Patrick Horvath






A Comparison between the Security Strategies of USA and EU


The Bush versus the Solana Doctrine








“Master of Advanced International Studies” (M.A.I.S.) Diplomatic Academy of Vienna



1st supervisor: Prof.Dr. Hanspeter Neuhold (International Politics)

2nd supervisor: Prof.Dr. Anton Pelinka (Comparative Politics)






Vienna, 2004




Contents (p.2), Credits (p.5), Introduction (p.6)



PART 1: The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (p.8)



1.1. Historical background (p.8)


1.2. Summary of main contents (p.11)


Introduction (p.11)


Chapter I: Overview of America's International Strategy (p.12)


Chapter II: Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity (p.12)


Chapter III: Strengthen Alliances to Defeat Global Terrorism and Work

to Prevent Attacks Against Us and Our Friends (p.13)


Chapter IV: Work with others to Defuse Regional Conflicts (p.14)


Chapter V: Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction (p.14)


Chapter VI: Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through free Markets and Free Trade (p.16)


Chapter VII: Expand the Circle of Development by Opening Societies and Building the Infrastructure of Democracy (p.16)


Chapter IX: Transform America's National Security Institution to Meet the Challenges and Opportunities of the Twenty-First Century (p.17)


1.3. Comments on core elements (p.18)


1.3.1. USA - omnipotent and powerless (p.18)


1.3.2. A new world order: the end of the Cold War; universal values; global engagement (p.19)


1.3.3. Assessment of threats: terrorism, rogue states, weapons of mass destruction (p.21)


1.3.4. "Multilateralism à la carte" (p.22)


1.3.5. The doctrine of prevention / preemption (p.24)



Part 2: "A Secure Europe in a Better World" - The European Security Strategy (p.28)



2.1. Historical background (p.28)


2.2. Summary of main contents (p.30)


Introduction (p.30)


Chapter I: The Security Environment: Global Challenges and Key Threats (p.30)


·        Global Challenges (p.30)

·        Key Threats (p.31)


Chapter II: Strategic Objectives (p.31)


·        Addressing the threats (p.31)

·        Building Security in Our Neighbourhood (p.31)

·        An International Order Based on Effective Multilateralism (p.32)


Chapter III: Policy Implications for Europe (p.32)


·        More Active (p.32)

·        More Capable (p.33)

·        More Coherent (p.33)

·        Working with partners (p.34)

2.3. Comments on core elements (p.34)


2.3.1. Lack of political will (p.34)


2.3.2. EU's war on terrorism - achievements and failures (p.35)


2.3.3. Lack of military capabilities (p.37)



Part 3: On the Future of Transatlantic Relations - a Comparison between the two Documents (p.41)



3.1. Theoretical background: the transatlantic relationship (p.41)


3.1.1. Transatlantic relationship endangered? (p.41)


3.1.2. Why did the differences occur? Three theoretical approaches (p.44)

 Realism (p.44)
 Constructivism (p.47)
 Liberalism (p.49)


3.2. Comparison of texts (p.50)


3.2.1. Size and quality (p.50)


3.2.2. Self-confidence (p.53)


3.2.3. Assessment of threats (p.54)


3.2.4. Fight against HIV / AIDS (p.55)


3.2.5. Transatlantic relations (p.58)


3.2.6. International Criminal Court (ICC) (p.60)


3.3. Summary of the Thesis / Conclusion (p.62)


Literature (p.65)



America applauds those who fight for liberty and independence, "but she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy...The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."


John Quincy Adams, 2nd president of the United States of America, 1821



"Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history. But our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil."


George Walker Bush, 43rd president of the United States of America, 2001



*        *         *




I would like to thank all those who have helped me with my academic work, especially the following persons:


·        ...Prof.Hanspeter Neuhold and Prof.Anton Pelinka for acting as my supervisors. I could profit a lot from their experience and academic advice.

·        ...Prof.Werner Neudeck, dean of students, for the coordination of our programme.

· charming colleagues Hanna Lauren (Finland) and Monika Milewski (Austria) for acting as the "active discussants" of my work during our Thesis Seminars, thereby providing me with an input of precious ideas.

·        ...our English teacher Keith Chester and my dear colleague Brad Klapper (USA) for the correction of my truly "Austrian" English.

·        ...Ambassador Ernst Sucharipa, director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, for his presentations on "Diplomacy in the 21st Century" and "Current Transatlantic Relations" during our Interdisciplinary Seminars, which strongly influenced my writings.

·        ...the team of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, especially study director Elisabeth Hofer, deputy director Gerhard Reiweger and Ms.Ingrid Eidler for their support during this study year.






The objective of this thesis is to compare two core documents of international relations: the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (the "Bush doctrine") and the European Security Strategy (the "Solana doctrine"). What do the Security Strategies of the USA and the EU have in common, where are the main differences? This topic ultimately leads to the question of the future of transatlantic relations, which are currently suffering from major problems; some authors even indicate that "the West is cracking" (Fukuyama). Are America and Europe drifting apart? What does the comparison of the two documents indicate, taking into consideration the relevant theoretical background concerning transatlantic relations (realism, constructivism, liberalism)?


The relevance of such an academic work is clear:


First, the two above-mentioned documents are very important statements on international politics. Their analysis and comparison can be an important contribution to political science.


Second, transatlantic relations are crucial for the security environment we live in. Their future is linked to the future of European and global security. An assessment of their current status is therefore also important.


Third, despite some recent publications[1] competent academic comparisons between the two Security Strategies are still missing. This thesis therefore might provide relevant and new results.


This thesis follows an interdisciplinary approach by taking into account two different political science disciplines. A distinct analysis of the above-mentioned document ultimately leads to a discussion of different security issues, ranging from U.S. relations with China to the creation of European military capabilities. These problems are linked to the discipline "International Politics". A comparison of two Security Strategies, which outline different policies, belongs to the discipline of "Comparative Politics". Such a comparison must also take into account structural differences between the political systems and societies behind the documents. One must, for instance, always take into account that the National Security Strategy of the United States of America is the product of one government, whereas the European Security Strategy is a compromise between a greater number of governments. Such facts are mentioned throughout the text; differences in cultures and society are especially dealt with in Part III in the sections about the theoretical background of the transatlantic relationship.


Finally, an introduction should also provide a response to a legitimate, but misleading question the author was confronted with while writing this work: what if George W. Bush loses the next presidential elections and John F. Kerry wins? What will then happen to this thesis? Will it be one more book for the shelf?


The correct response to this question is that even then there is no reason to believe that this thesis will be outdated. Authors like Robert Kagan rightly insist that the current transatlantic problem is not a George W. Bush problem; there are structural rather than personal reasons for it. The future of the "Bush doctrine" is not certain under future administrations. However, throughout history some doctrines have politically "survived" the presidents who first announced them. The "Truman doctrine" of "containment" was the first strategy a president developed to the new security environment after 1945, which was marked by the emergence of the "Cold War". The Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower originally opposed the strategy of his Democrat predecessor. However, after being elected, he de facto adopted the "Truman doctrine", which became the U.S. strategy for the next fifty years. The same might happen to the "Bush doctrine", which tries to provide a solution to the problems of the new security environment after the end of the Cold War and the attacks of September 11, 2001. One day Bush will be no longer president. But it is very unlikely that all elements of his strategy will disappear. The "Bush doctrine", however problematic, might be here to stay.



PART 1: The National Security Strategy of the United States of America



1.1. Historical background


On September 20, 2002 U.S. president George W. Bush released his version of the "National Security Strategy of the United States of America", which was then submitted to the Congress and the public.[2] Since the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, every U.S. president is required to submit a national security report to the Congress. The United States Code (USC) 404a states that the report must include an explanation of the USA's vital interests, foreign policy commitments and defence capabilities.[3]


According to Lombardi[4] these reports serve two main purposes:


·        ...providing an overview of the administration's thinking on national security affairs, thereby enabling predictability and transparency of U.S. foreign policy.

·        ...providing the Congress with relevant information about U.S. strategy, thereby helping this assembly in the decision-making process concerning the funding of security related executive responsibilities, such as the armed forces, intelligence services, and the conduct of foreign relations.


Additionally, the mere existence of a National Security Strategy can make an increasingly complex foreign policy more efficient. A statement of clear, general guidelines, objectives and principles can serve as a common basis for all efforts undertaken by a highly diversified bureaucratic apparatus. Such a Strategic Concept can therefore provide coherence.


Taking into account the above mentioned legal basis, the publication of a National Security Strategy is under normal circumstances a rather usual procedure, a mere routine. The overwhelmingly negative media reaction to the submitted document indicates that the circumstances were not usual at all and the whole procedure was far from routine. Normally National Security Strategies tend to be ignored by the public and the mass media.[5]


The public attention can at least partly be explained by the fact that the National Security Strategy was not only the first Security Strategy presented by the Bush administration, but also the first one published after the tragic events of September 11.[6]


The National Security Committee (NSC) in Washington started working on the concept in spring 2002.[7] It should be worth noting that the final result of September 2002 was not submitted on time: According to the above mentioned provisions (USC 404a) the concept must be delivered to the Congress no later than 150 days after the president's inauguration. The delay was due to bureaucratic problems in the preparatory work and the events of September 11, which made a completely new approach necessary.[8]


It may be assumed that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice played a crucial role in drafting the concept.[9] The development of the National Security Strategy can be seen as an evolutionary process, which was accompanied by intensive discussions within the inner circle of advisors surrounding president George W. Bush.[10]


This evolutionary pattern can be illustrated by George W. Bush's speeches within the time frame of the development of the Strategic Concept. Three speeches, which strongly influenced the final text are especially worth mentioning. They can be seen as forerunners of the National Security Strategy and are partly quoted in the document.


