusammenspiel von EU und NATO” [Security Policy Perspectives in the Interplay between the EU and NATO], Speech by the Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, on May 12, 2005,, accessed February 1, 2008.

37 Marta Dassù and Roberto Menotti, “Europe and America in the Age of Bush,” p. 107.

38 The “charm offensive” that characterized the state visits to Europe by representatives of the American government at the beginning of 2005 was a sign of this, as was the decision by President Bush to establish an “Active Response Corps” within the “Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization” in the U.S. Department of State. This group of administrative specialists, diplomats, and lawyers has a budget of over 100 million dollars to improve the civilian management of post-conflict situations. On this topic, see Torsten Krauel, “Bush plant eine diplomatische Feuerwehr: Spezialisten sollen jungen Demokratien beim Aufbau helfen – Reaktion auf Rückschläge im Irak” [Bush Plans a Diplomatic Fire Brigade: Specialists to Help New Democracies with Reconstruction – Reaction to Setbacks in Iraq], Die Welt, May 20, 2005. See also Ulrich Schneckener, “Internationales Statebuilding: Dilemmata, Strategien und Anforderungen an die deutsche Politik” [International Statebuilding: Dilemmas, Strategies, and Requirements of the German Policy]. SWP Studie S10, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin, May 2007, pp. 27-29. On the state visits, see, for example, Clay Risen, “Bush kommt mit Diplomatie im Gepäck: Der Besuch des Präsidenten bietet Amerikanern und Europäern neue Chancen. Beide sollten sie nutzen” [Bush Arrives with Diplomacy in His Luggage: The President’s Visit Offers Americans and Europeans New Chances. Both Should Take Them], Die Welt, February 19, 2005.

39 Barbara Renne, “Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit” [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality], p. 39.

40 NATO Information Service, “Washington Treaty (1949),” NATO Basic Documents, p. 11.

41 Fears renewed after the harsh speech of Russian President Putin at the 43rd Munich Security Conference in February 2007. Vladimir Putin, “The Unipolar Model is Unacceptable in Today’s World,” accessed February, 2008, eng/text/speeches/2007/02/10/0138_type82912type82914type82917type84779_118123.shtml. See also Greg Craig and Ronald D. Asmus, “The Rewards of a Larger NATO,” Washington Post, February 19, 2007, A19.

42 Klaus Naumann, “Die Bundeswehr vor neuen Herausforderungen” [New Challenges for the Bundeswehr]. Speech by the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr at the New Year’s reception of the Oldenburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry on January 12, 1995, in Oldenburg, p. 7. See also NATO Office of Information and Press, “The Alliance’s Strategic Concept (1991),” Part I, Paragraphs 8-15, pp. 4-5.

43 The Strategic Concept for 1999 already lists terrorism under “Security Challenges and Risks.” For more on this topic, see NATO Office of Information and Press, “The Alliance’s Strategic Concept (1999),” Part II, Paragraph 24, p. 8. However, this still explicitly stated that “arrangements exist within the Alliance for consultation among the Allies under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty and, where appropriate, coordination of their efforts including their responses to risks of this kind.” However, NATO documents were already becoming sharper in tone in December 2000. Thus, the North Atlantic Council stated that terrorism constitutes “a threat to internal and international security, to peaceful relations between States and to their territorial integrity, to the development and functioning of democratic institutions throughout the world and to the enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties.” “Communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council held on December 15, 2000 in Brussels,” Paragraph 68. Reprinted in Angelika Volle and Werner Weidenfeld (eds.), Europäische Sicherheitspolitik in der Bewährung [Proving the Worth of European Security Policy], (Bielefeld: Bertelsmann, 2000), pp. 176-182 (181).

44 Christopher Bennett, “Aiding America,” NATO Review, No. 4 (Winter) 2001, pp. 6-7. On NATO-Russian cooperation, see “NATO-Russia Joint Statement Issued on the Occasion of the Meeting of the Permanent Joint Council at the Level of Foreign Ministers in Brussels on December 7, 2001,” NATO Integrated Data Service, December 7, 2001. The EAPC has also included the fight against terrorism in its “Long-Term Programs for Consultation and Cooperation.” On this topic, see: Press Release M-2-EAPC(2001)165, December 7, 2001, “Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) Action Plan 2002-2004.”

45 The first NATO operation based on Article 5, which includes non-NATO troop contributing countries like Russia and Ukraine. “NATO Topics: Operation Active Endeavour,” accessed on February, 2008. See also “NATO News: Russian Ship Prepares to Support NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour,”

46 Since 2004, NATO has been helping Iraq provide for its own security by training Iraqi personnel and supporting the development of the country’s security institutions. NATO Topics, “NATO’s Assistance to Iraq,”, accessed February 1, 2006.

47 Olaf Theiler, “Die NATO im Umbruch” [NATO in a State of Upheaval]; pp.70-76.

48 Robert Weaver, “NACC’s Five Years of Strengthening Cooperation,” NATO Review, No. 3 (May-June) 1997, pp. 24-26.

49 See: Sergio Balanzino, “A Year after Sintra: Achieving Cooperative Security Through the EAPC and PfP,” NATO Review, No. 3 (Autumn) 1998, pp. 4-8.

50 The NATO documents on the founding of the PfP in 1994, “Partnership for Peace: Invitation Document” and “Partnership for Peace: Framework Document” are available at:, accessed on July 26, 2005.

