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Transatlantic relations from Truman to Trump

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 West’s future.”

Stanley R. Sloan

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 transatlantic relations, 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

in Defense of the West (second edition)
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Stanley R. Sloan

“I alone can fix it.” Donald J. Trump, accepting Republican nomination for President of the United States 1 The second major 2016 shock for transatlantic relations came in the United States with the Republican nomination and then electoral victory of Donald Trump – someone who had selfidentified as both a Democrat and Republican over the years and donated money to candidates of both parties. Trump raised concerns throughout the campaign as someone who played on the fears of Americans concerning both terrorism and their own financial well

in Transatlantic traumas
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Stanley R. Sloan

Union. But it also created uncertainties affecting transatlantic relations, international affairs and the future of the West more generally. As the first of two 2016 quakes that rattled the West, Brexit reflected perhaps the growing power of populist sentiment and rejection of globalism and distance regulation/governance. Brexit turned out to be a warning that neither traditional assumptions nor professional opinion polls could be completely trusted in this new era. Applauded by Vladimir Putin, neo-nationalist and populist politicians in Europe, including France

in Transatlantic traumas
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turbulent transatlantic ties
Stanley R. Sloan

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 transatlantic relations On the morning of September 12, the Paris daily Le Monde headlined their story on the 9

in Defense of the West (second edition)
Stanley R. Sloan

In considering the future of transatlantic relations 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

in Defense of the West (second edition)
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new tasks, new traumas
Stanley R. Sloan

Two key developments in the late 2000s played a major role in shaping the opening of the next decade in transatlantic relations. 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

in Defense of the West (second edition)
Stanley R. Sloan

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 transatlantic relations as

in Defense of the West (second edition)
Stanley R. Sloan

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 transatlantic relations—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

in Defense of the West (second edition)
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New Labour, the EU and the wider world
Oliver Daddow

, from his vantage position in the Washington embassy, felt that, by the time of Blair’s meeting with Bush in January 2003: ‘Transatlantic relations were in a trough. Blair’s famous bridge between Europe and America was sinking beneath the waves’ (Meyer 2006: 261). In sum, critics of the bridge strategy argue that it was undesirable in theory, or that it was impossible to execute in practice, either because Blair did not mean what he said or because he was unable to exercise enough of a calming influence over US policy in the war on terror. What we could add

in New Labour and the European Union