Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 23–38 | Cite as

ESDP and the Future of the Atlantic Alliance: Political and Geopolitical Considerations

  • Christopher S. Chivvis
Part I: Changing NATO


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  1. 1.
    Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, April 4, 1949, Washington DC. For a discussion see David P. Calleo, The Atlantic Fantasy: The U.S., NATO, and Europe, Baltimore, 1970, pp. 36–44.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a discussion of Franco-German plans for the Eurocorps in the early 1990s see Philip H. Gordon, France, Germany and the Western Alliance, Boulder, Co., 1995, pp. 40–46.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Concerns began in the 1990s. Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Robert Hunter, thought that a European force ‘truly independent of NATO could weaken the latter’s capacity to act’. In 1999, Madeleine Albright famously laid out her concerns about ‘Decoupling, Duplication, and Discrimination’. In December 2000, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen warned again that Europe’s plans might mean the end of the alliance if they were allowed to develop too much autonomy. Finally, in the fall of 2003, yet another spat broke out, this time over the openness of Europe’s deliberations about ESDP. U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, claimed that Europe’s course on ESDP posed the ‘most serious threat to the future of NATO’. See Robert E. Hunter, The European Security and Defense Policy: NATO’s Companion or Competitor? Santa Monica, CA, 2003, p. 13.Google Scholar
  4. 3a.
    For Albright’s ‘Three DY see Madeleine K. Albright, ‘The Right Balance will Secure NATO’s Future’ Financial Times, December 7, 1998. See also Robert E. Hunter, The European Security and Defense Policy, pp. 33–44. For Cohen see, ‘Media Availability with Secretary Cohen and Ukranian MoD’, December 5, 2000. For Burns see ‘NATO’s European Allies offer reassurance to US,’ Financial Times, October 21, 2003, p. 4. Burns later withdrew the comment, but that he should make it at all reflects the ambivalence many American foreign policy officials and analysts feel toward ESDP.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Many of course argue that Europe exercises control over America by its participation in the Alliance. This is no doubt true as well. The degree of influence is hardly equal, however. Any but the most unrealistic reading of alliance politics in late 2002 and early 2003 must conclude that the European capacity to influence America was extremely limited.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    See North Atlantic Council Summit, Final Communiqué, Washington, DC, April 24, 1999.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Perhaps not implausibly, at least in the long term. Charles A. Kupchan has recently argued that Europe’s rise mirrors that of Germany’s in the nineteenth century. See Kupchan, The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-First Century, New York, 2002, pp. 4–11 and 120–131.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    The strategic concept has been evolving since the early 1990s. See ‘Strategic Concept agreed by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council’, Rome, November 8, 1991.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    For an analysis see Philip H. Gordon, ‘Bush’s Middle East Vision’, Survival 45(1), (2003), pp. 155–165. More recently the plan has also been referred to as ‘Broader’ Middle East, perhaps because of the Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 9.
    Speech, ‘NATO and ESDP, shaping the European Pillar of a Transformed Alliance,’ March 15, 2004, Berlin.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    European oil consumption, while remaining constant as a portion of total energy consumption, will increase by only 12 percent, whereas American consumption of oil will increase some 44 percent, also while remaining constant as a portion of total American energy consumption. Calculated from U.S. Department of Energy, International Energy Outlook 2004, Washington, DC, appendix tables A. Such figures are notoriously misleading, but they indicate the general trend. See also, Robert Willenborg, Christoph Tönjes and Wilbur Perlot, Europe’s Oil Defenses: An Analysis of Europe’s Oil Supply Vulnerability and its Emergency Oil Stockholding Systems, The Hague, 2004, pp. 1–16.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    See IMF, ‘The Impact of Higher Oil Prices on the Global Economy,’ Research Paper, December 8, 2000.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    See, Willenborg et al, Analysis, p. 55.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    See NATO Press Office, ‘Istanbul Summit Communiqué’, Press Release (2004)096, June 28, 2004.Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    ‘A Secure Europe In A Better World: European Security Strategy’ Brussels, December 12, 2003. WMD Proliferation is listed second, but called ‘potentially the greatest threat to our security.’ Hereinafter ESS.Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    For an conceptual critique of the ‘failed states’ concept see Jean-François Bayait, ‘La guerre en Afrique: dépérissement ou formation de l’Etat?’ Esprit, 247, (1998), pp. 55–73.Google Scholar