51 Klaus-Peter Klaiber, “The Membership Action Plan: Keeping NATO’s Door Open,” NATO Review, No. 2, Summer 1999, pp. 23-25.

52 Greg Craig and Ronald D. Asmus, “The Rewards of a Larger NATO,” Washington Post, February 19, 2007, A19.

53 NATO Press Release (2006) 150, “Riga Summit Declaration,” November 29, 2006, Paragraph 29 - 39. In Paragraph 30, NATO’s Heads of State and Government stated, “at our next summit in 2008, the Alliance intends to extend further invitations to those countries who meet NATO’s performance based standards and are able to contribute to Euro-Atlantic security and stability.” Albania, Croatia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are explicitly mentioned in this paragraph.

54 Still officially mentioned as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM.

55 George Bush, “A Europe Whole and Free. Remarks to the Citizens in Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany,” May 31,1989,, accessed February 1, 2006.

56 “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation,” NATO Review, No. 4, July/August 1997, pp. D7-D10. See also Klaus-Peter Klaiber, “The NATO-Russia Relationship a Year after Paris,” NATO Review, No. 3, Autumn 1998, pp. 16-19. On the renewed NATO-Russia Council, see Bettina Vestring, “Neuer NATO-Russland-Rat: Moskaus Mitspracherecht wird erweitert” [New NATO-Russia Council: Moscow’s Participatory Right Expanded], Berliner Zeitung, February 27, 2002, p. 8.

57 “NATO Mediterranean Dialogue: Origins and Objectives,” , accessed on March, 2006. See also Nicola de Santis, “Opening the Mediterranean and Broader Middle East,” NATO Review, Autumn 2004.

58 “NATO Topics: Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), Reaching out to the broader Middle East,” (accessed on February, 2006). See also “NATO Policy Document, June 28, 2004: Istanbul Cooperation Initiative,”

59 Despite the fact that the United States has committed some $400 million to the Middle East Partnership Initiative since 2002, progress remains rather limited. Gunter Hauser, “The Mediterranean Dialogue: A Transatlantic Approach,” CRiSSMA Working Paper No. 9 - 2006, I.S.U. Università Cattolica, Milano, p. 69 and pp. 75-77. A recent study by the Brookings Institution analyzing the Bush Administration’s Freedom Agenda states that the United States will still have to “persuade Arab governments that its commitment to regional democratization is both sincere and serious.” This “requires the Bush Administration to resolve difficult but unavoidable trade-offs among short-term and long-term goals, and between democracy promotion and other strategic U.S. interests.” Tamara Cofman Wittes and Sarah E. Yerkes, “What Price Freedom? Assessing the Bush Administration’s Freedom Agenda,” The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution, Analysis Paper, No. 10, September 2006, p. 2 and p. 29.

60 In Oslo, the Foreign Ministers of NATO agreed to be “prepared to support, on a case-by-case basis in accordance with our own procedures, peacekeeping activities under the responsibility of the CSCE, including by making available Alliance resources and expertise.” “Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Oslo, June 4, 1992, Final Communiqué,” Paragraph 11. In December 1992, this offer was also granted to the United Nations, adding that “we are ready to respond positively to initiatives that the UN Secretary-General might take to seek Alliance assistance in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions.” “Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council,” NATO HQ, Brussels, December 17, 1992, Final Communiqué M-NAC/2(92)106, Paragraph 4.

61 “NATO Topics: NATO’s assistance to Iraq,”, accessed February 1, 2006.

62 “NATO Topics: NATO's assistance to the African Union for Darfur,” In Summer 2007, NATO’s defense ministers expressed their willingness to broaden their support for the African Union Mission in Darfur and in Somalia in NATO Press Release (2007)067, “Final Communiqué, Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defense Ministers Session,” June 14, 2007,, accessed February 1, 2006.

63 R. Nicholas Burns, “NATO and the Greater Middle East,” Speech by the Permanent Representative of the U.S. to NATO on May 18, 2004, Brussels,, accessed February 1, 2006.

64 Michael Rühle, “Entwicklungslinien des Atlantischen Bündnis” [The Atlantic Alliance’s Lines of Development], Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, No. 43/2006, October 23, 2006, pp. 03-10.

65 Helga Haftendorn described NATO as one of the “most prominent victims” of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Helga Haftendorn, Das Ende der NATO [The End of NATO], Internationale Politik, Vol. 57, No. 4, 2002, pp. 49-54 (49).

66 Michael Rühle, “NATO after Riga – A New Direction?” in: NATO’s Nations and Partners for Peace, 1/2007, pp. 36-41 (37).

67 For others, this multilateral way of promoting transatlantic reassurance seemed insufficient. Instead, they are looking for closer bilateral relations to the United States to lessen their individual perception of the risk of abandonment. The missile defense debate inside of Europe regarding American radar and missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic in the first half of 2007 can be seen in these terms. Frank Elbe und Ulrich Weisser, “Europas Raketenkrise,” Welt Online, May 13, 2007,

68 NATO Press Release, “Press Release (2003) 64 of June 12, 2003, Ministerial Meeting of the Defense Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group held in Brussels on Thursday, June 12, 2003, Final Communiqué,” Paragraph 5.

69 It is also seen by the U.S. as a “litmus test for the seriousness of European defense policy.” Gustav E. Gustenau and Johann Frank, “Divergenz oder Komplementarität?” [Divergent or Complementary?], p. 13.

