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SACEUR, CJCS, and U.S. military influence in transatlantic security policy

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Journal of Transatlantic Studies Aims and scope

Abstract

One of the important ways NATO is different than previous alliances can be seen in the international organizations established to institutionalize allied collaboration. These institutions have a measure of influence, and they have proven to be resilient, embedded as they are in a thick transatlantic network of bureaucratic relationships. One critical and understudied part of that network is the NATO Command Structure and the influence Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) exerts in Brussels and Washington through the provision of military advice. Successive SACEUR’s, often working closely with the U.S. Joint Staff, have used that influence to champion NATO’s centrality to the transatlantic security architecture by pushing for its relevance and resisting alternative Euro-Atlantic defense arrangements, bolstering NATO resilience and stability. This paper details this phenomenon by considering the different ways SACEURs in the 1990s shaped the decisions that guided NATO transformation through the tumultuous early post-Cold War period.

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Notes

  1. Carrol Lee, Courtney Kubea, and Geoff Bennet “Pentagon Goes into ‘Damage Control’ Mode to Reassure NATO Allies,” NBC News, July 13, 2018, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/pentagon-goes-damage-control-mode-reassure-nato-allies-n891096.

  2. Lee, Kubea, Bennet, “Pentagon Goes into ‘Damage Control’ Mode.”

  3. Qtd in Jon Stone, “Emmanuel Macron calls for creation of a ‘true European army’ to defend against Russia and the US,” MSN News, November 6, 2018, https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/emmanuel-macron-calls-for-creation-of-a-%E2%80%98true-european-army%E2%80%99-to-defend-against-russia-and-the-us/ar-BBPozqY.

  4. Qtd in Katrin Bennhold and Steven Erlanger, “Merkel Joins Macron in Calling for a European Army ‘One-Day,’” New York Times, November 13, 2018.

  5. Jim Garamone, “Alliance Commitment Remains Steadfast, Military Committee Chairman Says,” Defense.gov, Joint Chiefs of Staff, January 2019, https://www.jcs.mil/Media/News/News-Display/Article/1734093/alliance-commitment-remains-steadfast-military-committee-chairman-says/.

  6. Sloan, Stanley, “Managing the NATO Alliance: Congress and Burden Sharing,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol 4, No 3, (Spring, 1985): 397.

  7. Seth Johnston, How NATO Adapts: Strategy and Organization in the Atlantic Alliance Since 1950, (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 2017); Sayle, Timothy, Enduring Alliance: A History of NATO and the Postwar Global Order, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019). Thies, Why NATO Endures, 296.

  8. Stephen Walt, The Origins of Alliances, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), 1.

  9. George Liska, Nations in Alliance, (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 1962), 12.

  10. Peter Viggo Jakobsen & Jens Ringsmose, “Victim of its Own Success: How NATO’s Difficulties are Caused by the Absence of a Unifying Existential Threat," Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 16, No 1, (2018): 38–58.

  11. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, “Introduction, the End of the Cold War in Europe,” in After the Cold War: International Institutions and State Strategies in Europe, 1989–1991, eds Robert Keohane, Joseph Nye, and Stanley Hoffmann, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 1–19.

  12. Randolph Siverson and Juliann Emmons, “Birds of a Feather: Democratic Political Systems.

    and Alliance Choices in the Twentieth Century,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol 35 (1991): 285–306. Risse, Thomas, “Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO,” in The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, ed Peter Katzenstein, (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1996): 358.

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    Working paper, (Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1995).

  14. Sayle, Enduring Alliance. 2–3.

  15. Johnston, How NATO Adapts, 3.

  16. Wallace Thies, Why NATO Endures, (New York: Cambridge Press, 2009, 294.

  17. John Deni, “Staying Alive by Overeating: The Enduring NATO Alliance at 70,” Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Vol 17, (2019), 163.

