The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001,
Madrid in 2004, and London in 2005 profoundly demonstrate the
new security threats facing the West. Transnational terrorism, the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and unstable or
failed states present daunting challenges to the entire
Euro-Atlantic community and require a long-term sustained
It is essential that Europe rise to the challenge of these new
threats. Finding the right strategic and structural balance is
equally imperative. A strong Europe of independent self-determining
nation-states invested in NATO and protected by NATO will
contribute far more to transatlantic security than will a
deeply integrated European Union (EU) usurping NATO's role.
The European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) has emerged as
one of the biggest attempts to expand EU power to date,
centralizing the most important tools of nation-statehood. The
militarization of the European Union marks one of the greatest
geopolitical shifts in the transatlantic alliance since the end of
the Second World War. As a political initiative, it embodies
the worst elements of European animosity toward the United States
and would fundamentally undermine the NATO alliance and the
Anglo-American Special Relationship.
A Challenge to the Transatlantic
Since its establishment in 1998, the ESDP has been fashioned by
EU elites into a military identity distinct from and independent of
NATO. It has become a tool for projecting European power in the
world and promoting the EU as a global actor. The EU has long used
institutional program-building to advance its centralizing and
integrationist policies, and the ESDP is critical to achieving
"ever closer union."
The ESDP's Franco-British Foundations. When British Prime
Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac heralded
the ESDP at St. Malo, France, in 1998, it was reasonable to assume
that Blair envisioned an ESDP very different from the one
envisioned by Chirac--an ESDP that would complement NATO, not rival
it. On the other hand, the French have long coveted a European
defense identity specifically to counter American global power.
Through a supranational foray into foreign policy areas such as
military operations, the ESDP became Chirac's latest ruse to rival
America. When EU elites talk about the balance of power, they mean
that the EU should balance American hyperpuissance. As
Lady Margaret Thatcher stated:
France has for many years wanted to see an alternative
military power to an American-led NATO. The European Union's plans
for a separate integrated European defence provided the French
with a unique opportunity to achieve this goal.
Rather than meaningfully address shared transatlantic
security challenges, the militarization of the EU through the ESDP
actually presents a number of challenges by itself. The U.S. should
not confuse its desire to see European countries take on more
security and defense responsibilities, both in Europe and in
the wider world, with the ramifications of further European
military integration--especially in terms of America's ability to
build alliances. The potential to destabilize the successful
transatlantic security alliance has never been greater, and in that
respect, the ESDP should not be viewed as an effective
Alliance-building is increasingly problematic for Washington
under the ESDP. Turkey's membership in NATO and Greece's and
Cyprus's memberships in the EU present a profound conflict for the
two organizations. EU access to NATO assets under the 2003
Berlin-Plus arrangements has (rightly) long been a matter of great
concern to Turkey--one of the few NATO allies that is spending up
to par on its defense--and remains a point of contention between
these conflicting and competing alliances.
The EU's Operation Concordia in Macedonia was delayed precisely
because of this conflict. Under the ESDP, Operation Concordia was
scheduled to replace NATO's Operation Amber Fox on October 26,
2002. However, prolonged Greek-Turkish negotiations on mutual
assurances between the EU and NATO meant that Operation Concordia
was not launched until March 31, 2003. This demonstrates the
inherent problem with duplicate structures and the serious
political challenges for the U.S. in managing global alliances.
Central and Eastern European countries have long worried that
divisions created by the ESDP might lead America to abandon its
interests on the European continent. Because of their history, they
have been the first to recognize the strategic threat to them and
to wider Europe. NATO, backed by the United States, was a direct
guarantor of their safety and security for most of the 20th
century, facing down the Soviet Union from a position of
Poland and the Czech Republic have both staked enormous
political capital on moving forward with America's proposed
ballistic missile defense installations in their countries to
shore up their bilateral alliances with the United States and make
a solid contribution to NATO. However, they are equally engrossed
in other challenges, as National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley
The new members have generally deferred to the
precedents and policies of the old members. Preoccupied with
neighbourhood affairs and accession subsidies, they have not
obstructed the more ambitious out-of-area forays of the
America must therefore shore up its bilateral relations
with these countries and encourage them to pursue security and
defense agendas that are commensurate with the aims of the
transatlantic alliance and their own broader strategic interests.
