International Relations

Stanley R. Sloan

This chapter analyses the major changes to the alliance that occurred during the Cold War, from 1954 to 1989. It examines France’s departure from NATO’s Integrated Command Structure, the impact of détente on the alliance and the adoption of the Harmel formula of “defense and détente” policies to respond to the challenges from the Soviet Union. It reports on the transition of nuclear strategy from massive retaliation to flexible response, the British decision to join the European Community, the Federal Republic of Germany’s growing importance, and the developing coordination of foreign and security policy in the European Community.

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

This chapter opens by remarking on the resilience of both the transatlantic alliance and the West, but it warns that the alliance has never faced such an existential threat in its entire 70-year history as has been posed by the Trump presidency. It argues that the West is more than just the transatlantic alliance, but that values, interests, and key institutions grounded in transatlantic relationships are the heart of the West. The chapter’s core focuses on three potential scenarios for the future. One features optimistic projections about the ability of the West to rebound from the current crises, including the pandemic, and build stronger national democracies, European integration, and Western cooperation. A second scenario postulates survival, but without any great leaps forward. The third, and most concerning, examines the potential consequences of the illiberal tendencies and Trump presidency combining with Russian goals to destroy the alliance and devastate Western values and interests. It concludes by judging “The current collision between history and disruptive forces of change has posed a huge challenge to the United States, Canada, and their European allies. Future histories of the next decade of transatlantic relations will record the people’s ultimate decisions and the success or failure of the attempts to manage the crisis.”

in Defense of the West (second edition)
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

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 dealing with them. The chapter sets the stage for considering the future of the transatlantic alliance and the West more broadly, examining the external threats to the West, including those from Russia, Middle Eastern instability, terrorism, cyber and information warfare, and China. It then assesses the internal challenges arising from the vulnerabilities of liberal democracy, consequent illiberal tendencies, British departure from the EU, and Donald Trump’s autocratic nationalism and retreat from international leadership. It concludes that “while the external threats to the West are real—far more than ‘risks and challenges’—internal weaknesses could block Western democracies from working together to deal with them. If transatlantic solidar­ity fails, then the future of the West would be in doubt.”

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

This chapter examines the historical foundations of the alliance, stimulated by the European desire for the United States to remain present in Europe. To convince the United States to do so, they sought to demonstrate their willingness to contribute to their own defense by agreeing to the 1948 Brussels Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defence, which then led to negotiation of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty. The chapter identifies the motivations of the leading actors and the issues that remained after signature of the treaty. It then tracks the treaty’s progression through the advice and consent of the US Senate and its transformation into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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

The first chapter presents a definition of the context for the book, examining the origins and meaning of the “transatlantic bargain” and how the transatlantic alliance fits into various approaches to alliance theory. It then looks at the many aspects and roles of the alliance that have evolved over more than seven decades.

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

This chapter documents the failed European attempt to keep to their part of the transatlantic bargain by establishing a European Defence Community (EDC). It then reports on how the United States and its allies cobbled together in the London and Paris agreements arrangements to substitute for the EDC and set the terms for the Federal Republic of Germany’s membership in the alliance. The text argues that this outcome fundamentally altered the original transatlantic bargain, making the alliance much more dependent on American nuclear and non-nuclear forces.

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

This chapter pauses the historical narrative to take stock of some of the factors that influenced the strengths and weaknesses of the transatlantic alliance. It argues that NATO is more than a military alliance and that its political role is critical to its success. It examines the aspects of geography, history, ideology, international and regional roles, and capabilities that affect alliance relationships. It then shines a light on the perpetual burden-sharing issue that has been part of the alliance from the beginning and will likely persist for as long as the alliance survives.

in Defense of the West (second edition)
Abstract only
Lorena De Vita

In the second half of the 1950s, Bonn refused to establish official diplomatic relations with Israel – a seeming contradiction of its initial stance on the Jewish state. Worse still, in December 1959 an unprecedented number of anti-Semitic attacks orchestrated by Stasi agents took place across the Federal Republic, reigniting deep anti-German feelings among the global public and damaging West Germany’s public image (Ansehen) – right on the eve of the very first personal encounter between Chancellor Adenauer and David Ben Gurion. Yet while the option of diplomatic relations with Israel faded, covert cooperation in the fields of security and commerce intensified. Offering a fresh take on the issue, the chapter shows how the FRG managed to use its rivalry against the GDR to its own advantage – both to justify not establishing formal diplomatic relations with Israel as well as to deflect Arab suspicion regarding the actual degree and realms of cooperation between the Federal Republic and the State of Israel.

in Israelpolitik
Abstract only
German–Israeli relations between past and future
Lorena De Vita

The book closes with an epilogue that summarises the argument of the book and outlines the implications for our understanding of the Cold War and of the special relationship between Germany and Israel. It argues that the German–German Cold War was, from the start, deeply interlinked with the Arab–Israeli conflict, and that this overlap was far more complex, and had much wider repercussions, than is generally acknowledged. The epilogue also reflects on questions that transcend the content of the individual chapters, reflecting on post-genocidal international reconciliation and the weight of the past in international politics.

in Israelpolitik