70 “Riga Summit Declaration,” Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Riga on November 29, 2006, Paragraph 23, NATO Press Release (2006) 150 November 29, 2006,, accessed February 1, 2006.

71 “Riga Summit Declaration,” Paragraph 23.

72 Victoria Nuland, Permanent Representative of the United States at NATO, acknowledged the fact, “that some Allies have been forced into deciding whether to contribute to operations in Afghanistan or to the NATO Response Force.” But she also stressed that “the problem, of course, is that we are not faced with a choice. We must develop a deployable capability and sustain all of our current operations, keeping the promises that we have made not just to ourselves and to our people but to the fragile states that need our help, our political support, and the security only we can provide.” Victoria Nuland, “NATO’s Mission in Afghanistan: Putting Theory into Practice,” NATO Review, No. 4, Winter 2006. See also “Is NRF Really at Full Operational Capability?” CSIC Article, December 08, 2006,, accessed on January 8, 2007.

73 For this and the next citation, see “Alliance Retreats on Creation of Attack Force: Decision is a Blow to NATO’s Hopes for Flexible Military Wing,” International Herald Tribune, September 21, 2007, p.1 and 3.

74 James A. Thomson, “A New Partnership, New NATO Military Structures,” in: David C. Gompert and F. Stephen Larrabee (eds.): America and Europe: A Partnership for a New Era, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 79-103.

75 Olaf Theiler, “Das Ende der ‘drei Musketiere’: Die Neue NATO nach dem Irak-Konflikt” [The End of the ‘Three Musketeers’: The New NATO after the Iraq Conflict], Wissenschaft und Sicherheit – Beiträge zur Sicherheitspolitik, No. 3, March 2004, BSR-Arbeitskreise Sicherheitspolitik an Hochschulen, Bonn, 2004, pp. 14-23.

76 For this and the next quote, see Colin Powell, “The American Commitment to European Security,” Survival, Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer 1992, pp. 3-11 (7).

77 David Law and Michael Rühle, “Die NATO und das ‘Out-of-area’-Problem” [NATO and the “Out-of-area”- Problem], Europa Archiv, No. 15/16, 1992, pp. 439-444 (p. 439).

78 “The Alliance’s Strategic Concept (1991),” Part IV, Paragraph 36, p. 9.

79 Klaus Witmann, “Gewandeltes Selbstverständnis und erweitertes Aufgabenspektrum. Der Weg zum neuen Strategischen Konzept der NATO” [Changed Self-Awareness and an Expanded Spectrum of Tasks. The Road to NATO’s New Strategic Concept], Truppenpraxis, No. 7-8, 1999, pp. 468-477.

80 NATO Office of Information and Press, “The Alliance’s Strategic Concept (1991),” Part IV, Paragraph 36, p. 9. See also Rob de Wijk, “Toward a New Political Strategy for NATO,” NATO Review, No. 4, Summer 1998, pp. 14-18 (15). It can be assumed that the military side had already included the possibility of “out-of-area” operations in the concept in 1990/91. On this topic, see Paul Cornish, “European Security: The End of Architecture and the New NATO,” International Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 4, October 1996, pp. 751-769 (759). Due to the formative influence of SACEUR General Galvin on the process of military reform, the Americans succeeded in defining the actual requirements for operations of this type, which also permit more flexible ad hoc alliances along the lines of the Gulf War coalition, in addition to operations conducted under the NATO flag. This may have further increased France’s mistrust of the American-dominated integrated military staff.

81 Kori Schake, “Adapting NATO after the Cold War,” in Gustav Schmidt (ed.): A History of NATO: The First Fifty Years, 3 Volumes, Basingstoke, New York, Palgrave, 2001, Vol. 2, Part V, pp. 29-42 (31).

82 On this topic, see Paul Cornish, “European Security: The End of Architecture and the New NATO,” International Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 4, October 1996, pp. 751-769 (759).

83 The North Atlantic Council decided on June 4, 1992, “to support, on a case-by-case basis in accordance with our own procedures, peacekeeping activities under the responsibility of the CSCE.” “Final Communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Oslo, June 4, 1992,” NATO Office of Information and Press, Texts of Statements, Declarations and Final Communiqués issued at meetings held at Ministerial level during 1992, Brussels, NATO, 1992, pp. 29-34 (31-32).

84 “Final Communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels,” December 17, 1992, Ibid., pp. 47-52 (48).

85 Stanley R. Sloan, “NATO’s Future: Beyond Collective Defense,” INSS-Studies, McNair Paper, No. 46, p. 13.

86 See: Olaf Theiler, NATO: Sicherheitspolitische Aufgabenfelder und Missionen [NATO: Security Policy Tasks and Missions], p. 208.

87 Thomas Paulson, Die Jugoslawienpolitik der USA 1989 – 1994: Begrenztes Engagement und Konfliktdynamik [U.S. Policy on Yugoslavia from 1989 to 1994: Limited Commitment and Conflict Dynamic], Baden-Baden, 1995, p. 178.

88 See: Olaf Theiler, “Die NATO im Umbruch” [NATO in a State of Upheaval], p. 141.

89 The Stability Pact was initiated by the European Union as the “first comprehensive conflict-prevention strategy of the international community, aimed at strengthening the efforts of the countries of South East Europe in fostering peace, democracy, respect for human rights, and economic prosperity.” Its founding document is the Cologne Document, agreed on by the Heads of State and Governments of the European Union, Cologne, June 10, 1999,, accessed on February, 2006. See also Gregory G. Johnson, “Examining the SFOR Experience,” NATO Review, Winter 2004.

