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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 279–289 | Cite as

An ocean apart: The legacy of the Bush years in transatlantic security

  • Carl Cavanagh HodgeEmail author
Article

Abstract

The foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration is commonly credited with contributing to a significant alienation of Europe from the United States, possibly unprecedented since the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. The sources of estrangement cited are both manners of style, in the administration’s often bellicose or messianic rhetoric, and matters of substance, in its casual disregard for multilateral policymaking in principle, accompanied by its explicit embrace of preemption in the National Security Strategy of September 2002. However, this article argues that the sources of strategic drift between Europe and the United States are structural and wholly predictable, if regrettable, products of post-Cold War change. Although strained transatlantic relations ought in theory to have stimulated the development of a European Security and Defence Policy, substantive progress in this area has been surprisingly modest. Indeed, it is as reasonable to talk of a measure of strategic drift among European states as it is to note the political widening of the Atlantic Ocean. The early evidence from a new administration in Washington testifies less to its hostility and more to its indifference to a global role for Europe.

Keywords

George W. Bush NATO transatlantic relations ESDP Barack Obama 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaOkanaganCanada

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