These speeches are:


·        State of the Union address (January 2002).[11] Bush told Congress and the nation that the United States faced new threats, extending beyond terrorist groups to rogue states. In this context he explicitly mentioned Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Despite the fact that the political and ideological systems of the three countries do not have much in common, he declared: "States like this, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil." In his speech he not only linked rogue states with the phenomenon of terrorism, but also with weapons of mass destruction: "By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic." Then he announced that this trinity of evil (rogue states, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction) could only be fought through active engagement: "Time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons." It can be assumed that these words were especially directed against Iraq's regime, which was accused of possessing weapons of mass destruction by the U.S. administration: weapons that have not yet been found.


·        Declaration to the German Bundestag (May 2002). In it Bush states that the shared beliefs and common goals of the transatlantic relationship prevail over all differences.[12] The text of this declaration was also partly integrated into the National Security Strategy.


·        Commencement speech at West Point (June 2002).[13] Calling for new thinking to match new threats, the commander-in-chief told a new generation of soldiers that the old Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment were outdated. "Deterrence - the promise of massive retaliation against nations - means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend. Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies." Bush also mentioned what he later termed the "new doctrine called preemption" by stating: "...the war on terror will not be won on the defensive..." Instead, he proclaimed that "we must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act." Most chapters of the National Security Strategy are headed by a quotation from this speech.


It must again be stressed that the historical event that shaped the National Security Strategy was the terrorist attack on September 11. The authors clearly had it in mind when they developed their concept. The experience of vulnerability despite a huge military and economic power potential has certainly shocked the American people and their political elite.[14] It has perhaps caused a trauma that has yet to be overcome. That does not mean that September 11 has changed everything; some elements of the National Security Strategy were formulated in a similar way by former administrations.[15] But the shocking events have surely accelerated a process that already came into being after the end of the Cold War.


1.2. Summary of main contents


The objective of this section is to paraphrase and to summarise the main contents of the National Security Strategy. This information will serve as a basis for the next section (1.3.), which contains critical comments on the core assumptions of the document and general information on the current scientific discussion.


First a short remark about structure and language of the document: the National Security Strategy is a document of slightly more than 30 pages, which are divided in nine small chapters. Additionally, it includes a table of contents and an introduction of about three pages. This introduction is signed by George W. Bush. It is written in plain English so that, as the president told his staff, "the boys in Lubbock" could read and understand it.[16]




The introduction provides a kind of general summary of the contents of the National Security Strategy. It contains basic assumptions (like the moral superiority of democracy over other forms of government or the universality of the values the USA is built upon) and the topics addresses later on (like the war against terrorism, the relationship with other great powers such as China and Russia, the fight against AIDS, the emphasis on free market economy etc.) the importance of international cooperation is stressed, presumably as a response to critics. "In keeping with our heritage and principles we do not press for unilateral advantage....We are also guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone. Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom-loving nations." The United States is committed to multilateral institutions like UN, NATO etc., "coalitions of the willing" can augment these permanent institutions. "In all cases, international obligations are to be taken seriously. They are not to be undertaken symbolically to rally support for an ideal without furthering its attainment."


Chapter I: Overview of America's International Strategy


The United States of America will use its unprecedented and unequal strength and influence to defend universal liberal values world-wide. A "balance of power that favors freedom" must be created. The struggle between totalitarianism and democracy is over. Today other threats are rising, such as radical terrorists. The world's failing states are more dangerous for the USA than the powerful ones. The U.S. strategy is based on "a distinctly American internationalism". It is the United States' mission to "make the world not just safer but better". In order to do so, the United States follows eight objectives that serve as titles for the rest of the document's chapters.


Chapter II: Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity


The values the United States stands for "are right and true for all people everywhere". This is especially true for the right of education and freedom from poverty, violence and political oppression. The demands of human dignity, such as rule of law, religious freedom etc. are "nonnegotiable". These values, which are in the case of the U.S. enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, were historically successful, whereas the violation of these principles was not. America's experience as a multiethnic society strengthens its conviction that "people of many heritages and faiths can live and prosper in peace". The world-wide trend of democratisation must be supported by the United States. The U.S. will support this movement by using diplomatic means within international institutions, by granting foreign aid, by making the development of democratic institutions a key theme in bilateral relations, and by making "special efforts" to promote religious freedom. The precise form of these "efforts" is, however, not exactly defined. "We will champion the cause of human dignity and oppose those who resist it."

Chapter III: Strengthen Alliances to Defeat Global Terrorism and Work to Prevent Attacks Against Us and Our Friends


The enemy of the United States of America is terrorism, which is defined as "premeditated, politically motivated violence against innocents". It has to be fought globally. No cause justifies terrorism, not even "legitimate grievances", which have to be addressed within a political process. There will be no concessions to and deals with terrorists; there will be no distinction drawn between terrorists and states who knowingly harbour and provide aid to them. The war against global terrorism will last long and will have to be fought on many fronts. The war in Afghanistan was the first successful step in this direction; but still many terrorist cells remain on all continents. Terrorist organisations must be destroyed by attacking and disrupting their command, control, communications, material support and finances.


In this fight, "all the elements of national and international power" will be used. "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country..." The USA will also wage a "war of ideas" against international terrorism. All terrorism must be considered illegitimate and be viewed in the same light as genocide, slavery etc., i.e. it is intolerable. "Modern and moderate" Muslim countries should be supported. The international community should be mobilised against the terrorist threat.


Public diplomacy will serve as a tool to spread democratic beliefs and ideals. America's homeland security must be strengthened "(w)hile we recognize that our best defense is a good offense". In order to do so, the Bush Administration has proposed the largest government reorganisation since the Truman Administration created a National Security Council and a Department of Defence. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, a new unified military command and a fundamental reordering of the FBI.


Emergency management systems and medical systems will be strengthened in order to deal with possible damages caused by biological or chemical weapons; border controls will also be improved. This improvement will have positive side effects on other fields. Afghanistan will be rebuilt together with the UN, NGOs and other countries, "so that it will never again abuse its people, threaten its neighbors, and provide a haven for terrorists".


Chapter IV: Work with others to Defuse Regional Conflicts


"Concerned nations" must remain actively engaged in regional conflicts - for humanitarian purposes, but also in order to provide stability in an interconnected world. The Unites States has finite political, economic and military resources to meet their global priorities. The necessity of U.S. engagement will be decided from case to case; the USA should invest in building international relationships and institutions that can help manage local crises, but it should also be realistic about its (limited) ability to help those who are unwilling or unready to help themselves.


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict deserves special attention: The close relationship between the USA and Israel is mentioned, but there is also a commitment to an independent and democratic Palestine. "If Palestinians embrace democracy, and the rule of law, confront corruption, and firmly reject terror, they can count on American support for the creation of a Palestinian state." Israeli settlements in the occupied territories must stop; permanent occupation threaten Israel's identity and democracy. The USA will try to contribute to these goals, but in the end Israelis and Palestinians must "resolve the issues and end the conflict" by themselves.


In South Asia, the USA emphasises the need for India and Pakistan to end their conflict; strong bilateral relations have been and will be built up with both countries.


One main problem that has to be countered in Latin America is the existence of drug cartels. For example, Colombia suffers from problems caused by terrorist and extremist groups an drug trafficking; therefore it must be helped. Africa's failing states must be stabilised for humanitarian reasons, but also because they might harbour terrorists. In its strategy for Africa, the USA will rely on "anchors" like South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia, "coalitions of the willing" and on the cooperation with European allies.


Chapter V: Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction


While deterrence was the dominating strategy during the Cold War, the new security environment has undergone drastic transformation. Some changes are positive, like the new partnership with Russia that replaced former rivalry, but "new deadly challenges have emerged from rogue states and terrorism". Rogue states fulfil the following vaguely defined criteria (it is not stated who will decide if they apply): they brutalise their own people and squander their national resources for the personal gain of the ruler; they display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbours and violate treaties to which they are party; they are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction; they sponsor terrorism around the globe; they reject basic values and, finally, "hate the United States and everything for which it stands". The status of a "rogue state" is therefore explicitly dependant on a certain policy towards the USA, which is therefore a kind of incarnation of morality in international politics.


Iraq and North Korea are explicitly mentioned as such rogue states. Surprisingly, Iran is not. These rogue states must be stopped; but the main strategies of the Cold War (deterrence and retaliation) do not promise to be successful "against leaders of rogue states more willing to take risks, gambling with the lives of their people, and the wealth of their nations."


The alternative strategy is "preemption": "The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction - and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."


The National Security Strategy also claims that this strategy is in accordance with international law (an assumption that can be challenged[17]):


"For centuries, international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack before they can lawfully take action to defend themselves against forces that present an imminent danger of attack. Legal scholars and international jurists often conditioned the legitimacy of preemption on the existence of an imminent threat - most often a visible mobilization of armies, navies and air forces preparing to attack. We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today's adversaries. Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us by using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction - weapons that can be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning."