90 “NATO’s Future Role in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” NATO Update, December 2, 2004,, accessed on February 1, 2006. See also Frank Kupferschmidt, “Strategische Partnerschaft in der Bewährung: Die Zusammenarbeit von NATO und EU bei der Operation Althea” [Strategic Partnership put to the Test: The Cooperation of NATO and EU during the Operation Althea], SWP-Studie S7, April 2006, pp. 19-21.

91 Klaus Naumann, “Kosovo – Modell für die Zukunft?” [Kosovo – A Model for the Future?] in: Erich Reiter (ed.), Jahrbuch für internationale Sicherheitspolitik 2000 [Yearbook for International Security Policy 2000], Hamburg, Mittler, 2000, pp. 657-678 (663-664 and 667). For a general account of U.S. involvement in the Balkans, see Karin von Hippel, Democracy by Force: U.S. Intervention in the Post-Cold War World, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

92 Sven Bernhard Gareis and Johannes Varwick, Die Vereinten Nationen: Eine Einführung [The United Nations: An Introduction]. Opladen, 2002, p. 191.

93 Klaus Naumann, “Der nächste Konflikt wird kommen” [The Next Conflict will Come], Europäische Sicherheit, Vol. 48, No. 11, November 1999, p. 8 and. p. 14 (8).

94 In 1999, the military term “collateral damage” was declared “non-word of the year” in Germany.

95 Karl Schwarz, “NATO: Erfolg nach 79 Tagen Bombardement” [NATO: Success after 79 Days of Bombing], Flug-Revue, No. 8, 1999, pp. 60-61.

96 NATO Topics, “Kosovo Force (KFOR): How Did it Evolve?,”, accessed on January 26, 2007.

97 Christian Millotat, “Neue Wege bei Planung und Durchführung von militärischen Einsätzen bei Friedens-missionen” [New Approaches to the Planning and Implementation of Military Operations during Peace Missions], Europäische Sicherheit, No. 10, 2004, pp. 8-11 (8).

98 NATO Topics, Kosovo Force (KFOR), how did it evolve?

99 German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Development in Kosovo,”, accessed on February 20, 2007.

100 Stefanie Bolzen, “Verhandlungen zum Kosovo in Wien eröffnet: Erste direkte Gespräche zwischen Serben undAlbanern seit Kriegsende - UNO dämpft Erwartungen” [Negotiations on Kosovo Launched in Vienna. First Direct Discussions between Serbs and Albanians since the End of the War – UN Lowers Expectations], Die Welt, February 24, 2006. See also Michael Martens, “Machtpoker im Kosovo: Nach dem Tod von Ibrahim Rugova” [Maneuvering for Power in Kosovo: After the Death of Ibrahim Rugova], Das Parlament, No. 5, January 30, 2006.

101 The proposal is available at, accessed on February 22, 2007.

102 “Protektorat Kosovo” [Protectorate Kosovo], Welt Online, April 4, 2007.

103 Stephanie Bolzen, “Kosovo-Frage belastet deutsch-amerikanisches Verhältnis: Im Streit mit Russland hegen Amerikaner Misstrauen gegenüber Berlin – Troika startet letzten Vermittlungsversuch – Statuslösung außerhalb der UN?” [Kosovo question burdens German-American relation: In the dispute with Russia, Americans mistrust Berlin – Troika launches last mediation attempt – Status solution outside UN?], Die Welt, August 9, 2007. deutsch-amerikanisches_Verhältnis.html.

104 Wolfgang Fechner, “Ohne die USA geht nichts - Ohne die Europäer auch nicht” [The U.S. is Indispensable – As are the Europeans], Europäische Sicherheit, Vol. 50, No. 3, 2001, pp. 10-13.

105 Javier Solana, “From Dayton Implementation to European Integration,” NATO Review, Winter 2004.

106 Olaf Theiler; “All for One and One for All?” pp. 37-38.

107 Ted Galen Carpenter, “NATO’s New Strategic Concept: Coherent Blueprint or Conceptional Muddle?” in Ders (ed.), NATO Enters the 21st Century, London, Frank Cass, 2001, pp. 7-28 (15-16).

108 “The New Multilateralism,” The Wall Street Journal, 8 January 2004,, accessed on July 24, 2005.

109 Peter van Ham, “EU, NATO, OSCE: Interaction, Cooperation, and Confrontation,” p. 166.

110 Statement by the North Atlantic Council, NATO Press Release, PR/CP (2001) 124 of September 12, 2001. See: also the very personal description of the events in NATO that led to the invocation of Article 5 by Edgar Buckley, “Invoking Article 5,” NATO Review, Summer 2006,, accessed February 1, 2006.

111 In this way, the “new transatlantic harmony gave way to major disillusionment.” Nikolas Busse, “Europa muss umdenken” [Europe Must Rethink], Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 4, 2001, p. 1. The limited support the U.S. officially requested from NATO involved: 1) “Operation Eagle Assist,” i.e. the dispatch of five AWACS aircraft to patrol the skies over North American territory from October 9, 2001, until May 16, 2002, as U.S. Air Force aircraft were being used in Operation “Enduring Freedom”; 2) the sending of a standing naval force consisting of eight frigates and destroyers to the Eastern Mediterranean, to protect and patrol the sea routes there inter alia “as a sign of solidarity with the U.S. and NATO’s determination”; 3) the use of NATO infrastructure. On this topic, see the interview with the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, General Kujat, with INTR@NET aktuell on German participation in Operation “Enduring Freedom,” December 11, 2001. See also the NATO Press Release (2002) 057 of April 30, 2002: “Statement by the Secretary General on the Conclusion of Operation Eagle Assist.”

