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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 38–60 | Cite as

The Transatlantic Alliance renewed: the United States and NATO since 9/11

  • Ellen Hallams
Article

Abstract

Following NATO’s historic invocation of Article V in the aftermath of the September 11 (9/11) terrorist attacks, the United States was inundated with Allied offers of moral and practical support for the ‘War on Terrorism’ declared by the Bush Administration. For the most part such offers were spurned, as the United States chose instead to build ad hoc coalitions on a case-by-case, mission-bymission basis. The Bush Administration’s decision to bypass the alliance reignited a simmering debate over its future, prompting many to once again speak of NATO’s imminent ‘demise’. This paper suggests that while the US emerged from NATO’s two Balkans missions with a belief that its operational freedom and flexibility had been hampered by operating within alliance constraints, coalition operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have raised key questions about whether ad hoc coalitions are the most appropriate mechanisms for conducting such operations. NATO’s contributions to post-combat reconstruction and stabilisation have highlighted some of the core advantages to be derived from working through the alliance, but the difficulties it has experienced have also reinforced the urgent need for an accelerated process of transformation and reform. Such a process is likely to be critical to ensuring that NATO can meet the demands of the current security environment, and no longer function simply as a ‘toolbox’ from which the US will pick and choose.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Hallams
    • 1
  1. 1.Reading UniversityUK

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