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    For a discussion see Steven Everts, ‘The ultimate test case: can Europe and America forge a joint strategy in the wider Middle East?’ International Affairs, 80(4), (2004), pp. 665–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 17.
    See ibid., p. 671. Such a plan is supported, for example, by John Warner, Chairman of the Congressional Armed Services Committee.Google Scholar
  19. 18.
    ESS, pp. 12–13.Google Scholar
  20. 19.
    The Shahab II missile puts Europe in range. See Harald Müller, ‘Middle Eastern Threats to the Atlantic Community’, Politik und Gesellschaft Online, 4, (2001).Google Scholar
  21. 20.
    Chris Patten, Speech, (n.t.), February 12, 2004, European Parliament, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  22. 21.
    For a discussion see ‘L’Europe en Iran,’ editorial, Le Monde, October 23, 2003.Google Scholar
  23. 22.
    Figures from U.S. Department of State, Algeria: Country Notes, 2004. Available at:
  24. 23.
    See Brenda Schaffer, ‘U.S. Policy’, in Dov Lynch (ed.), The South Caucasus: A Challenge for the EU, Chaillot Paper no. 65, Institute for Security Studies, Paris, 2003, pp. 53–61.Google Scholar
  25. 24.
    See John Roberts, ‘Energy Reserves’ in ibid., pp. 93–95.Google Scholar
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    See Robin Bhatty and Rachel Bronson, ‘NATO’s Mixed Signals in the Caucasus and Central Asia’, Survival, 42(3), (2000), 129–145, esp. p. 136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 26.
    See Peters, et al, European Contributions to Operation Allied Force: Implications for Transatlantic Relations, RAND, 2001, pp. 29, 72.Google Scholar
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    See, for example, Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, New York, Basic Books, 1997.Google Scholar
  29. 27a.
    The classic argument is, of course, John Haiford Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality: A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction, New York, 1919.Google Scholar
  30. 28.
    For an economic analysis see Dominic Wilson and Roopa Purushothaman, ‘Dreaming with BRICs: the Path to 2050’, Goldman Sachs Global Economics Paper no. 99, October, 2003. See also David P. Calleo, Rethinking Europe’s Future, Princeton, 2001, pp. 354–374.Google Scholar
  31. 29.
    See A.J.P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe: 1848–1918, Oxford, 1954, pp. 325–345.Google Scholar
  32. 30.
    For an imaginative argument in this vein, see Lanxin Xiang, ‘China’s Eurasian Experiment’, Survival, 46(2), (2004), pp. 109–119. Elsewhere Xiang has argued elaborately that the whole idea of the ‘West’ is questionable. His very learned argument, however, misses a fundamental point. Even if the ‘West’ is a myth, it is a powerful one, with, as he himself admits, strong roots in prevailing Enlightenment views of the world.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 31.
    Fischer, op.cit.Google Scholar
  34. 32.
    As has been emphasized by several analysis of Transatlantic affairs. See, for example, Ivo Daalder, ‘Are the United States and Europe Heading for a Divorce?’ International Affairs, 77(3), (2001), pp. 553–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 33.
    See Martin Walker, ‘Variable Geography: America’s Mental Maps of a Greater Europe’ International Affairs, 76(3), (2000), p. 460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 34.
    For a discussion see, among others, John Gillingham, European Integration, 1950–2003, Cambridge, 2003, pp. 149–294.Google Scholar
  37. 35.
    Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership, New York, 2004, esp. pp. 85–106.Google Scholar
  38. 36.
    See Peters et. al, op. cit.Google Scholar
  39. 37.
    It would in fact resemble Kant’s federal plan for Perpetual Peace. See Immanuel Kant, ‘To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795)’ in Perpetual Peace and Other Essays on Politics, History and Morals, Indianapolis, 1983, esp. pp. 115–118.Google Scholar
  40. 38.
    For discussions of the material issues involved and especially the role of defense consolidation in ESDP, see Gilles Andréani, Christophe Bertram, and Charles Grant, ‘Europe’s military Revolution’, Center for European Reform, March 2001.Google Scholar
  41. 38a.
    See also Steven Everts and Daniel Keohane, ‘The European Convention and EU foreign Policy: Learning from Failure’, Survival, 45(3), (2003), pp. 67–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 39.
    For a discussion see Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire, New York, 2004, pp. 232–233. This is not to say that an increase in Europe’s debt would be advisable, only that it is possible.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Board of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher S. Chivvis
    • 1
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International StudiesWashington, D.C.USA

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