112 See: for example, Timot Szent-Ivanyi and Bettina Vestring, “USA verzichtet auf militärischen Beistand der NATO” [USA Foregoes Military Assistance from NATO], Berliner Zeitung, September 27, 2001, p. 1.

113 Edgar Buckley, “Invoking Article 5.”

114 Diego A. Ruiz Palmer, “The Road to Kabul,” NATO Review, Summer 2003, pp. 9-12. But still, the U.S. government was “shunting NATO away from combat areas. That finally changed in 2005, when Washington had to admit that it did not have enough troops to control the embattled south.” This has probably made the fight against the Taliban much more difficult. “The Good War, Still to Be Won,” International Herald Tribune, August 20, 2007.

115 “NATO Fact Sheet: International Security Assistance Force,” July 3, 2007, “NATO Fact Sheet: NATO Support to Afghan National Army (ANA),” June 2007, “NATO Fact Sheet: Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) Program,” June 2007, and “NATO Fact Sheet: ISAF Key Figures,” July 16, 2007. All published at, accessed on February 1, 2006. See also “NATO Briefing: Helping Secure Afghanistan’s Future,” NATO Office of Public Diplomacy, October 2006. In the end, the Afghan National Army will provide more than 70,000 soldiers adding to the planned 82,000 personnel of the Afghan National Police Force. The training and equipping of the Afghan National Police Force is basically provided by the U.S. and – since June 2007 – also by the European Union. See: “EU to Begin Police Training Mission in Afghanistan: Experts Say Afghanistan Needs over 30 Percent More Law Enforcement Officers, Deutsche Welle, May 30,2007,,2144,2569001,00.html, accessed February 1, 2006.

116 Michael Rühle, “NATO after Riga – A New Direction?” NATO’s Nations and Partners for Peace, 1/2007, p. 39. One point of criticism is that the amount of money for development and reconstruction is still not sufficient: “In proportion to its population, Afghanistan has received less U.S. development assistance than Bosnia, Kosovo, or Haiti,” at least in the years 2001 to 2005. But although this has changed now, “with much of the money going to security-related areas like military training and drug eradication, the amount left for rebuilding… is grossly insufficient”. “The good war, still to be won, International Herald Tribune, August 20, 2007.

117 Robert E. Gates, “Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy,” February 11, 2007,, accessed on March 23, 2007.

118 Colin Powell, “Dauernd wird auf uns eingedroschen” [We are Constantly Being Laid Into], U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell defends America against its European critics and praises the new NATO in a discussion with ‘Die Zeit’ newspaper, Die Zeit, No. 22, May 23, 2002, p. 9.

119 Adam Kobieracki, “NATO’s Evolving Operations,” NATO Review, Summer 2004.

120 See: Olaf Theiler, “Die NATO im Umbruch [NATO in a State of Upheaval],” pp. 221-226 and pp. 232-238. See also Charles Barry, “NATO’s Combined Joint Task Forces in Theory and Practice,” Survival, Vol. 38, No. 1, Spring 1996.

121 On this topic, see the “Prague Summit Declaration,” issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Prague on November 21, 2002,, accessed on July 27, 2005.

122 Barbara Renne, Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality], p. 63. For details about the NRF, see “Briefing: Operational Capabilities, 10. NATO Response Force,” 2006/html_en/capabilities10.html, accessed on January 8, 2007.

123 This linking of the NRF and PCC “earned the Prague Capability Commitments the cynical epithet of ’Buy American Commitment.’” Ibid., p. 64. It deals specifically with skill gaps in the areas of leadership and command structures, intelligence gathering and analysis, strategic transport capacities, precision and long range weapons systems, and endurance and survival skills. See Patrick Fitschen, “‘Rollenspezialisierungen’ und ‘Pooling’ – Zauberformeln für ESVP und NATO?” [“Role Specialization” and “Pooling” – Magic Words for the ESDP and NATO?], in: Johannes Varwick (ed.), Die Beziehungen zwischen NATO und EU: Partnerschaft, Konkurrenz, Rivalität? [NATO-EU Relations: Partnership, Competition, Rivalry?] Opladen, 2005, pp. 139-153 (143-145).

124 Pierre Lellouche, “Where’s NATO headed?” NATO Review, No. 4, Winter 2006.

125 Robert P. Grant, “Sustaining the U.S. Commitment to NATO,” in: Gustav Schmidt (ed.), A History of NATO: The First Fifty Years, 3 Volumes, Basingstoke, New York, Palgrave, 2001, Vol. 2, Part V, pp. 43-61 (54).

126 This fact might be part of the background which has lead to a renewed interest of the United States in NATO since 2004. John O’Sullivan, “With Friends Like… Whom?: The Sorry Search for Non-European Allies,” National Review, July 1, 2002.

127Victoria Nuland, “NATO’s Mission in Afghanistan.”

128 As an example see “Kanada erwägt Rückzug aus Afghanistan” [Canada Considers Withdrawal from Afghanistan],, Februar 13, 2007.