For example, the European ballistic missile installations
allow America to extend its own security umbrella and protect its
European allies at the same time.
While the ESDP currently comes under the second of the EU's
three policy areas, or pillars, it is tremendous institutional
pressure from below that determines common political positions in
advance of the European Council's quarterly meetings. General
guidelines, political direction, and strategic management of the
Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) are set before the
European Council meetings, with multiple committees and complex
institutional arrangements predetermining much of the eventual
outcome. The European Commission is fully associated with the CFSP,
currently taking the right of policy initiative and managing the
CFSP budget line. The fact that the European Defense Agency (EDA)
already takes decisions by qualified majority voting is a major
departure for such high-level strategic decision-making.
Under the proposed EU Reform Treaty, things will certainly get
worse in terms of diminishing EU member states' sovereignty. The
Reform Treaty proposes:
The Union's competence in matters of common
foreign and security policy shall cover all areas of foreign policy
and all questions relating to the Union's security, including
the progressive framing of a common defence policy that might
lead to a common defence.
Under the treaty, a beefed-up foreign minister would have the
right to speak in the U.N. Security Council and the power to
appoint EU envoys. The EU has already undertaken more than a dozen
missions under the CFSP's European Security and Defense
Policy. With an enhanced profile and budget, a diplomatic
corps, and the right to speak on Britain's behalf in multilateral
institutions, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy would not enjoy the official title of
foreign minister, but he would enjoy its powers and
The Special Relationship. The institutional and political
constraints demanded by further European integration will severely
limit Britain's ability to build international alliances and make
foreign policy. The biggest damage will be done to Britain's
enduring alliance with the United States. British-based EU
commentator Christopher Booker argues that the integration of
British military arrangements with the European Union represents a
fundamental threat to the Special Relationship:
The nature of this new military relationship with her
European partners will make it increasingly hard for the UK
either to fight independently or to co-operate militarily with
the US. That "special relationship" which has been the cornerstone
of British defense policy from the time of the Second World
War up to the recent US-British coalition in Iraq will be at an
British academic Richard North maintains that the "secret"
realignment of the U.K.'s procurement policy demonstrates the gulf
opening up between the U.K. and U.S. North notes that two
competing and "incompatible" high-tech warfare systems are being
developed by America and Europe and demonstrates Britain's
systematic realignment toward the latter. Tony Blair's decision to
opt for the more expensive French Meteor missiles rather than the
tried and tested American Raytheon missiles is just one in a long
line of decisions highlighting the increasingly America-averse
direction of British procurement policy since the ESDP's
inception. The sheer expense and unreliability of this deal also
challenges the myth that Europe-wide procurement is the best way to
address defense underspending in Europe.
Procurement is abstract, technical, and politically
nontoxic, rarely making the front pages, but this does not mean
that a wider political agenda is not at work. "For those who would
seek to see a European army replace NATO," as British Shadow
Defense Secretary Liam Fox has observed, "defence procurement
offers the perfect means of undermining the Special
Relationship by stealth."
In fact, procurement goes to the heart of why the Special
Relationship is special. In his seminal postwar "Sinews of
Peace" speech, Winston Churchill said that interoperable
capabilities, personnel exchanges, and doctrinal commonality were
the lynchpins of the Special Relationship.
The EU understands Churchill's thesis very well. The European
Security and Defense College, established in 2005 for the
exchange of key military personnel among EU member states,
will be critical to fostering shared camaraderie and doctrinal
understanding of the EU's approach to security and defense
policy in the longer term. The development of personal and
professional relationships between British and American military
personnel has sustained the Special Relationship for many
years, just as the U.S.'s International Military Education and
Training program has been an incredibly successful tool of U.S.
defense policy more generally.
The EU is also seeking to address another element of
Churchill's thesis. Aware of its serious lack of overall capability
and integrated capacity in intelligence, airlift, and
high-tech weaponry, the EDA has been mandated to develop extensive
defense capabilities, promote armaments cooperation, and build up a
European military-industrial base. The EDA has a long-term
visionfor centralizing procurement at a European level and
integrating military capacity-building. As EU High
Representative and EDA Chairman Javier Solana has said:
Given the lead times typically involved in developing
defence capability, decisions we take, or fail to take, today will
affect whether we have the right military capabilities, and the
right capacities in Europe's defence technological and
industrial base, in the third decade of this century.