  18. Darrell Driver, “Burden Sharing and the Future of NATO: Wandering Between Two Worlds,” Defense and Security Analysis, Vol 32, No 1 (2016): 8.

  19. U.S. Senate, Senate Resolution 557, (Washington D.C: Second Session/115th Congress, July 17, 2018), https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/557/text.

  20. Thies, Why NATO Endures, 296.

  21. Stephen Saideman, “More than Advice? The Joint Staff and American Foreign Policy,” in Inside Defense, Understanding the U.S. Military in the 21st Century, eds Derek Reveron and Judith Hicks Stiehm (New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), 31.

  22. Dana Priest, The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military, (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003) 61–77. Carnes Lord, Proconsuls: Delegated Political-Military Leadership from Rome to America Today, (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2012).

  23. Deutsch-Französiches Papier zur Sicherheitspolitischen Zusammenarbeit (Brüssel, 4. Februar 1991), https://www.cvce.eu/en/collections/unit-content/-/unit/02bb76df-d066-4c08-a58a-d4686a3e68ff/280511d5-b97d-4f51-b60d-7496ade168ea/Resources#233447b9-dcdb-4108-8d7f-a8df6bbafade_en&overlay.

  24. This message is often referred to as the Bartholomew or Dobbins Demarche for the two administration officials who delivered the U.S. response. Willem Frederik van Eckelen, Debating European Security, 1948–1998, (The Hague-Brussels: Sdu Publishers and Centre for European Policy Studies, 1998), 340–344.

  25. Védrine, Hubert, Les Mondes de Francois Mitterrand, A Elysée, 1981–1995, (Paris: Fayard, 1996), 731.

  26. Qtd in Kori Schake, “NATO After the Cold War, 1991–1995: Institutional Competition and the Collapse of the French Alternative,” Contemporary European History, Vol 7, No 3 (1998), 389.

  27. Schake, “NATO After the Cold War,” 386.

  28. Tyler, Patrick, “U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop,” New York Times, Section A1, (March 8, 1992).

  29. North Atlantic Council, “Final Communique,” December 14–15, 1989.

  30. NATO Heads of State and Government, “The Alliance’s New Strategic Concept,” (Rome, Italy, November, 7–8, 1991), para. 8.

  31. Rob de Wijk, NATO on the Brink of a New Millennium, (London: Brassey’s, 1997), 7, 13–15; Johnston, Seth, How NATO Adapts: Strategy and Organization in the Atlantic Alliance Since 1950, 135.

  32. Johnston, How NATO Adapts, 140.

  33. John Galvin, Senior Officer Oral History Program: General John R. Galvin, U.S. Army Retired, (Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army Military History Institute, 2006), 361.

  34. Galvin, Oral History, 377.

  35. Galvin, Oral History, 331.

  36. George Joulwan, Oral History of General George Joulwan, U.S. Army Retired, (Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army Military History Institute, 2000)," 382.

  37. Andrew Goodpaster, “Andrew J. Goodpaster Interview by Johnson and Ferguson, Section 3,” 25 February 1976,

    Andrew Goodpaster Papers. Reflections Oral History. N.D.- 1976. Box 1, (U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, PA), 12–13.

  38. Joulwan, Oral History, 343.

  39. Joulwan, Oral History, 340.

  40. Joulwan, Oral History, 341.

  41. Joulwan, Oral History, 343.

  42. Joulwan, Oral History, 117 and 382.

  43. Joulwan, Oral History, 342.

  44. George Joulwan, Interview with General (Retired) George Joulwan, (June 24, 2020).

  45. Peter Feaver, Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 2003), 280.

  46. Wesley Clark, Waging Modern War, (New York, NY: Perseus Books Group, 2001), 453.

  47. Sophie Vanhoonacker, The Bush Administration (1989–1993) and the Development of a European Security Identity, (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2001), 101.

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  49. Galvin, Oral History, 361.