Chapter VI: Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through free Markets and Free Trade


The USA will contribute to promoting global economic growth which will positively affect U.S. economy. The "lessons of history" show that a market economy is the best way to promote prosperity and reduce poverty. It must be backed by measures that protect the health of the workers and the environment. The USA is committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


Chapter VII: Expand the Circle of Development by Opening Societies and Building the Infrastructure of Democracy


Poverty and unequal distribution of wealth is one of the world's major problems. "Including all of the world's poor in an expanding circle of development" is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of U.S. foreign policy.


The efficiency of (traditional) development assistance is questioned. Nevertheless, an increase of U.S. development aid by 50% is proposed. The World Bank has to become more efficient.


The USA is ready to spend more resources for the fight against HIV / AIDS. New technologies (including biotechnologies) might reduce hunger and malnutrition.


Chapter VIII: Develop Agendas for Cooperative Action with the Other Main Centers of Global Power


America will organise and take over the leadership of coalitions. Cooperation with Canada and European allies is crucial; therefore NATO and the EU, for whom the National Security Strategy expresses its appreciation, play a significant role. Some main demands for NATO reform are outlined, which should ensure its functioning in the future under new conditions; here mobility and global engagement seem to play a central role.


The following close Asian allies in the war against terrorism are especially mentioned: Australia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand and the Philippines. The rest of the chapter mainly deals with the U.S. relationship with Russia, India and China.


Russia is no longer a strategic adversary. Despite difficulties (like the distrust of Russian elites of America's motives), much has been and will be done to improve the U.S.-Russian-relationship (like the creation of a NATO-Russia Council, the common alliance in the war against terrorism etc.). The USA supports Russia's entry into the WTO without lowering standards for accessions. Russia's war in Chechnya is not mentioned.


With India there are differences concerning India's nuclear programme and economic reform. The country has a huge potential and might become a major actor in the 21st century as the world's largest democracy. It is an ally in the war against terror.


The National Security Strategy is not silent about the differences with China; it explicitly mentions Taiwan and human rights policy. The "emerge(nce) of a strong, peaceful and prosperous China" is welcomed. China's entry into the WTO will provide an important stimulus for U.S. economy.


Chapter IX: Transform America's National Security Institution to Meet the Challenges and Opportunities of the Twenty-First Century


All institutions of American national security must be reformed in order to meet the new requirements. The essential role of American military strength must be reaffirmed. The structure of the military forces must be adapted to the new threats of a post-Cold War era. The intelligence community is "our first line of defense against terrorists and the threat posed by hostile states"; it must also learn how to deal with a more complex and elusive set of targets instead of gathering information about a huge empire like the Soviet Union. The authority of the director of CIA has to be strengthened. The vital role of effective diplomacy is also reaffirmed. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is rejected; U.S. nationals have to be "protected" before its jurisdiction. Under the conditions of globalisation, the distinction between domestic and foreign affairs is diminishing. The USA is considered extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Finally, the National Security Strategy expresses confidence that the war against terror can be won.

1.3. Comments on core elements


1.3.1. The USA - omnipotent and powerless


The United States of America can be described as both omnipotent and powerless; and the National Security Strategy is perfectly aware of this dilemma.


On the one hand, the United States is the world's "unprecedented superpower".[18] It is sometimes even called an "unchallenged empire"[19], or, in the well-known words of French foreign minister Védrine, a "hyper-puissance". The American military is superior to all other armed forces in the world. Great powers like China, India or Russia are at the moment too poor to build up a similar power potential. Japan or a united Europe could, but they lack the political will to do so. In addition, the U.S. economy and its technology are superior to those of all other potential competitors.


George W. Bush realised this when he wrote in his introduction to the National Security Strategy: "Today, the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence." It is made clear by the National Security Strategy that the USA is determined to defend this unique position and will not allow potential rivals to catch up. In Chapter IX the document states: "Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States."


In the last paragraph of the document the power assets of the USA are also explicitly mentioned. All these judgements on America's current hegemonic position in the world are correct. The USA is, as the world's only remaining superpower, capable of performing military interventions in every region of the world. Without the USA it is unlikely that any progress can be achieved in a number of crisis areas, including the Middle East. From this perspective, the United States seems to be nearly omnipotent.


On the other hand, the United States suffers from "strategic vulnerability".[20] One of the core problems of the current security environment is an alliance between technology and extremism.[21] Today it is easy for relatively small groups to cause major damage to the structures of a society and kill vast numbers of people by using modern technology. Radical elements have existed in all centuries. But today they are much more dangerous than they used to be, because they have deadlier weapons at their disposal. The United States as an open and highly diversified society with its complicated economic structure is especially vulnerable to terrorist attacks. It is very hard to prepare against or to foresee such attacks. Terrorists come out of nowhere; they strike by surprise; they are prepared to die and consequently can hardly be deterred by threats So the USA is, despite all its power assets, in a way powerless in the face of new security problems.


1.3.2. A new world order; the end of the Cold War; universal values; global engagement


In the view of some experts, the National Security Strategy has the potential of becoming a "milestone" of U.S. foreign policy.[22] Its historical relevance partly lies in the fact that it offers a new strategy for the new world order of the 21st century. It overcomes the strategic concepts of the Cold War.[23]


The National Security Strategy provides a mixture of "realistic" and "idealistic" elements.[24] On the one hand, to deal with "realism" first, the U.S. is perfectly aware of its own power assets, on which it relies. There are of course non-military elements in the document which tend to be overseen by critics.[25] Nevertheless, the emphasis on military power is strong.


On the other hand, there is also a strong emphasis on rather "idealistic", liberal values: human rights, freedom, justice etc. These values are not considered purely American, but universal. Consequently, they have to be defended in a global context.


"The great struggle of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom - and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. In the twenty-first century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people and assure their future prosperity. People everywhere want to be able to speak freely; choose who will govern them; worship as they please; educate their children - male and female; own property; and enjoy the benefits of their labor. These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society - and the duty of protecting these values against their enemies is the common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the ages."[26]


The philosophy of history underlying the National Security Strategy sometimes reminds many scholars of the writings of Francis Fukuyama ("End of History").[27] Fukuyama claims that humanity entered a final stage of history with the globalisation of the market economy and democratisation. The war between ideologies such as democracy, fascism and communism is over, because democracy has proven its superiority. What is necessary now is the preservation and further spread of this superior model to the world.


"The U.S. national security strategy will be based on a distinctly American internationalism that reflects the union of our values and our national interest. The aim of this strategy is to help make the world not just safer but better."[28]


This last quotation illustrates the missionary character of the National Security Strategy. America has to defend universal values, which are not only true and just for Americans, but for everyone. Everyone who does not accept these values has to be fought - not only in America, but everywhere around the globe.


This thesis neither suggests that the above stated values are not universal, nor that they are not morally superior to others. But two critical questions must be raised:


·        Can the conviction of representing the forces of good in the world under certain circumstances turn into a dangerous crusade, that can do harm to all the values it claims to defend? The rhetoric of the "decision" George W. Bush offered to the world in one of his speeches ("with us or against us"[29]) certainly breeds such fears.


·        Can a lack of self-criticism cause unrealistic assumptions about the realities of world politics? In one of his well-known quotes, U.S. president Bush honestly wondered, how anyone could not like the USA despite the fact that "we are so good". Some U.S. strategists also expected the Iraqi population to warmly welcome American troops as the forces of freedom and were surprised about the actual active and passive resistance. Should such a Manichaean world-view serve as a basis for political action? Or should a more differentiated one prevail?


1.3.3. Assessment of threats: terrorism, rogue states, weapons of mass destruction


The National Security Strategy mainly identifies two major threats for the future of the US and the whole civilised world: terrorist networks and rogue states, which both possibly acquire weapons of mass destruction.[30] Together they might often form alliances, which must be destroyed.


Some authors judge these threats as realistic[31], others name specific examples where they have not been so realistic at all. Before the new Gulf War, the USA claimed that there was an alliance between Iraq and terrorist networks like Al Qaeda. Such claims lacked credence when they were made - one should always keep in mind that Hussein was a "secular" dictator whom many Islamic fundamentalists saw as their enemy. But even today, after the war, there is no evidence that such an alliance ever existed.[32]


In his State of the Union address George W. Bush explicitly mentioned Iraq, North Korea and Iran as being part of an "axis of evil". In the National Security Strategy, Iraq and North Korea are referred to as rogue states, while Iran is not mentioned. According to Lombardi a likely explanation "is that mention of Iran was dropped to appease critics of the 'axis of evil' designation, including many important allies. In other words, rogue states would appear to be a public label subject to private political consideration."[33]


The objectivity of the criteria for intervention is often questioned by critics.[34] Might power politics or economic interest (for instance, access to oil resources) also play a role in the assessment on who is a rogue state and who is not? And even if the USA acted out of pure idealism, many problems would still exist. What if its intelligence information about terrorist plans or the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction in another country is false? Under a former administration a plant in Sudan that produced pharmaceutical drugs was blown up because it was said to produce chemical weapons. What ought to be done in order to prevent such failures? The National Security Strategy's objective to "build better, more integrated intelligence capabilities to provide timely, accurate information on threats" remains a rather vague answer to this question.