129 Jaap de Hoof Scheffer, “Reflections on the Riga Summit,” NATO-Review, No. 4, Winter 2006.

130 Richard Holbrook, “America, A European Power,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 74, No. 2, March/April 1995, pp. 38-51.

131 See: for example, Timothy Garton Ash, “Freie Welt: Europa, Amerika und die Chance der Krise” [Free World: America, Europe, and the Surprising Future of the West].

132 Despite all of the legitimate cultural and social criticism of the “U.S. system,” which also existed during the Cold War (although it was often exploited by and entrenched in East-West antagonism at the time), the cultural dominance of the U.S. in the second half of the 20th century, and its widespread effect of encouraging many people to identify themselves as “Western,” should not be underestimated.

133 Geir Lundestad, “‘Empire’ by Integration: The United States and European Integration, 1945-1997,” New York, Oxford University Press, 1998.

134 This effect became noticeable, for example, during the internal Alliance discussions on arming the Bundeswehr, in which the presence of the American armed forces in the Federal Republic “as an element in the cement which binds Europe together” made a substantial contribution to mollifying the neighboring states. The quote is from the then U.S. Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, in Hermann-Josef Rupieper’s: “Deutsche Frage und europäische Sicherheit – Politisch-strategische Überlegungen 1953/1955” [The German Question and European Security – Politico-Strategic Reflections from 1953/1955], in: Bruno Thoss und Hans-Erich Volkmann (eds.): “Zwischen Kaltem Krieg und Entspannung: Sicherheits- und Deutschlandpolitik der Bundesrepublik im Mächte- system der Jahre 1953-1956” [Between the Cold War and Détente: The Federal Republic’s Policy on Security and Germany in the Power System from 1953 to 1956]. In: Militärgeschichte seit 1945 [Military History Since 1945], Vol. 9, Boppard am Rhein, Harald Boldt, 1988, pp. 179-209 (180).

135 Ernst-Otto Czempiel, “Risse im Bündnis: Die transatlantischen Beziehungen brauchen mehr Gleichberechtigung” [Cracks in the Alliance: More Equality Needed in Transatlantic Relations], in: Stefan Reinicke (ed.), Die Neue NATO [The New NATO], Hamburg, Rotbuch, 2000, pp. 113-131 (120).

136 Alfred Pfaller, “Was kann Europa tun, wenn Amerika tut, was es will?” [What Can Europe Do When America Does As It Pleases?], Bonn, 2003,, accessed on January 6, 2006. See also Norman Birnbaum, “Das Ende der NATO: Gehen Europa und die USA schon bald getrennte Wege?” [The End of NATO: Will Europe and the U.S. Soon Go Separate Ways?], in: Stefan Reinicke (ed.): Die Neue NATO [The New NATO], pp. 99-112.

137 See, for example, the anthology by David C. Gompert, Richard L. Kugler and Martin C. Libicki, Mind the Gap: Promoting a Transatlantic Revolution in Military Affairs, Washington, D.C., National Defense University, 1999.

138 Norbert Eitelhuber, “Europäische Streitkräfte unter dem Zwang der Bescheidung: Partner der USA nur bei friedenserhaltenden Einsätzen” [European Armed Forces Compelled by Moderation: Partners of the U.S. Only in Peacekeeping Operations], in: Thomas Jäger, Alexander Höse and Kai Oppermann (eds.), Die Sicherheits- strategien Europas und der USA: Transatlantische Entwürfe für eine Weltordnungspolitik [The Security Strategies of Europe and the U.S.: Transatlantic Plans for Global Governance], Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2005, pp. 198-222 (208).

139 This was the leitmotif of American foreign and security policy formulated by Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, quoted in Alexander Siedschlag, “Weltordnung zwischen Hypermacht und Konsensbildung?” [The World Order between Hyperpower and Consensus-Building?], in: Welttrends, Vol. 11, No. 40, 2003, pp. 92-96 (93).

140 Stephan Böckenförde, “Konfliktregelung und Friedenssicherung II: Die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika” [Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping II: The United States of America], in: Frieden und Sicherheit im 21. Jahrhundert: Eine Einführung [Peace and Security in the 21st Century: An Introduction], Opladen, Leske & Budrich, 2004, pp. 151-171 (151-152).

141On this basic problem of security policy cooperation in the field of tension between the risks of “entanglement” on the one hand and of being “left in the lurch” on the other, which is also known as the “Alliance dilemma,” see Olaf Theiler, “Die NATO im Umbruch” [NATO in a State of Upheaval], pp. 21-22.

142 Thomas Jäger, “Ordnung, Bedrohung, Identität: Grundlagen außenpolitischer Strategien” [Order, Threat, Identity: Foundations of Foreign Policy Strategies], in: Thomas Jäger, Alexander Höse and Kai Oppermann (eds.), Die Sicherheitsstrategien Europas und der USA: Transatlantische Entwürfe für eine Weltordnungspolitik [The Security Strategies of Europe and the U.S.: Transatlantic Plans for Global Governance], Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2005, pp. 9-26 (25).

143 On this topic, see inter alia Olaf Theiler, “Das amerikanische Selbstbild und die Zukunft der transatlantischen Beziehungen” [The American Self-Image and the Future of Transatlantic Relations], in: Reader Sicherheits- politik, Supplementary Issue 2/99, Information für die Truppe (IFDT), Issue 2/1999.