  50. Joulwan, Interview.

  51. The phrase was coined by Sandy Vershbow, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council from 1994–97. Sandy Vershbow, Interview with Sandy Vershbow, (June 15, 2020).

  52. Paul E. Gallis, “The Western European Union,” CRS Report 95–758, (June 28, 1995).

  53. Craig R. Whitney, “After NATO Overtures, France Is Ready to Resume Military Role,” The New York Times, (June 9, 1996), 8. Brenner, Michael, Terms of Engagement, 39.

  54. Stanley Sloan, “NATO Adapts for New Missions: The Berlin Accord and Combined Joint Task Forces (CJTF),” Congressional Research Service, Report No 96–561, (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, June 19, 1996).

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  56. Charles Millon, “Vers une Nouvelle Alliance,” Le Monde, (June 11, 1996).

  57. In fact, the veto points in NATO ultimately allowed Turkey to block NATO support to EU missions as a lever in the ongoing disputes between Turkey, Cyprus, and the EU.

  58. Millon, Charles, “France and the Renewal of the Atlantic Alliance,” NATO Review, Vol 44, No 3, (May 1996), 13–16.

  59. “Memorandum of Conversation between National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and Jacques Chirac,” (November 1, 1996). Available in National Security Council and NSC Records Management System, “Declassified Documents Concerning NATO Expansion,” Clinton Digital Library, accessed April 17, 2020, https://clinton.presidentiallibraries.us/items/show/57563.

  60. Brenner, Terms of Engagement, 45.

  61. Conversation between National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and Jacques Chirac,” (November 1, 1996).

  62. Brenner, Terms of Engagement, 237.

  63. Joulwan, Interview.

  64. Gilles Delafon and Thomas Sancton, Dear Jacques Cher Bill…Au Coeur de l’Elysee at de la Maison Blanche, 1995–1999, (Paris: Plon Publishing, 1999), 278–279.

  65. Delafon and Sancton, Dear Jacques Cher Bill, 281.

  66. Vershbow, Interview.

  67. Vershbow, Interview.

  68. Stanley R Sloan, “NATO: July 1997 Madrid Summit Outcome,” CRS Report for Congress (Washington D.C: U.S. Government Printing Office, July 14, 1997), 3.

  69. Władysław Wszebór Kulski, De Gaulle and the World: The Foreign Policy of the Fifth French Republic, (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1966), 164.

  70. Joulwan believed that Clark’s absence at the peace talks was the reason for a number of subsequent problems in the mission. Joulwan, Oral History, 424.

  71. Vershbow, Interview.

  72. Diego Ruiz Palmer, Interview with Diego Ruiz Palmer, Special Adviser for Net Assessment, Defense Policy and Planning Division, NATO International Staff, (April 28, 2020).

  73. Hodges, Interview.

  74. Millon, “France and the Renewal of the Atlantic Alliance.”.

  75. Sloan, “NATO: July 1997 Madrid Summit Outcome.” The PCG has since been redesignated as the Operations Policy Committee (OPC).

  76. Schake, “NATO After the Cold War,” 385 and 387.

  77. John Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. (Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1984), 129.

  78. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternative, and Public Policies, 129.

  79. John Galvin, Fighting the Cold War: A Soldier’s Memoir, (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky), 347.

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  83. David Auerswald and Stephen Saideman, NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014).

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  89. Paul Mcleary, “State, DOD Letter Warns European Union to Open Defense Contracts, Or Else,” Breaking Defense, (May 17, 2019), https://breakingdefense.com/2019/05/state-dod-letter-warnseuropean-union-to-open-defense-contracts-or-else/.

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Acknowledgements

The author wishes to thank Ronald Granieri, John Deni, and Stephen Saideman for offering advice on an earlier version of this paper. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Government, the US Department of Defense, or the US Army.

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Driver, D. SACEUR, CJCS, and U.S. military influence in transatlantic security policy. J Transatl Stud 19, 313–334 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s42738-021-00074-1

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