With hard-pressed defense budgets and the enormous costs
associated with modern high-tech weaponry, defense expenditures
must take on a more global character. As the technological
revolution rolls on, the interoperability of defense systems
will likely become not just desirable, but essential to joint
military efforts. In this respect, jointly funded, interoperable
projects which deliberately exclude non-EU countries should not be
a policy goal of the European Union. In the age of digital warfare,
procurement decisions are absolutely critical, but they are
now just as political as they are strategic. With Europe's dual
desire to create a stronger defense industrial base and to advance
an alternate warfare system, the procurement agenda has become
skewed against sensible military budgeting and more about the EU's
As EU military planners continue their aggressive pursuit
of an integrationist agenda, the Special Relationship will
undoubtedly suffer as British independence as a military power
(and buyer) is restrained. If Britain continues to relinquish the
most critical elements of sovereign statehood to Brussels--the
right to military action and autonomous foreign
policy-making--the British government will become little more
than a local authority, either unable or unwilling to partner with
the U.S. on military missions, even when they clearly serve
Britain's national interest. As Heritage Foundation analyst Nile
Gardiner has observed:
The most prominent casualty of a fully developed
EU Common Foreign and Security Policy would be the Anglo-U.S.
special relationship, forcibly consigned to the scrap heap of
history. America's closest ally would be unable to operate an
independent foreign policy and stand alongside the United States
where and when it chose to do so. The consequences for America
would be hugely damaging.
Has the ESDP Been Successful?
The Western European Union's Petersburg tasks were later adopted
as EU policy in the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam and outline the
operations that the ESDP can undertake: humanitarian and rescue
tasks, peacekeeping tasks, and crisis management including the
deployment of combat troops in peacemaking operations.
It would be wrong to say that the ESDP has not enjoyed some
limited operational success in the low-level, modest missions that
it has undertaken. Operation Concordia in Macedonia, the EU's first
military operation, eventually took over from NATO after the
prolonged dispute between Greece and Turkey. Followed by civilian
policing missions Proxima and EUPAT, Operation Concordia employed
large numbers of the same troops from the preceding NATO
contingent, who merely operated under a different insignia.
Exactly the same can be said for Operation Althea in Bosnia: "when
European Forces (EuFor) took over nine years after NATO forces
imposed peace on the war-torn country, many of the troops
simply changed their shoulder patches." However, both of
these missions went relatively smoothly and contributed
marginally to the West's joint overall success by putting
Macedonia and Bosnia on a better footing toward increased
The U.S. Department of State has interpreted the smooth handover
of Althea to the EU and the competent handling of other
civilian missions as a model for future NATO-ESDP cooperation.
Combined with the EU's willingness to go into areas like Aceh,
where the U.S. does not have a primary interest, it has left
successive U.S. Administrations with a somewhat favorable
impression of the ESDP. This not only ignores the plethora of other
international actors and existing structures (e.g., the African
Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and United Nations)
that could undertake the same missions, but also ignores the
latent strategic threat posed by the ESDP and its shortcomings.
The military and civilian presence of the European Union
has been more about promoting the EU's integrationist agenda than
about making a truly meaningful contribution to international
stability. The sheer lack of EU commitment to facing today's
most serious foreign policy challenges, such as Iraq and Iran,
demonstrates not only the ESDP's limitations, but, more important,
the EU's profoundly different global outlook.
Iran is a particularly striking example. Not only is the
European Union Iran's largest trading partner, accounting for 35
percent of Iran's total imports, but Germany, France, and Italy
provide billions of dollars in government-backed export credit
guarantees to minimize the risks to private companies of doing
business with this unstable and unpredictable regime. The Wall
Street Journal notes that total EU trade with Tehran has
increased since the discovery of the Iranian nuclear
program. Italy and Germany currently rank as
Iran's second and third largest trading partners,
respectively, having moved up in the rankings in recent years.