1.3.4. "Multilateralism à la carte"


The National Security Strategy rests on knowledge about American military, economic and political power and the clear will to use it in order to deal with security problems. According to Ivo Daalder, president Bush is responsible for a "revolution" in foreign policy. This revolution rests on the belief that in a dangerous world the best if not only way to ensure America's security is to shed the constraints imposed by friends, allies and international institutions. Therefore one of the main goals of the new administration was maximising America's freedom to act. George W. Bush therefore created something like "America Unbound", as Daalder entitles his book on U.S. foreign policy.[35]


The (mostly negative) media reaction to the National Security Strategy was quite similar to Daalder's assessment. The document was perceived as an assertion of American unilateralism and a rejection of multilateral cooperation.


U.S. policy towards Iraq seems to support such a view. The USA largely ignored criticism put forward by allies like Germany or France, other great powers like Russia or China or public opinion in the Arab world. The war was initiated despite the fact that it did not enjoy the same kind of multilateral support as the Gulf War waged by George W. Bush's father in 1991. Consequently the reaction to the new Gulf War was the following: "Anger had swelled overseas at what was seen as an arrogant and hypocritical America. Several close allies spoke openly about how to constrain America rather than how best to work with it."[36]


U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell tried to qualify such criticism from the mass media and researchers. In an article in "Foreign Affairs" ("A Strategy of Partnerships") he denies that U.S. strategy is unilateralist by design:


"Above all, the president's strategy is one of partnerships that strongly affirms the vital role of NATO and other U.S. alliances - including the UN."[37]


He tries to defend this statement by pointing out the president's effort to include the United Nations in the decision-making process concerning post-war Iraq. Additionally "we tried for a further resolution to unite the international community in the months before Operation Iraqi Freedom began"[38], which is a proof for Powell that the US respects the UN to a great deal. Of course the fact that the United States finally started the war without such a Security Council resolution could also be interpreted as a lack of respect for this institution.


Powell also emphasises international cooperation in the development of a "roadmap" for the Middle East conflict;[39] he also mentions the priorities the National Security Strategy places in the development of cooperative relations among world powers like China, Russia and India. Finally, he also finds kind and warm words for the European partners:


"It is true that we have had differences with some of our oldest and most valued NATO allies. But these are differences among friends. The transatlantic partnership is based so firmly on common interests and values that neither feuding personalities nor occasionally divergent perceptions can derail it. We have new friends and old friends alike in Europe. They are all, in the end, best friends, which is why the president continues to talk about partnerships, not polarities, when he speaks about Europe."[40]


These words most likely represent Powell's honest convictions, but they are of course hard to equate with Donald Rumsfeld's comparison between communist rogue states like Cuba and allies like the Federal Republic of Germany. This raises another critical question. Is the secretary of state's interpretation of the National Security Strategy the same as the secretary of defence's one? And do President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney interpret it similarly? Can the document really be interpreted as a "Strategy of Partnerships"? Or is it just an attempt to downplay the unilateral dimension of the strategy?


The statements of the National Security Strategy and the policy of the United States indeed seem to indicate a desire for multilateral cooperation. But this form of multilateralism might best be described in the words of Richard Haass (head of the planning staff in the State Departement) as "multilateralism à la carte".[41] In such a model, the United States seeks multilateral support for its own policy within UN, NATO etc. If such a broad support cannot be found, the USA instead tries to form, in the words of Bush's introduction to his Strategic Concept, "coalitions of the willing" with at least some other countries. These coalitions are more ad hoc than permanent alliances. In the unlikely case that no such partners can be found the USA would under certain circumstances also act alone, even against the will of its closest traditional allies, whose influence on U.S. policy will in any case be limited, whether they follow the leading nation or not. Such a concept of "multilateralism à la carte" could be unilateralism in disguise.


1.3.5. The doctrine of prevention / preemption


The essence of the National Security Strategy is chapter 5, entitled "Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction", which fleshes out the concept of anticipatory military action.[42]


The ideas of prevention / preemption are developed in great detail in the document, whereas other statements remain rather vague (for example: what does the objective "to transform our military forces to ensure our ability to conduct rapid and precise operations to achieve decisive results" mean in concreto?). Also the "loose language"[43] of the document leaves much room for interpretation of the U.S. view on anticipatory defence.


Only a small minority of scholars believes that the National Security Strategy draws a clear distinction between the terms "prevention" and "preemption".[44] This thesis follows the more convincing and better argued claim of the majority of academic commentaries that the two terms are used interchangeably in the document. Francois Heisbourg, chairman of the Board of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, gives one example for the confusion: "For example, chapter 5, intended to define and outline the concept of preemption uses the verb 'prevent' in its heading to summarize the chapters contents."[45] Another passage (taken from chapter 3) can also serve as a good example of this problem. The USA, it states, wants to exercise its right of self-defence "by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country..." Preemptive action is thus carried out in order not to preempt, but in order to prevent.


Normally, the terms "preemption" and "prevention" are both types of anticipatory military defence. Both terms can be used to describe attacks on other states before these other countries have attacked. But there is also a difference between the meaning of the words. When "preemptive" measures are used, the countered threat is already imminent. The classic example of a preemptive strike is Israel's Six Days War. Israeli intelligence found out that the neighbouring countries had already prepared and would start an armed attack within the next few hours; the threat was imminent and there was also concrete evidence for this claim. So Israel decided to strike first in order to gain a tactical advantage and to minimise the risk for its own civilians. "Preventive" war on the other hand is more what Machiavelli has in mind, when he talks in his "Prince" about the war between Romans and Macedonians. It was wise for the Romans to attack Macedonia, he concludes, because if they had not, the rising power of Macedonia would have posed a threat to Roman hegemony within the next ten or fifteen years. It is of course very hard to prove such an assumption.


The "unfixed terminology" of the National Security Strategy, which partly confuses preemption and prevention, is most likely used intentionally in order to leave potential opponents in a kind of uncertainty how the U.S. would actually react to threats, which is, in strategic terms, not necessarily a bad idea. Still, this wording also causes severe problems.


"Another consequence of misusing the two terms is to confuse the public debate in the international arena, inviting a confluence of strategic worst-case analysis and political anti-U.S. sentiment both by U.S. allies and adversaries. Such confusion can undermine mutual confidence and trust among U.S. allies and partners while also increasing the domestic and international margin for political manoeuvring by U.S. adversaries when contemplating radical countermeasures, thus easing the way for all states with which the Unites States interacts to make dangerous and destabilizing decisions."[46]


These arguments indicate that anticipatory military strikes might provoke what they try to prevent. If a dictator becomes convinced that he might be the next goal of U.S. intervention, he might accelerate his attempts to build weapons of mass destruction in order to be better prepared; he might also take into consideration initiating terrorist attacks in order to defend himself against U.S. intervention, which he cannot counter through conventional military means.


When the U.S. Strategic Concept tells us more about prevention / preemption, it is in a way that both downplays its novelty and appears to set limits on the actions it advocates. Specifically, the document states that the United States has entertained the option of anticipatory use of force in the past. Some authors follow this argument and claim that preemption is just mentioned as an option, not as a principle or doctrine in the National Security Strategy.[47]


U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell also qualifies the relevance of anticipatory military attack for the U.S. strategy when he declares:


"Sensible as these reasons are, some observers have exaggerated both the scope of preemption in foreign policy and the centrality of preemption in U.S. strategy as a whole. As to preemption's scope, it applies only to the undeterrable threats that come from nonstate actors such as terrorist groups. It was never meant to displace deterrence, only to supplement it. As to its being central, it isn't. The discussion of preemption in the NSS takes up just two sentences ... The United States' National Security Strategy does commit us to preemption under certain limited circumstances. We stand by that judgement, the novelty of which lies less in its substance than its explicitness. But our strategy is not defined by preemption."[48]


Ivo Daalder strongly opposes Colin Powell's arguments. He insists that preemption is crucial for U.S. foreign policy. I this is not the case for Powell, then at least for president George W. Bush. In special reference to the National Security Strategy, but also to Bush's Westpoint address he claims: "Of course, as Colin Powell noted, the United States always had the option of using force preemptively, and there were times it even had done so. But never before had a president made the case for preemption in principle, let alone in public."[49] And he continues by claiming: "For Bush, however, preemption was not a mere option, but what New York Times reporter Michael Gordon called 'a cardinal principle' of his foreign policy. Otherwise, why call it a doctrine as the president did? Why give presidential speeches about it and place it in the heart of a public national strategic document?"[50]


These arguments are convincing; prevention / preemption seem to be more important for the new U.S. strategy than Colin Powell's article suggests.


Critics level another complaint against this new doctrine. Many question why the administration decided to make a public statement about something that had been an option of U.S. policy for quite a while. "It is not clear to me what advantage there is in declaring it publicly" said Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor during the Ford and first Bush administration. "It has been common knowledge that under some certain circumstances the U.S. would preempt. As a declaratory policy it tends to leave the door open for others who want to claim the same right. By making it public we also tend to add to the world's perception that we are arrogant and unilateral."[51]


Indeed, days after the publication of the strategy, Russia hinted that it might have to intervene in Georgia to go after Islamic terrorists. Also India embraced preemption as a universal doctrine. Is it in the interest of the United States or of any political actor that such a doctrine becomes a universal principle? It is most certainly not because this might cause destabilisation in international politics. The strategy recognises the problem by warning nations not to "use preemption as a pretext for aggression". But it fails to identify what separated justifiable preemption from unlawful aggression.[52]


The positive side of the National Security Strategy therefore seems to be, that it correctly assesses many new threats and tries to react to the new security environment after the Cold War. Nevertheless, the suggested solutions cause severe problems that might in the long run not increase, but rather decrease security for the U.S. Perhaps we can conclude that the so-called "Bush doctrine" poses the right questions for a new century. But does it provide the right answers?


