This book is an interpretive history of transatlantic security from the
negotiation of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1948–1949 to the turbulence created
by President Trump, British departure from the European Union (Brexit) and the
COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The book concludes with analyses of possible futures
for the West and observes “the most disruptive force of all has been the
American presidency of Donald J. Trump. Trump refused to accept virtually all
the political and strategic assumptions on which transatlantic political,
economic, financial, and security relations have been based for 70 years. And,
given the transatlantic alliance’s heavy reliance on American leadership and
involvement, Trump’s lack of commitment has placed huge question marks over the
it,” is popular for a good reason. We do need to learn from history, even if it doesn’t predictably repeat itself. And, as Timothy Sayle has remarked in an excellent new history of NATO’s Cold War history, “If history is not repeating itself, do the policy papers and memorandums of conversation of post-Cold War NATO officials at least rhyme with the archival record?” 4
In the case of transatlanticrelations, two global conflicts in the last century led democratic leaders at the end of World War II to agree on some major international steps to try to avoid
headed for the White House or the US Capitol, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers learned of the other three hijackings and decided to try to wrest control of the aircraft from the terrorists. As the United States, Europe, and the world turned their eyes toward the threat posed by international terrorism, important questions remained unanswered about the relationship between the United States and Europe in the alliance.
September 11 and transatlanticrelations
On the morning of September 12, the Paris daily Le Monde headlined their story on the 9
In considering the future of transatlanticrelations and “defense of the West,” it is important to take into account not only the external threats that NATO and the EU will face but also the internal challenges confronting Western nations, which will affect their ability to deal effectively with those external threats. This chapter inventories the external threats and the internal challenges, while examining the interactive dynamic between the two categories and discussing the circumstances under which NATO and EU member states may, or may not, be successful in
? The belt and road initiative and international order ”, International Affairs
94 ( 2 ), 231–49 .
Peterson . J.
( 2016 ). “ Introduction: where things stand and what happens next ”, in Alcaro , R. , Peterson , J. and Greco , E. (eds), The West and the Global Power Shift: TransatlanticRelations and Global Governance. London : Springer
Two key developments in the late 2000s played a major role in shaping the opening of the next decade in transatlanticrelations. One of those developments was the 2008 election of Barak Obama to replace George W. Bush as president of the United States. The second development was the descent of the Western economic system into the worst decline since the great depression of the 1930s.
Barack Obama entered the White House in January 2009 pledging to end the combat roles of the United States in both Iraq and Afghanistan and to pursue a less interventionist
The more things change the more they stay the same?
María J. García and Arantza Gómez Arana
ground, but rather set the framework for greater external pressure on the issues (García's chapter).
Beyond government-level interactions, inter-parliamentary dialogues have also been firmly institutionalised within transatlanticrelations. As with other high-level inter-regional dialogues, Eurolat has failed to reach agreements. Subsequent decisions and plans for action on key issues, such as the deteriorating social situation in Venezuela, have failed to materialise, given different views on the matter and Latin American states’ opposition to
values on which the transatlantic alliance was founded had triumphed.
The time for celebration, however, was short. The allies almost immediately found themselves dealing with the consequences of their victory and asking questions as fundamental as “Do we still need NATO if there is no more Soviet threat?”
The chapters that follow in Part II of this book discuss how the allies responded to this challenge, and how international events shaped the post-Cold War alliance. This chapter, however, reflects on some of the fundamental factors in transatlanticrelations as
George Washington and Anglo-American memory diplomacy,
transatlantic elites: politicians, diplomats, ambassadors, civil servants, philanthropists, and specially formed private associations including, significantly, women’s patriotic societies. Eager to bolster transatlanticrelations in the present, such elites trawled the past for figures and events that they could claim – and commemorate – as indicative of a uniquely close Anglo-American bond. 12 The important role played by such activities in the post-1945 era has certainly received attention. 13 But by examining the period from the Anglo-American rapprochement of the 1890s
more capable soldiers, organizers, businessmen and politicians.” 17
More than 60 years later, concerns about Germany’s potential political and economic domination of Europe still haunt many French politicians and influence French attitudes toward European integration and transatlanticrelations—plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose! (the more things change, the more they remain the same). However, French concerns about Germany today relate more to the studied pacifism that influences Germany’s contemporary approach to security challenges and Berlin’s economic