This makes a mockery of the two U.N. Security Council
resolutions calling for graduated and targeted sanctions
against Tehran. It makes a bigger mockery of the idea that the EU
should be trusted to take the lead in negotiations with Iran over
its uranium enrichment program as long as the EU
continues to provide a front for the business interests of its
major member states and a buffer to a repressive and odious
The sheer gulf that opened up across the Atlantic over Operation
Iraqi Freedom saw EU elites not only critique, but also obstruct
American foreign policy. EU candidate countries were even
threatened with delays in their accession for supporting the
Underlying this diplomatic crisis was the message that
Europe's time had come to directly challenge a sovereign U.S.
foreign policy decision in an attempt to contain American
leadership. It was also a direct challenge by the Brussels elite to
the elected governments of the 12 EU member states that finally
participated in the coalition of the willing in 2004. The United
States should expect to see such challenges increase with further
European integration, which will greatly undermine America's
strongest partners in Europe.
Limitations.It should also be noted that not all ESDP
missions have gone smoothly. Sylvie Pantz, head of the EUJUST
THEMIS mission in Georgia, complained of unnecessary red tape and
bureaucratic delays in the year-long mission, which took more
than four months to acquire computers. However, more than
suffering minor embarrassments, the EU's behavior in Darfur in
2005 demonstrated the real nature of its uncooperative
attitude toward NATO.
When the African Union (AU) requested airlift capacity from the
EU, the U.S., and Canada in June 2005, it was widely expected that
NATO would coordinate the response at Supreme Headquarters Allied
Powers Europe. However, the EU insisted on European "branding" for
the operation by using the European Airlift Centre at Eindhoven.
When agreement could not be reached, two separate airlifts
were established for the AU to coordinate. As Defense News
said in its analysis of the situation, the EU "shuns overt joint
It is increasingly obvious that the EU favors independent
action and cooperates with NATO only when it needs NATO assets. The
ESDP's guiding principles specifically outline the EU's
"determination to develop an autonomous capacity to take
decisions." Operation Artemis in the Democratic
Republic of Congo in 2003 used no NATO assets and was the first EU
mission outside of Europe, taking place in the aftermath of
deep transatlantic divisions over the Iraq war. France
spearheaded this military campaign at the specific request of the
United Nations, which then subsumed it a year later.
There are differing opinions over whether Artemis was
successful or not. Denis Boyles argues that the recipe of "French
troops and UN wisdom. . . yielded not just an 'enorme
statistique de mortalite violente'--with some 50,000 dead
and 10 times that number displaced--but also an enormous
military and moral failure as well." International
security experts Jean-Yves Haine and Bastian Giegerich argue that
the EU's failure to guarantee Congo's continued stability since
Artemis has been the bigger failure, combined with an overall lack
of strategic vision and nightmare operational caveats that deploy
the majority of EU troops as far away from the trouble as
Both scenarios demonstrate the limits of the ESDP. Moreover, the
EU's desire to act is seemingly motivated less by altruism and more
by its need to be seen as a global actor with clout on the
Capabilities. The world clearly needs European countries
to increase their military and civilian capabilities and take on
more responsibility for their security needs. However, how this is
handled is critically important.
Following the Feira Summit in 2000, the EU outlined its
goals for EU-level civilian crisis management capabilities and
has not only met, but even exceeded expectations, with 5,700 police
officers, 630 legal experts, 560 civilian administration experts,
and 5,000 civil protection experts currently available to the
Having outlined multiple areas of military deficiency in
the 2001 European Capabilities Action Plan and emboldened by the
rapid progress of the Feira goals, the EU set equally ambitious
goals to arm, equip, and man itself. Member states have made
available from their national resources a pool of 100,000
personnel, 400 combat aircraft, and 100 naval vessels under ESDP
commitments, together with a host of other commitments to new EU
structures. Under the Headline Goal 2010, the EU now has fully
operational, rapidly deployable battle groups, which can be
deployed at the U.N.'s request using strategic lift equipment that
the EU plans to acquire. This year, the EU also opened its own
operations center in Brussels, recently running a
planning exercise for a peacekeeping mission in the fictional
African country of Alisia.
At present, though, the European Union still has serious
capability shortcomings. As a Brussels military planner said,
"[T]he EU is still a paper tiger in defenses.. . . But as for the
future, it is steadily slotting into place the instruments it
needs for ESDP."
And there is the rub. While the ESDP has been busy building
separate doctrinal and operational structures to distinguish itself
from NATO, it has failed to realize an increase in men or spending
by EU member states. The serious manpower commitments to both
the EU and NATO present the potential for acute conflict. Just five
of the 21 EU- NATO members spend the NATO benchmark of 2 percent of
gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. The flatlining and even
declining defense budgets of most major European countries
mean that valuable resources will merely be diverted from
NATO to the ESDP.