PART 2: “A Secure Europe in a Better World” - The European Security Strategy



2.1. Historical background


The differences among European states concerning the war in Iraq 2003 and the ongoing development of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) have increased the need for a common strategic approach of all EU countries. Therefore the High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy was asked to draft a "European Security Strategy", which he entitled "A Secure Europe in a Better World". Javier Solana presented this paper to the European Council in Thessaloniki on June 20, 2003. After his presentation an interactive process of consultation was initiated, which especially involved the national foreign ministries. Three seminars with scholars from all over the continent also gave special inputs on the concept. By end of November 2003 the work was completed. The final version was accepted by the European Council in Brussels on December 12, 2003 under Italian presidency.[53]


According to Riemer / Hauser the final version of the European Security Strategy (Brussels, December 2003) does not significantly differ from the draft Javier Solana proposed to the European Council in Thessaloniki in June 2003.[54] They neither argue this claim nor make reference to other authors in a footnote.


The findings of this thesis, which rest on a comparison of the original texts, suggest that there are at least two differences worth mentioning, although the text largely stayed the same.


·        Solana's first draft only mentions three key threats ("terrorism", "proliferation of weapons of mass destruction" and "failed states and organised crime"). The final version is more differentiated and mentions five key threats ("terrorism", "proliferation of weapons of mass destruction", regional conflicts", "state failure" and "organised crime")


·        The final version became more "interventionist" by replacing the term "preemptive" through "preventive". (Solana's draft: "Pre-emptive engagement can avoid more serious problems in the future." Final version: "Preventive engagement can avoid more serious problems in the future"). Of course it is not clear in this context what "engagement" actually means. According to plausible interpretations the European Security Strategy mainly takes into account political, economic and humanitarian measures, without explicitly ruling out military engagement, which should only be the last resort.[55]


Additionally, it might also be worth mentioning that "sex trade", which is missing in Solana's first draft, is added as a major problem in the final version. The final version also adds an affirmation of the two states solution for the Israeli-Palestinian-conflict, which is only a repetition of a position that most European countries have defended for a long time.


The document is the first Security Strategy in the history of the European Union and therefore, despite all possible deficits, a very important step forward in the field of European security policy. It must also be seen in the context of the European Convent and the drafting of a "European Defence Book". This document will develop EU's military scenarios and assignments for the future.[56]


The European Security Strategy can also be read as an answer to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America. It is an attempt to keep Europe involved in the discussion about new threats and possible counter-measures. Its emphasis on the importance of transatlantic relations can also be interpreted as an attempt to bridge or downplay the gap between American and European Strategy that became increasingly clear during the war in Iraq.


Solana's draft was received positively throughout Europe and even in the USA.[57] No one knows if this is a good or a bad sign.


2.2. Summary of main contents


The objective of this section is again to paraphrase and summarise the document and give an impression of its content. This should serve as a basis for the critical comments in the next section (2.3.)


The European Security Strategy is a document of about 15 pages. It contains an introduction of one single page and a conclusion of one small paragraph, which is rather vague and hardly worth mentioning (therefore it is left out in this section). In between it is divided in three chapters. The first deals with the key threats in a new security environment, the second with strategic objectives, the third with policy implications for the European Union. Each chapter is divided into two to four sub-sections.




The introduction emphasises the crucial role the Union plays in securing peace and stability on the European continent. Through common institutions countries are committed to dealing peacefully with disputes and to cooperating through common institutions. The USA has played a critical role in European integration and security. No country is able to tackle today's complex problems on its own, not even the USA with its dominant military potential. The Balkan war has reminded us that war has not disappeared from the European continent. The EU with its 25 states with over 450 million people producing a quarter of the world's gross national product is "inevitably" a global player; it has the responsibility of engaging for global security and building a better world.


Chapter I: The Security Environment: Global Challenges and Key Threats


·        Global Challenges


This section deals with globalisation as a background for today's international relations. Globalisation has increased European dependence on the rest of the world and therefore its vulnerability. Nonstate actors have become more and more important. New wars currently pose huge problems. Civilians are mainly its victims; many of them are either killed or become refugees. Poverty is a problem, but so are diseases like AIDS. Future challenges will include competition for natural resources (including water); European energy dependence is also a special concern.

·        Key Threats


The key threats the European Union has to face are the following:


ü      Terrorism

ü      Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

ü      Regional Conflicts

ü      State Failure

ü      Organised Crime


All these phenomena are somehow linked to one another. Failed states might for instance provide a perfect hideout for terrorists (like in Somalia and other countries). But there are also links between terrorism and organised crime. Trafficking of drugs and women poses serious problems to the EU. The growth in maritime piracy is also alarming.


Chapter II: Strategic Objectives


·        Addressing the Threats


According to the European Security Strategy, the EU has been active in tackling the key threats. These activities include measures against terrorism (adoption of a European Arrest Warrant, steps to attack terrorist financing, agreement on mutual legal assistance with the USA). Steps against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction have also been taken. The European Union has been engaged in mission to deal with regional conflicts, ranging from the Balkans, Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The traditional concept of self-defence from the Cold War is based on the threat of an invasion, which is more and more unlikely. The new threats in a globalised world demand global activity ("...the first line of defence will often be abroad"). Early engagement is necessary ("Conflict prevention and threat prevention cannot start too early"). The new threat cannot be tackled by purely military means but require a "mixture of instruments".


·        Building Security in Our Neighbourhood


Even in an era of globalisation, geography is still important. It is in the interest of the EU that the countries on its borders are well-governed. The section can be read as an affirmation of the "theory of democratic peace which claims that democratic governments are less war-prone than authoritarian regimes.[58] The EU's task is to promote a ring of well governed countries to its east and on the borders of the Mediterranean. Conflict areas like the Balkans must be stabilised. Enlargement should not create new dividing lines in Europe. The resolution of the Arab/Israeli conflict is a strategic priority. The EU should consider a stronger engagement in the Southern Caucasus and the Arab World.


·        An International Order Based on Effective Multilateralism


This section contains the EU's commitment to an effective multilateral system based on international law. The fundamental framework for international relations in the United Nations Charter. The United Security Council has (this is an affirmation of art.24 of the UN-Charter) the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The EU is dedicated to strengthening the UN. The EU wants to protect this kind of international order and therefore must "be ready when their rules are broken". The EU affirms the widening of membership of the World Trade Organisation. Again there is an emphasis on the importance of the transatlantic relationship. The EU also supports the OSCE, ASEAN, MERCOSUR and the African Union. The European Security Strategy also states its support for the International Criminal Court.


The section ends with a kind of threat to "rogue states" without explicitly mentioning this polemic term or giving concrete examples:


"A number of countries have placed themselves outside the bounds of international society. Some have sought isolation; others persistently violate international norms. It is desirable that such countries should rejoin the international community, and the EU should be ready to provide assistance. Those who are unwilling to do so should understand that there is a price to be paid, including their relationship with the European Union."


Since the EU is a huge economic power, it can be assumed that the loss of this relationship could indeed be costly.


Chapter III: Policy Implications for Europe


·        More Active


The European Union must be more active in pursuing its strategic objectives. The section mainly consists of some phrases that can mean all or nothing because they are not concrete enough: "Active policies are needed to counter the new dynamic threats. We need to develop a strategic culture that fosters early, rapid, and when necessary, robust intervention." It would have been nice of Mr.Solana to clarify how such a strategic culture will look and what "robust intervention" means in concreto. Is this passage a reference to diplomatic, economic or military interventions? The passage is one of the best examples of the vagueness, and therefore deficits, of the European Security Strategy.


According to the document, the EU is ready to assist the UN. The European Security Strategy contains an affirmation of "preventive engagement". But it is not clear from the formulation, what "engagement" actually means.


·        More Capable


Europe should become more capable by transforming its militaries into more flexible, mobile forces. "Systematic use of pooled and shared assets would reduce duplications, overheads and, in the medium-term, increase capabilities." The European Security Strategy contains a commitment to stronger diplomatic capabilities, common threat assessments and the sharing of intelligence among member states.


A wider spectrum of mission like "joint disarmament operations", support for third countries in combating terrorism and security sector reforms are envisaged. The provisions in this sections again are rather vague: how will such "joint disarmament operations" look? Is it just voluntary disarmament that is monitored? Or will they include the ability to disarm certain groups against their will?


The strategic partnership between NATO and EU is affirmed, in particular in the context of the Berlin Plus summit. A possible rivalry between the two political entities is not taken into account.


·        More Coherent


Europe is stronger when it acts together. The different instruments of CFSP, ranging from the European Development Fund to military and civilian capabilities from member states, have to be brought together. "In crisis there is no substitute for unity of command." There should be better co-ordination between external relation and Justice and Home Affairs policies, which is crucial for the fight against terrorism and organised crime.


Greater coherence is needed in the external activities of the individual member states and for the solution of regional conflicts. However, it is not clear from the formulation of the European Security Strategy what this means in concreto.


·        Working with Partners


The EU puts strong emphasis on international cooperation, especially with the USA: "The transatlantic relationship is irreplaceable. Acting together, the European Union and the United States can be a formidable force for good in the world. Our aim should be an effective and balanced partnership with the USA. This is an additional reason for the EU to build up further its capabilities and increase its coherence."