144 Ernst-Otto Czempiel, “Risse im Bündnis” [Cracks in the Alliance], p. 120.

145 Gunter Hofmann, “Des Rudels Kern: Der Terror in Madrid fordert Europa heraus. Wie findet die EU in der Be-drohung zusammen? Außenminister Fischer entwirft eine ‘strategische’ Union. Der Kanzler ist skeptisch” [The Core of the Group: Terror in Madrid Throws Down the Gauntlet to Europe. How Will Europe Come Together in the Face of the Threat? Foreign Minister Fischer Plans a “Strategic” Union. The Chancellor is Skeptical], Die Zeit, March 25, 2004.

146 For the current state of transatlantic opinion polls, see, Transatlantic Trends, Key Findings, The German Marshall Fund, 2006.

147 See: Philipp Wittrock, “Abu-Ghureib-Folterskandal: Archiv des Grauens geöffnet” [Abu Ghraib torture scandal: Archive of Horror opened], Spiegel-Online, March 15, 2006,,1518,406163,00.html, accessed February 1, 2006.

148 These practices led to criminal investigations in several European nations, including Germany, Italy, Spain and France. See “Gefangenentransporte: Ermittlungen gegen die CIA überall in Europa” [Renditions: Investigations against CIA all over Europe], Die Welt, February 1, 2007.

149 Charles A. Kupchan, “The Travails of Union,” p. 115.

150 Comments made by the German Federal Minister of Defense, Peter Struck, in Berlin. See “Kooperation als Schlüssel zu einer europäischen Sicherheitsarchitektur” [Cooperation as the Key to a European Security Architecture], press release on the Second Handelsblatt Conference on “Security Policy and the Defense Industry” on April 12 and 13, 2005, Berlin,, accessed on August 2, 2005.

151 Pierre Lellouche, “Where is NATO headed?”

152 George W. Bush, “President’s Address to the Nation,” January 10, 2007,, accessed February 1, 2006.

153 Francis Fukuyama, “Schöne neue U.S.-Welt: Der Irak-Krieg war trotz aktueller Probleme kein Fehler. Die USA sollten auch künftig instabilen Staaten helfen, sich selbst besser zu regieren” [The Brave New World of the U.S.: The War in Iraq Was Not a Mistake Despite Current Problems. The U.S. Should Continue to Help Unstable States Govern Themselves Better in the Future], Welt am Sonntag, February 8, 2004.

154 Quoted in Hans Krech, “Auf der Suche nach der erfolgreichen Strategie im Irak” [Searching for a successful strategy in Iraq], Europäische Sicherheit, No. 1, 2007, p. 78.

155 Robert D. Kaplan, “Go in Early, Go in Light, Go with Civilians: The Lessons of Iraq,” International Herald Tribune, February 22, 2006, p. 8.

156 Patrick Fitschen, “‘Rollenspezialisierungen’ und ‘Pooling’ – Zauberformeln für ESVP und NATO?” [“Role Specialization” and “Pooling” – Magic Words for the ESDP and NATO?], p. 152.

157 NATO Press Release (2006) 150, Riga Summit Declaration, Paragraph 10,, accessed February 1, 2006.

158 See: also for the following, “Comprehensive Political Guidance, Endorsed by NATO Heads of State and Government,” November 29, 2006, Paragraph 3,, accessed February 1, 2006.

159 Elaine Sciolino, “Drifting NATO Finds New Purpose with Afghanistan and Iraq,” New York Times, February 23, 2004.

160 Quoted from “Struck: Es reicht nicht, vorgefertigte Statements abzulesen” [Struck: Reading Out Prepared Statements is Not Enough], Süddeutsche Zeitung, May 13, 2005.

161 “Comprehensive Political Guidance,” November 29, 2006, Paragraph 7.

162 See: “EU Ministers to Approve Afghan Police Mission, Appoint German Commander, International Herald Tribune, May 10, 2007.

163 Peter van Ham, “EU, NATO, OSCE: Interaction, Cooperation, and Confrontation,” p. 160.

164 “Reinventing NATO – Does the Alliance Reflect the Changing Nature of Transatlantic Security?” Keynote address by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the “New Defense Agenda” Conference, Brussels, May 24, 2005,, accessed July 30, 2005.

165 Press point by NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Mr. Soren Jessen-Petersen, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Kosovo, NATO Headquarters, July 12, 2005,, accessed July 30, 2005.

166 Roy H. Ginsberg, “The European Union in International Politics,” p. 57.

167 Wolfram Hilz, “Die Sicherheitspolitik des europäischen Führungstrios” [Security Policy of the European Leading Trias], Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, Nr. 38-39, 2005, September 23, 2005, pp. 15-22 (p. 20). The original German text is: “positive Bewertung der bisherigen Performance der EU in diesem Spektrum der Petersberg-Aufgaben durch ihre Mitglieder und die USA.”

168 Peter van Ham, “EU, NATO, OSCE: Interaction, Cooperation, and Confrontation,” p. 159.

169 Gustav E. Gustenau and Johann Frank, “Divergenz oder Komplementarität?” p. 1. 170 Barbara Renne, Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality], p. 64.

170 Barbara Renne, Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality], p. 64.

171 Joschka Fischer, “EU-Gipfel: Knapp am Totalschaden vorbei “[EU Summit: Total Loss Barely Avoided]. In, See also, “Die Lähmung ist überwunden” [The Paralysis Is Overcome], Die Zeit, June 26, 2007, accessed on February 1, 2006.