The EU has adopted a twin-track approach to addressing its
capabilities shortfall. Not only did it create multiple agencies,
plans, and goals to realize operational capacity and separate
itself as a decision-making power, but it negotiated the 2003
Berlin-Plus arrangements on the EU's use of NATO assets and
capabilities. The Berlin-Plus arrangements ensure EU access to
NATO operational planning and presume the availability to the
EU of NATO capabilities and common assets. Berlin-Plus also ensures
the adaptation of the NATO defense planning system to facilitate
the availability of forces for EU operations.
If nothing else, the EU is a savvy negotiator. While creating
duplicate institutions that undermine NATO, the EU has ensured
access to NATO's taxpayer-funded equipment.
Of course, Europe has called on NATO resources when it needed
them. In the absence of increased defense spending and with the
slow Europeanization of procurement policy, the EU has managed
to negotiate the best of both worlds--a supranational public policy
independent of American influence that is at least partly funded by
For example, Operation Concordia in Macedonia drew on NATO
resources; but while Operation Concordia certainly
complemented U.S. policy, Washington should not mistake
low-level operational success with the wider strategic threat that
ESDP poses to the NATO alliance. In fact, it begs the question
of why America should be expected to lend NATO resources to
countries that explicitly reject American global leadership.
Notably, NATO does not have any kind of quid pro quo arrangement
for access to the EU's extensive civilian capabilities.
Most European nations need to continue their vast military
transformations into modern, interoperable fighting machines.
With its existing expertise and American leadership, NATO's Allied
Command Transformation (ACT) is a perfect vehicle for addressing
these shortfalls and determining each member's exact contribution
to NATO. Even NATO members without high-end expeditionary
capabilities could often offer a specialized role to the
alliance, such as the Czech Republic's nuclear, biological,
and chemical defense capabilities. ACT, not the duplicate
European Defense Agency, should be the primary vehicle for
cooperation and collaboration among NATO members in
streamlining and improving Europe's defense capabilities.
Many analysts point to the EU's profound capabilities
shortfall as exemplifying why America should not really be
concerned by the ESDP. However, even though the EU lacks
military capability when compared to NATO, it has made substantial
doctrinal and organizational progress and has created an
infrastructure dedicated to its progress, with plans for the assets
to follow. As British Shadow Defense Secretary Liam Fox has argued,
the establishment of institutions is a prelude to an overall
increase in the EU's capabilities, further decoupling it from
Global Policymaking. The EU views itself as a global
power with a significant role to play in foreign affairs. As
Lady Thatcher noted, "the European superstate is. . . designed
by its architects to become a superpower." The EU's
determination to make decisions independently of NATO has not,
however, kept it from prostrating itself before the United Nations.
In fact, the EU mirrors much of the U.N. agenda and its global
ambitions. The EU's 2003 European Security Strategy calls for "an
international order based on effective multilateralism"
and for strengthening the U.N. and its body of international
law to preside globally.
The European Parliament's 2006 year-long investigation of
America's rendition policy, based on the flimsiest of evidence,
served less as an independent investigatory committee than as a
Trojan horse intended to rein in the American-led war on
terrorism. The committee concluded:
[A]fter 11 September 2001, the so-called 'war on
terror'--in its excesses--has produced a serious and dangerous
erosion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as noted by the
outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
As Europe develops the tools of military adventure and a
foreign policy specifically around the idea that American power
must be constrained, military action will become something that is
taken only with the explicit approval of the international
community, regardless of a nation's security. The EU's global view
is fundamentally different from that of the United States, placing
full faith in "multilateralism as the best means to solve global
problems." Speaking in New York in 2005, External
Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner argued that
security and prosperity are in fact dependent on effective
multilateral systems. For the United States, however,
security is not something subject to negotiation with bureaucrats
in Turtle Bay or Brussels.
The EU continues to claim publicly that the ESDP complements
NATO and that NATO remains the cornerstone of the transatlantic
security alliance. However, former German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder blew apart that cosmetic cover story when he told a
Munich security conference in February 2005 that NATO "is no longer
the primary venue where transatlantic partners discuss and
coordinate strategies." As Robin Harris, a former member of the
Downing Street Policy Unit, has written, "The NATO Web site proudly
boasts that there is a 'strategic partnership' between NATO and the
EU. There is no such thing, only an incipient strategic competition
between America and Europe."