According to the European Security Strategy the EU should build up a "closer relationship" with Russia; the European Security Strategy does not specify what aspects such a relationship would include. Would there be military cooperation? Such a "closer relationship" should also be built up with "neighbours" and "partners" in Africa, Latin America and Asia, but there is no reference to who these neighbours and partners are. The EU should also build up "strategic partnerships" with Japan, China, Canada and India. There is no statement how these partnership should look like and what strategic purpose they serve.


2.3. Comments on core elements


2.3.1. Lack of political will


The European Security Strategy remains in many respects rather vague and lacks concrete provisions.[59] This is not necessarily a bad sign. Every Security Strategy must contain by its very nature a certain kind of vagueness. U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell explained this in the context of the National Security Strategy of his country:


"Of course, a public strategy document cannot be entirely frank about all choices that U.S. leaders make; we do ourselves and our allies no favor by telling our adversaries everything that we think and plan."[60]


But in the case of the European Security Strategy the reason why it sometimes lacks clarity might also be just the exact opposite of strategic competence. The European Union's foreign policy is still structured after an "intergovernmental" pattern. There is not one government that decides the strategy, but there are 25 governments that do so; and they have to find a consensus. Sometimes opinions might differ so much that a consensus on concrete points simply cannot be reached. It is plausible to suspect that some important gaps in the Strategic Concepts can be explained by this problem. The war in Iraq in 2003 has actually sparked off the drafting of a common strategy; but this war is not mentioned at all in the document - the differences were simply to huge to overcome. But critics also mention other examples: in the relations with China, Russia or the Middle East, European states follow very often their own national approaches, which can prevail over the common European perspective.[61]


A strategy has the purpose of expressing a political will and preparing its implementation. If such a will does not really exist, but if the so-called common political will is just a vague consensus on some general assumptions, a strategy loses at least some, if not most, of its value. This might be the main problem of the European Security Strategy.


2.3.2. EU's war on terrorism - achievements and failures


According to the European Security Strategy, terrorism is one of the Union's "key threats". In the second part of the Security Strategy, the EU proudly reports that it "has been active in tackling the key threats":


"It has responded after 11 September with measures that included the adoption of a European Arrest Warrant, steps to attack terrorist financing and an agreement on mutual legal assistance with the USA."


Indeed, the European Union was able to give an answer to the attacks, especially in the field of its "third pillar". The main lines of its actions were drawn in the conclusions of the Extraordinary European Council on 21 September 2001 in Brussels and in those of the JHA council a day before. A total of 68 measures were listed in a “road map”.[62] These included the creation of a European Arrest Warrant, laws against the financing of terrorism, enhancing the role of Europol and setting up a common definition of terrorism. But after the recent terrorist attacks on March 11, 2004 in Madrid the efficiency of all these measures seems questionable.


But leaving the EU's "third pillar" aside we must ask how the European Union reacted to terrorism in the important field of foreign policy and how effective this was?


The first reaction of the EU to the collapse of the twin towers was a demonstration of complete transatlantic solidarity.[63] It was expressed in the "joint declaration on terrorist attacks in the US" adopted on 14 September 2001, bringing together the Heads of State and Government, the Presidents of the European Parliament and the Commission, and the High Representative. In this document it was stated that the American people could "count on our complete solidarity and full cooperation to ensure that justice is done". The conclusions of the above-mentioned Extraordinary European Council in Brussels on 21 September 2001 declared the attack to be “an assault on our open, democratic, tolerant and multicultural societies”. But the Council also emphasised the importance of a UN mandate as a legitimate base for US reactions, which was actually achieved for the war in Afghanistan.


The European allies also invoked Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which was a remarkable decision. Originally this article was designed to guarantee U.S.-support for Europe against the Soviet threat; at the beginning of the 21st century, when it was invoked for the first time in history, it served as expression of European support for the USA against a non-state actor.[64] The USA virtually ignored NATO support, obviously because it wanted to act without any interference of its allies unlike in the Kosovo war.[65] European participation in the decision-making process was seen as a constraint that had to be avoided.


One of the main achievements of the EU’s external relations in the war against terrorism was an intensive diplomatic effort aimed at building up a broad international coalition.[66] Shortly after the attacks at the World Trade Center, there were ministerial troika visits to several Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, followed by visits to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Belgian prime-minister Guy Verhofstadt and Romano Prodi, representing the presidencies of European Council and EU Commission, conducted diplomatic missions to several Middle Eastern countries and also India and Pakistan in November.


An important success of the EU was the conclusion of a cooperation agreement with Pakistan. This bilateral treaty assured Pakistan's support in the war against the Taliban in exchange for economic benefits. Until December 2002, the EU also granted more than 320 million Euro of emergency aid to Afghanistan and contributed to a huge amount to its reconstruction. It can be shown that the CFSP can be an effective instrument if it is backed by the financial capacities of the EU. But there were also severe setbacks to the CFSP in these days:[67]


·        The EU lacked the military capability to actively participate in the war against Afghanistan. It therefore could not and did not participate as a military actor.


·        While the USA increased its defence budget by 48 billion dollars, the European nations haggled over funding and demonstrated their unwillingness to increase defence expenditure.


·        During the later war in Iraq, the tensions between supporters and critics of U.S. engagement (UK, Poland and Spain versus Germany and France) became more and more obvious and made common positions impossible.


·        After the beginning of the military operations in Afghanistan and on the margins of the Ghent European Council on 19 October, the British, French and Germans held a mini-summit. This meeting was publicly criticized, because smaller nations suspected the three great powers of attempting the establishment of a kind of “directorate” over Europe. In the end, although there were no real results of the deliberations, Blair, Chirac and Schröder were forced to invite other prime-ministers and the High Representative as well. The tensions sparked off by this mini-summit makes another problem of CFSP obvious. On the one hand, there was the impossibility to reach unanimous agreements among all EU members and, on the other, there was the potential clash of interests between great and small member states.


These failures and massive problems in the war against terrorism, which have nothing to do with the complex phenomenon of terrorism itself but rather with inefficiencies of the current organisation of EU's foreign policy, are not mentioned in the European Security Strategy.


2.3.3. Lack of military capabilities


The European Security Strategy proudly announces that the EU has already initiated military activities all around the globe.


"In the last decade European forces have been deployed abroad to places as distant as Afghanistan, East Timor and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The increasing convergence of European interests and the strengthening of mutual solidarity of the EU makes us a more credible and effective actor."


Indeed there have been military activities (in particular peace-keeping missions) on a small scale, like in Congo, where 1.400 European soldiers tried to protect civilians in and around the city of Bunia from massacre and civil war.[68] Of course a real and permanent solution to the Congo conflict would have required an intervention on a larger scale. This would have included the occupation of the whole country, bloody combats in the jungle against brutal militias whose soldiers have nothing to lose and even confrontation with armies of children soldiers, which would have been difficult to justify to the European public. Of course the European Union is not capable of waging a real war abroad. The credibility of the EU as a global military actor exists as a self-perception in the European Security Strategy, but it is hard to equate these claims with the political reality.


The capabilities of the European Union to perform military interventions around the globe are in fact limited. One of the main characteristics of the contemporary international system is the military dominance of the USA. The technological gap between the USA and Europe is increasing. Soon even the most competent Europeans will have difficulty to operate together with American troops.[69] Despite its emphasis on the importance of transatlantic relations, the European Security Strategy does not refer to the problems posed by this "capability gap".


The United States of America invests twice as much money on its military forces than all its European allies together. But it not only spends more money, it also uses it much more efficiently. The problem is that there is no common European defence budget; rather the national states spend their money separately. By doing so, they reach the worst of all possible results. They create no concentration of military power comparable to the USA; they also lose precious synergy-effects that could help saving a lot of money.[70] The following table[71] illustrates the military gap between Europe and the USA.









































































Despite the wide-spread unwillingness in Europe to take into account the military dimension of power and the factor of power in world politics, these figures illustrate a lack of military capabilities that could be overcome by rethinking the inefficient national organisation of defence. This thesis does not suggest that power rests solely upon military force. In today's world, economic strength and scientific development are also crucial; and all different forms of "soft power" can have a huge effect on practical politics. Nevertheless, the widespread concept of the European Union as a "civilian power" is questionable. Of course the Union can achieve something in the world by using its huge economic potential and diplomatic skills. But is it really an deliberate decision of the European Union to be a "civilian power"? Or is this concept just a form of "window dressing", that distracts from the actual incompetence of the Union in the military field? It would be an unrealistic assumption to expect dialogue to be a universal concept that can help under all possible circumstances and against all possible opponents (including terrorists).


Under the title "more capable" the European Security Strategy refers to this problem:


"A more capable Europe is within our grasp, though it will take time to realise our full potential. Actions underway - notably the establishment of a defence agency - take us in the right direction. To transform our militaries into more flexible, mobile forces, and to enable them to address the new threats, more resources for defence and more effective use of resources are necessary. Systematic use of pooled and shard assets would reduce duplications, overheads and, in the medium-term, increase capabilities."


The problem with these provisions is again that they remain rather vague; it depends on the kind of practical implementation to judge if they can really offer a solution for the above-mentioned problem.


The European Security Strategy puts great emphasis on multilateral cooperation and international law: "We are committed to upholding and developing International Law. The fundamental framework for international relations is the United Nations Charter. (...) Strengthening the United Nations (...) is a European priority."


