Atlantic Crises: Britain, Europe, and Parting from the United States   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The transatlantic relationship has come under enormous stress from both sides of the ocean since the end of the Cold War and, especially, the election of President George W. Bush. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union threw American and European strategic thought into disarray as scholars and policy makers alike scrambled to formulate new rationales for Cold War institutions like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the much-ballyhooed special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, no one with the clear vision of the late George F. Kennan emerged to soften transatlantic squabbles over the Balkans, the post- Soviet space, and emerging security challenges in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Bush administration officials and like-minded pundits miffed many Europeans with their causal unilateralist rhetoric and apparent willingness to abandon long-standing multilateral initiatives like the Kyoto Treaty. After a brief warming of relations following the horrific attacks of 11 September, American-European interactions turned sour once again as France and Germany led the effort to prevent the UN Security Council from passing a resolution authorizing the Iraq invasion. Of the major European powers only Great Britain offered substantial assistance to the American-led coalition, an artifact of Prime Minister Blair's personal commitments and perhaps of the special relationship. Today, the gradual disengagement of other European coalition members from Iraq and the reluctance of NATO to play a more active role there further fuels discontent in Washington policy circles."

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Naval War College Newport Papers (May 2005), no.23
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