It is worth looking at the ESDP's constituent parts and how far
they in fact merely replicate NATO instruments. The EU's crisis
response battle groups are copied from NATO'sResponse Force (NRF).
The purpose of the European Defense Agency is identical to NATO's
Allied Command Transformation initiative. The EU's GALILEO global
satellite navigation system is a carbon copy of America's
global positioning system. These EU structures are unnecessary and
present a profound challenge to the future of the NATO
While numerous instruments allow for EU- NATO cooperation, the
essential fact remains that the EU has created the ESDP with the
sole purpose of acting autonomously in military and civilian
missions in competition with a military organization that it
wishes to rival. Although they share 21 common members, the
EU-NATO relationship will always be contrived, as The
Economist notes: "[T]he two bodies are like Siamese twins
awkwardly joined together. They are many organs--soldiers,
equipment and military planners--but their separate heads do
not get on."
If European powers genuinely wish to complement NATO, they
could do so very easily by spending more on defense and
rapidly modernizing their militaries. NATO has undertaken key
transformation initiatives to become a leaner, more effective
fighting machine, using innovative instruments such as the NRF to
face the strategic challenges of the 21st century. NATO's Allied
Command Transformation presents a comprehensive plan to
improve military effectiveness and interoperability, support
alliance operations, and provide a "credible, sustainable and
In that respect, Washington should be very wary of attempts to
separate allies' procurement agendas from its own. The EDA's
Steering Board recently announced a three-year, €54 million
joint investment program funded by member states under the
EU's centralized direction. EU management of large investment
projects in the military arena is worrisome too, "since NATO
is the only defense organization today with a proven track
record of bringing large, strategic, multinational programs into
existence." The collapse of the public-private
consortium behind the GALILEO satellite navigation system and
the EU's intention to step in and financially support the
failed project with up to €3.4 billion of taxpayers'
money demonstrate the EU's complete inability to manage large-scale
NATO should also be reluctant to have its assets used in
non-Allied missions for the very reason that the participation of
non-NATO members in operations using NATO assets raises huge
questions about future technology transfers. Already a hot
political topic, it adds yet another layer of tension to an
increasingly divergent relationship.
The challenges of reforming NATO are many and should not be
underestimated. However, the ESDP is part of the problem, not the
solution. By its very design, the ESDP is a challenge to NATO's
primacy. NATO ensures an interdependent, collective defense
community, whereas the ESDP decouples, duplicates, and
discriminates against wider transatlantic interests.
When the Clinton Administration warned against "the three
Ds"--decoupling, duplication, and discrimination--it could not
have predicted the turn of events over the past decade more
accurately. European decision-making is being deliberately
decoupled from transatlantic channels; force planning, command
structures, and procurement policies are being duplicated; and
non-EU NATO members are subjected to discrimination. As Lady
Thatcher observed, "far from serving to strengthen the
European contribution to NATO, the EU countries under French
inspiration have deliberately embarked upon the creation of at best
an alternative and at worst a rival military structure and armed
What the United States and Britain
High-level American support for the ESDP has been lukewarm on
both sides of the political divide. President George W. Bush's
tepid endorsement at Camp David in 2001 following a meeting with
Tony Blair was undoubtedly given on Blair's word that NATO would
still be the primary security actor in the transatlantic
alliance. While these assurances were almost
certainly given in good faith, they have since turned out to be
false. The ESDP is neither what the British envisioned nor what
Both America and Britain should act to ward off damage to the
Special Relationship by investing heavily in the bilateral
relationship and continuing their close alliance, which was so
forcefully reaffirmed in the wake of 9/11. Specifically:
NATO's primacy should remain sacrosanct for addressing the
21st century's transatlantic security challenges. The United
States should stress the importance of NATO as the cornerstone of
the transatlantic security alliance and emphasize Allied
Command Transformation's role in coordinating member states'
transformation initiatives and capability requirements. The
United States must work closely with its European allies to ensure
that the alliance's collective and broader needs are a primary
focus of member states' ongoing modernization programs and should
spend its foreign military financing budget as effectively as
possible to fulfill its stated purpose of "promoting U.S. interests
around the world."