It is a highly moral and extremely important objective to contribute to the creation and preservation of a rule-based international order. But according to the director for external relations of the European Council's general secretariat Robert Cooper, there must be a police force behind every law in order to ensure its implementation; and there must also be an army behind every constitution in order to defend it. If the constitution Europe wants to give itself came into force, it would, at the moment, be the American army that would have to defend it.[72]


The European Security Strategy states in reference to the USA that "no single country is able to tackle today's complex problems on its own". This assessment is correct. Unfortunately, the European Security Strategy does not provide an answer to the question why an EU with limited military capabilities often leaves the USA alone; and why a Europe of 450 million people so strongly relies on 250 million Americans to defend it.

PART 3: On the Future of Transatlantic Relations – a Comparison between the Documents



3.1. Theoretical background - the transatlantic relationship


3.1.1. Transatlantic relationship endangered?


After the collapse of the Soviet Union in general and during the discussion about the war in Iraq in 2003 in particular problems in the transatlantic relationship became increasingly obvious. Some authors still consider the partnership between the USA and Europe as firm despite all difficulties.[73] They try to support this view with many and often convincing arguments. For instance they emphasise the huge amount of transatlantic commercial relations, which have not declined significantly.


Nevertheless, diagnoses of rifts in the transatlantic partnership have become more and more frequent. In his article “The West May Be Cracking”[74] Francis Fukuyama asks if the “West” is still a coherent concept; and he implies a negative answer. Actually, Fukuyama, unlike Samuel Huntington, is not at all bothered about lines of conflict between different civilisations, but about the line of conflict within the West. These are especially visible in the following policy fields:[75]


·        Environment, security, human rights. The governments on both sides of the Atlantic have been unable to find an acceptable compromise on several issues. Economic conflicts have occurred, but since such disputes are embedded in the framework of the WTO, they are no real threat. But there are other policy fields where opinions differ to a huge extent. Europeans often have the impression that the USA not only has its own solutions, but seems to have turned its back on the idea of dialogue as a whole, preferring to defend its own interests by using its enormous power assets without ever taking into account the interests of other countries or of the international community.


German researcher Gert Krell has listed a table of “US Unilateralist Sins”. These include the following:[76]



A List of US Unilateralist “Sins”



Where the United States has done nothing and / or hindered effective action:


Climate change. The USA have failed to take serious domestic action, though its 5 percent of the world’s population accounts for 25 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.


Small arms trafficking. It has blocked or weakened key provisions of a draft UN agreement (2001) to curb illicit trade in small arms.


Population and women’s reproductive health. U.S. assistance to foreign NGOs is cut off if they provide (even with non-U.S. funds) legal abortion services, counselling, or referrals.


Where the United States has done less than its fair share:


Development assistance. In gross terms, the United States is the largest development assistance fund giver; but it ranks last among all rich countries in contributions, giving less than a third of what Europe donates (U.S. gives 0.1 %, Europe’s average is 0.33%; even proposed rises by the Bush Administration would not change this proportion significantly.


United Nations and international dues. As the largest UN debtor (owing $1.35 billion) the United States caused several financial crises of the United Nations system in the 90s.


When the United States has played by its own rules and / or imposed its own rules on others:


Trade. The United States has criticized developing countries’ closed trading practices, but has imposed tarriffs on agriculture and textile from other countries (as have Canada, the European Union and Japan). It has defied WTO rules by increasing protectionist tariffs on steel (2002). It has increased subsidies to U.S. farmers by 80 percent (2002).


Chemical Weapons Convention. The USA ratified the convention only after asserting special rights (1997) including the right to refuse challenge inspections and prevent collected samples from leaving U.S. territory.


Nuclear weapons and proliferation. It withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to proceed with a U.S. national missile defence, which, according to the fears of many allies could heat up the “spiral of deterrence” again.


War crimes. It “un-signed” the Rome Treaty establishing the International Criminal Court (2002) and announced that the court cannot expect U.S. cooperation.


Extraterritorial jurisdiction. The USA has imposed unilateral, secondary sanctions that penalise foreign actors doing business with states that the USA wants to punish, for example, the Helms-Burton Cuba Sanctions Act (1996) and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (1996).


When the United States has shaped agreements and then abandoned it:


Biological Weapons Convention Protocol. After six years of negotiations, the USA blocked a proposed monitoring and verification system for the 1972 treaty banning germ warfare, leading 90 participating countries to postpone further action until November 2003.


Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. After 40 years of negotiations and a U.S. push to complete a test ban treaty, the United States signed this treaty in 1996, only for the Senate rejected it in 1999.


Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. It obtained numerous negotiating concession, including parties’ rights to use market-oriented mechanisms (such as emission trading), but it then opposed the treaty in 2001 without proposing any viable alternative. Many European countries believe that climate change is a serious challenge for our security and that it has to be addressed and countered through effective emission control.



·        Countermeasures against new threats. While the USA seems to rely heavily on military responses to new threats like terrorism, the Europeans in general seem to prefer civilian methods ("soft power"). While the war in Afghanistan was supported by most European allies, opinions began to differ a lot when the USA decided to wage war against Iraq in 2003. European governments doubted that this war could really counter terrorism. While the USA insisted that a “regime change” in Bagdad could have a positive effect on the war against terrorism and at the same time on the democratisation and therefore security of the region, Europeans found this scenario unrealistic. Instead they thought it more likely that a new war in Iraq could contribute to further radicalisation of the Arab world.


·        Perception of the other side. Many Europeans consider the United States of America a hegemonial power, who, despite all official claims, does not really believe in international cooperation. The USA is said not to mind much about the aggression and frustration its behaviour sparks off world-wide. Basic norms of international law (like the prohibition of force in international relations or the monopoly of the Security Council to legitimise war) are not respected. The world-view of the Bush Administration divides the world into “good” and “evil”, which is too simple; political reality is much more complicated. The USA, on the other hand, often accuses Europeans of not accepting enough responsibility for the international order they wish to be maintained. They refuse to spend money on their military forces, leaving most of the military burden to the USA. Then Europeans spend the resulting peace dividend for their costly social welfare systems. Finally, they criticise the USA for making mistakes or for not including all its allies in the decision-making process of its military activity. It is worth noting that both sides may be right in their criticisms of the other.


3.1.2. Why did the differences occur? Three theoretical approaches Realism


In a much cited article ("Power and Weakness") Robert Kagan analyses current transatlantic relations and thereby tries to develop a theoretical background for the growing division. Since he strongly emphasises the factor of power in his works, he puts himself in the tradition of structural realism.[77]


According to Kagan Europeans and Americans do not share a common view of the world. This is especially the case when it comes to the "all-important question of power". Europeans seem to live in a "Kantian" world of perpetual peace, whereas the Americans see themselves in a "Hobbesian" world of anarchy and struggle for power. In a quite interesting metaphor, Kagan attributes two planets to Europe and the USA: Europeans come from Venus, the planet of love, whereas Americans seem to come from Mars, the planet of war.


Consequently, Americans and Europeans pursue different strategies in international relations. The USA resorts to force more quickly, whereas Europeans prefer diplomacy. The USA divides the world into "good" and "evil", whereas Europeans tend to see a more complex picture. And while the USA often relies on unilateral military action, Europeans clearly prefer multilateral engagement and respect for international law.


What are the reason for these differences? According to Kagan, the transatlantic division was not sparked off by one single event. He also insists that, despite the fact that transatlantic relations have deteriorated with the inauguration of George W. Bush, the current problem is not a George W. Bush problem. The tensions had already become obvious under the Clinton Administration. So the current difficulties actually have a long history.


As a whole, the different perspective is a result of different power assets. The perspective of Americans and Europeans are the perspectives of the strong and the weak. The strong can afford military engagement and unilateralism. The weak try to protect themselves by relying on international law and organisations.


The fact of different power distribution also results in different approaches to diplomacy. The patience of the USA is quickly exhausted, whereas Europeans are more tolerant. This can be illustrated by the war in Iraq.


"A better explanation of Europe's greater tolerance for threats is, once again, Europe's relative weakness ... The psychology of weakness is easy enough to understand. A man armed only with a knife may decide that a bear prowling in the forest is a tolerable danger, inasmuch as the alternative - hunting the bear armed only with a knife - is actually riskier than lying low and hoping the bear never attacks. The same man armed with a rifle, however, will likely make a different calculation of what constitutes a tolerable risk ... Europeans have concluded, reasonably enough, that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein is more tolerable for them than the risk of removing him. But Americans, being stronger, have reasonably enough developed a lower threshold of tolerance for Saddam..."[78]


The fact that the different perspectives can be explained by different power assets becomes obvious when one takes into consideration the historical perspective. In a way, Europeans and Americans have changed roles over the century. Europe's love of peace is relatively new in history. Formerly, it was the Europeans who followed the principles of Machtpolitik and the Americans in their new, weak and relatively threatened union who were in favour of a rule-based international order. "America's eighteenth- and early nineteenth century statesmen sounded much like the European statesman of today..."[79] In this quote, Kagan clearly underestimates the imperialist dimension of American politics in the nineteenth century.