172 Charles A. Kupchan, “The Travails of Union,” p. 103.

173 Olaf Theiler, “Der Wandel der NATO nach dem Ende des Ost-West-Konfliktes” [The Changes to NATO after the East-West Conflict], p. 136.

174 Peter van Ham, “EU, NATO, OSCE: Interaction, Cooperation, and Confrontation,” p. 160.

175 Olaf Theiler, “Die NATO im Umbruch” [NATO in a State of Upheaval], pp. 43-48.

176 John O’Sullivan, “Un-Welcome Mat,” New York Post, February 27, 2005.

177 On this term, see Timothy Garton Ash, Freie Welt: Europa, Amerika und die Chance der Krise [Free World: America, Europe, and the Surprising Future of the West].

178 For this and the next quote, see Jeffrey L. Cimbalo, “Saving NATO from Europe,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 6, November/December 2004, pp. 111-121 (111 and 121).

179 John O’Sullivan, “With Friends Like… Whom?: The Sorry Search for Non-European Allies.”

180 Peter van Ham, “EU, NATO, OSCE: Interaction, Cooperation, and Confrontation,” p. 160.

181 Olaf Theiler, “All for One and One for All?” pp. 46-47.

182 Jeffrey L. Cimbalo, “Saving NATO from Europe,” p. 115.

183 François Heisbourg, “Trittbrettfahrer? Keine Europäische Verteidigung ohne Deutschland” [Freeloader? No European Defense Without Germany], in: Angelika Volle and Werner Weidenfeld (eds.), Europäische Sicherheitspolitik in der Bewährung. Beiträge und Dokumente aus Europa-Archiv und Internationale Politik (1990-2000) [Proving the Worth of European Security Policy. Contributions and Documents from “Europa- Archiv” and “Internationale Politik” Journals (1990-2000)], Bielefeld, Bertelsmann, 2000, pp. 55-62 (56).

184 Barbara Renne, Die Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit [European Security and Defense Policy between Demands and Reality], p. 48. On this topic, see also Konstanty Gebert, “Between the European Union and the United States: Does Poland Have to Choose?” in: Daniel S. Hamilton (ed.), Conflict and Cooperation in Transatlantic Relations, Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press, 2004, pp. 25-31.

185 In the original it is quoted: “Zerfällt die Pax Americana vollends, beginnt eine Weltunordnung, der Europa nicht gewachsen ist, heute nicht und noch auf lange Zeit nicht?” Michael Stürmer, “Geteilter Irak, geteiltes Leid?” [Divided Iraq, Shared Misery?], Die Welt, October 16, 2006.

186 Peter van Ham, “EU, NATO, OSCE: Interaction, Cooperation, and Confrontation,” p. 160.

187 “Kehrt Frankreich in die NATO zurück? Bilderstürmerische Überlegungen von Verteidigungsminister Morin” [Will France Rejoin NATO? Revolutionary Thinking of Defense Minister Morin], NZZ-Online, September 13, 2007.

188 Franz Josef Jung, “Deutschlands Sicherheit in einer Welt des Wandels” [German Security in a World of Change], Europäische Sicherheit, No. 1, January 2007, pp. 14-21 (p. 16).

189 John F. Kennedy, “Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 4, 1962,” The Public Papers of President John F. Kennedy 1962,, accessed on August 3, 2005.


For Academic Citation: Olaf Theiler, “Sword or Ploughshare? New Roles for NATO and the Changing Nature of Transatlantic Relations,” Marshall Center Occasional Paper, no. 17, February 2008,

About the Author

Dr. Olaf Theiler is a political scientist who works for the German Armed Forces. He holds a Masters degree in History-Science from the Humboldt-University in Berlin (1994) and a doctoral degree on NATO’s reform process since 1990 from the Free University of Berlin (2003). Before his engagement at the Academy of the German Armed Forces for Information and Communication (AIK) in Strausberg, Germany (1998-2007), he worked as a researcher at the Free University of Berlin. His research activities focus on American Foreign Policy, Transatlantic Relations, NATO and European Security Policy. He has published several articles and studies on these issues. In Summer 2005 he participated in the Executive Program of the Advanced Security Studies at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Since June 2007 he works as a national specialist sent by the German Ministry of Defense to NATO’s Operations Division in the International Staff of NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies is a leading transatlantic defense educational and security studies institution. It is bilaterally supported by the U.S. and German governments and dedicated to the creation of a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships, especially in the field of defense; promoting active, peaceful security cooperation; and enhancing enduring partnerships among the countries of North America, Europe, and Eurasia.

The Marshall Center Occasional Paper Series seeks to further the legacy of the Center’s namesake, General George C. Marshall, by disseminating scholarly essays that contribute to his ideal of ensuring that Europe and Eurasia are democratic, free, undivided, and at peace. Papers selected for this series are meant to identify, discuss, and influence current defense related security issues. The Marshall Center Occasional Paper Series focus is on comparative and interdisciplinary topics, including international security and democratic defense management, defense institution building, civil-military relations, strategy formulation, terrorism studies, defense planning, arms control, stability operations, peacekeeping, crisis management, regional and cooperative security. The Marshall Center Occasional Papers are written by Marshall Center faculty and staff, Marshall Center alumni, or by individual, invited contributors, and are disseminated online and in a paper version.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the U.S. Department of Defense, the German Ministry of Defense, or the U.S. and German Governments. This report is approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.