NATO members must commit to being full and active members of
the alliance. The United States should ensure that current and
future NATO alliance partners are prepared to discharge their
membership obligations fully. Alliance members should commit
to the NATO benchmark of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense and
approve long-term and, where necessary, supplemental budgets
to fund ongoing and future commitments.
The U.S. should orient its defense policy to strengthen
bilateral and NATO ties with its European allies and explicitly
withdraw from alliance-building with the ESDP. The
Administration should prioritize the participation of more
NATO allies in the International Military Education and
Training program. It should also continue to develop the NRF and
emphasize it as the primary actor for multilateral expeditionary
The U.S. should reserve NATO resources exclusively for NATO
missions. All European military missions should be funded
exclusively by EU member states. U.S. taxpayers should not
subsidize European military adventures.
The British government should withdraw from the ESDP
immediately. In defense of the Special Relationship and to
maintain the Anglo- American alliance, the British government
should explicitly withdraw from further European military
Member of the European Parliament Roger Helmer
(Conservative-U.K.) has said:
The CFSP and its military posturing threaten to undermine the
Transatlantic Alliance. It is born out of jealousy and resentment
and anti-Americanism. It is overweight with strategies and planning
papers and staff colleges but desperately light on men and ships
and tanks and guns and aircraft. The CFSP threatens the very
foundations of security and leaves us all dangerously exposed in an
unpredictable world. This is yet another reason why my country
would be better off out of the European Union.
NATO has been the most successful security alliance in
modern history and represents America's solid commitment to
transatlantic security. It has secured peace in Europe and has
grappled with the changing geopolitical environment better than any
other multilateral institution. The creation of duplicate
military structures with autonomous decision-making powers
independent of NATO represents a major geopolitical rupture between
Europe and Washington that serves neither side.
European countries disregard NATO at their peril. As independent
nation-states, European nations have the ability to pursue any
number of policy options and engage militarily in many contexts.
However, the European Security and Defense Policy supranationalizes
such huge swathes of public policymaking that such choices become
Instead, EU member states need to preserve precious defense
investment for those public policy programs that most directly
contribute to their own safety, security, and strategic interests.
It is equally vital that the U.S. recognize the value of dealing
with its enduring allies on a bilateral level. Brussels has become
an increasingly assertive trade partner, unafraid to square off
against Washington; it is now trying to assert itself just as
aggressively in foreign and military policy as well.
Sally McNamara is Senior
Policy Analyst in European Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher
Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby
Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage
Socialist French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine (1997-2002)
coined the word hyperpuissance
, which means hyperpower, to
define America's political, military, and economic strength after
the Cold War.
Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing
World (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), p. 354.
Stephen Hadley, "European Defence Policy: A Political Analysis,"
New Zealand International Review, Vol. 30, No. 6
(November 1, 2005).
European Council, "Presidency Conclusions: Brussels European
Council," June 21-22, 2007, p. 26.
North, "The Wrong Side of the Hill," p. 30.
Nicholas Fiorenza, "EuFor, Backed by NATO; New Force in Bosnia
Relies on Alliance Troops with Experience in the Region," Armed
Forces Journal, February 2005.
Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, "Special
Guest: Primum Non Nocere," interview, The Polish Voice,
April 4, 2003, at http://www.warsawvoice.pl/view/1892
(December 7, 2006).
European Information Service, "Interview: Georgia-Type Advisory
Mission Could Suit Other Countries, Said Sylvia Pantz," European
Report,July 23, 2005.
Tigner Brooks, "Policies Diverge: EU, NATO Struggle to Find Common
Ground on International Security," Defense News, November
Brooks, "Policies Diverge."
Liam Fox, "The Europeanisation of Defence," Center for Policy
Studies, June 19, 2006.
Thatcher, Statecraft, p. 354.
See European Commission, "The European Union and the United States:
Global Partners, Global Responsibilities."
Agence France-Presse, "German Leader Stands by Contentious NATO
Reform Plan,"February 15, 2005.
Flournoy and Smith, European Defense Integration, p. 13.
The Clinton Administration voiced its objections to the ESDP
through the Albright Doctrine, which warned against "decoupling,
duplication, and discrimination" in the creation of independent
European military structures.
Thatcher, Statecraft, p. 355.