However, it is at this point where the realist Kagan also introduces a kind of "constructivist" argument: "Europe in the past half-century has developed a genuinely different perspective on the role of power in international relations, a perspective that springs directly from its unique historical experience since the end of World War II. It is a perspective that Americans do not share and cannot share..."[80]


For Kagan, the current European "strategic culture" represents a rejection of the European past. Machtpolitik and national ambition led Europe into two dreadful world wars; and the European Union itself is an "idealistic" answer to centuries of European warfare. This idealism is in a way justified. Diplomacy, negotiation, forging of economic ties etc. were the key to success of Franco-German rapprochement; and these tools have made European integration possible. Why not offer this "idealistic" method of establishing peace to the whole world? Europeans have successfully stepped out of the Hobbesian world into a Kantian world of perpetual peace. Why should other countries not follow the same way?


What according to Kagan most Europeans do not see is the fact that European integration was only possible because of American military protection:


"Europe's evolution to its present state occurred under the mantle of U.S. security guarantee and could not have occurred without it. Not only did the United States for almost half a century supply a shield against external threats as the Soviet Union and such internal threats as may have been posed by ethnic conflict in places like the Balkans. More important, the United States was the key to the solution of the German problem and maybe still is."[81]


The absurd consequence of this situation is that Europeans criticize Americans for not being "idealistic"; but at the same time they can only afford their own idealism because of American military protection.


"The current situation abounds its ironies. Europe's rejection of power politics, its devaluing of military force as a tool of international relations, have depended on the presence of American military forces on European soil. Europe's new Kantian order could flourish only under the umbrella of American power exercised according to the rules of the old Hobbesian order. American power made it possible for Europeans to believe that power was no longer important. And now, in the final irony, the fact that United States military power has solved the European problem, Europeans today believe that American military power, and the 'strategic culture' that has created and sustained it, are outmoded and dangerous."[82]


What is to be done? Overcoming the transatlantic gap will be difficult. Realist thoughts could advise a kind of "balancing"[83] of the United States of America. Maybe a stronger Europe could resist the ambitions of this superpower, which is sometimes perceived as a "rogue colossus"? But Kagan does not consider this scenario rather likely. Europeans today are  unwilling to shift money from social programmes to military budgets. Nevertheless, the development of European military capabilities could help to overcome at least some of the difficulties - such as the huge "capability gap" between American and European troops. Americans, on the other hand, could show more "decent respect for the opinion of mankind". Taking into account the sensibilities of others could be a step into the right direction. Constructivism


Social constructivist approaches take into account the "ideal" dimension of the transatlantic conflict. They are based on the importance of political culture, shared experiences and world-views.[84]


Francis Fukuyama emphasises the different "philosophical" perspective of the USA and (continental) Europe on the nature of democratic legitimacy. The idea of democratic legitimacy outside or beyond the nation state is alien to most Americans. If an international organisation is politically legitimate, it's because democratic elected majorities have negotiated and agreed upon their creation through the conclusion of a treaty. Such a legitimacy can at any time be withdrawn. According to this "philosophy", there is no "independent" international organisation.[85]


Europeans, in general, take a different point of view. They often believe in the existence of an international community, one which is more important and enjoys greater legitimacy than any single nation state. Though there is no political organisation that can justly be called a world democracy, the idea of such a community gives legitimacy to international organisations.[86]


But why do such different perceptions exist? Constructivists would try to explain it by pointing to different historical experience. In this context U.S. nationalism has been called "exceptionalism" (Gert Krell).[87] The first immigrants on the new continent wanted to create a new society, based on principles morally superior to those the "old world" rests upon. These principles were considered to be universal. It has always been hard to accept for Americans that the "U.S. model" is in no way compulsory for others, on the contrary, Americans tend to believe that what is good for them is also good for the rest of mankind. Europe, on the other hand, has learnt throughout its history that nationalism causes war, whereas supranational institutions are identified with wealth and peace.


Additionally, one cannot overestimate the importance of religion in American political life. Politicians like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have a religious clientele, which they want to address by using a certain political language. But it is not just pure tactics; it also has to do with conviction. Fundamentalist traits in the USA can be traced back to early Puritanism. In this way of thinking there has always been the tendency to stick to a "Manichaean" world-view. And there has always been a kind of "political messianism". The USA tends to spread its values to the rest of the world.[88]


These interpretations indicate that the differences between the USA and Europe are not caused by recent events, but actually have a long history. But why have these conflicts not occurred before? Why are they breaking out now? One possible explanation given by a constructivist would be that the East-West conflict actually distracted from all problems in the transatlantic partnership; the common enemy made a common position necessary.[89]


One constructivist solution or counter-strategy against the transatlantic division would be a "dialogue of civilisation". Europe and the USA should, according to this view, be able to build up a common identity. The educational system, public authorities, NGOs should help to offer information about history, identity etc. of the "other" side. Social contact and cultural exchange programmes would also be very important. A critical question has to be ask in this context would be if such a transatlantic dialogue would make sense. One reason for the crisis in transatlantic relations is that many Europeans accuse the USA of actually being unwilling to have a real dialogue. And there is certain behaviour where there can be no dialogue: torture, rape and sexual humiliation of prisoners of war American soldiers are responsible for must be condemned; there can certainly be no dialogue about such actions. Liberalism


At a first glance liberal theories cannot contribute to an explanation of current transatlantic differences. They rather seem to be able to explain why transatlantic relations have been so stable over the past decades. According to liberals, democracies do not wage war against each other; their potential to solve conflicts peacefully is huge. This "theory of democratic peace" also gives hope that the current transatlantic division will not lead to armed conflict between Europe and the USA as long as they stay democratic.[90]


Liberalism can also contribute another idea: foreign policy is also influenced by domestic affairs. Current difficulties in the German-American relationship also escalated because there was an election campaign in Germany to be fought and won. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his coalition partner were in difficulties; without the promise not to participate in the war in Iraq they would almost certainly have lost. It is difficult for a government in a democratic system to take decisions and agendas that are simply not acceptable for their electorate.[91]


Liberals would also point out that the American political system contains something like a "lack of representation". It allows wealthy Christian fundamentalist groups to strongly influence the government, despite the fact they do not represent a majority of the people. Through funding of election campaigns Christian right-wing fundamentalists have gained much more weight in the Republican party than they deserve through their numbers. Their preferences strongly collide with the preferences of other country's political elites.


Another problem of the design of American political institutions is the requirement for the Senate to ratify treaties by a 2/3-majority. This gives a small minority of senators the right to veto the ratification of any treaty. One typical situation of the American political system is that a government negotiates hard on a certain treaty, reaches an agreement with other nations, the treaty is signed, and then rejected by the Senate. This construction causes problems with international partners.[92] One possible solution to avoid such situation would be fundamental constitutional reform. Such a project is currently lacking prospect of success.


3.2. Comparison of texts


3.2.1. Size and quality


The National Security Strategy of the United States of America is a document of slightly more than 30 pages; the European Security Strategy only contains about 15 pages, about half the size of the American strategy. This simple fact shows that the American concept is much more elaborated than the European "answer" to it; and it also makes a more "professional" impression.


To explain this obvious difference, one must take into account at least two factors:


· mentioned above, the National Security Strategy expresses the will of only one government, whereas the European Security Strategy represents a compromise between many different governments. The American strategy can therefore by its very nature be more coherent and much clearer.

·        ...the USA has a long tradition in formulating National Security Strategies; the EU has no experience at all in this field. The European Security Strategy is the first of its kind.[93]


The different size and quality make a direct comparison of texts rather difficult. This can be illustrated by the example of the political position on China. The National Security Strategy tries to provide real strategic guidelines:


"The United States relationship with China is an important part of our strategy to promote a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Asia-Pacific region. We welcome the emerge of a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China. The democratic development of China is crucial to that future. Yet, a quarter century after beginning the process of shedding the worst features of Communist legacy, China's leaders have not yet made the next series of fundamental choices about the character of their state. In pursuing advanced military capabilities that can threaten its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region, China is following an outdated path that, in the end, will hamper its own pursuit of national greatness. In time, China will find that social and political freedom is the only source of that greatness.


The United States seeks a constructive relationship with China. We already cooperate well where our interests overlap, including the current war on terrorism and in promoting stability on the Korean peninsula. Likewise, we have coordinated on the future of Afghanistan and have initiated a comprehensive dialogue on counter-terrorism and similar transitional concerns. Shared health and environmental threats, such as the spread of HIV/AIDS, challenge us to promote jointly the welfare of our citizens.


Addressing these transnational threats will challenge China to become more open with information, promote the development of civil society, and enhance individual human rights. China has begun to take the road to political openness, permitting many personal freedoms and conducting village-level elections, yet remains strongly committed to national one-party rule by the Communist party. To make the nation truly accountable to its citizen's needs and aspiration, however, much work remains to be done. Only by allowing Chinese people to think, assemble, and worship freely can China reach its full potential.


Our important trade relationship will benefit from China's entry into the World Trade Organization, which will create more jobs for American farmers, workers and companies. China is our fourth largest trading partner, with over $ 100 billion in annual two-way trade. The power of market principles and the WTO's requirements for transparency and accountability will advance openness and the rule of law in China to help establish basic protection for commerce and for citizens. There are, however, other areas in which we have profound disagreements. Our commitment to the self-defense of Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act is one. Human rights is another. We expect China to adhere to its nonproliferation commitments. We will work to narrow differences where they exist, but not allow them to preclude cooperation where we agree."


On the other hand, China is only mentioned twice in the European Security Strategy. In the last section ("Working With Partners") the document states: "In particular we should look to develop strategic partnerships, with Japan, China, Canada and India as well as with all those who share our goals and values..." This statement can mean anything or nothing.


What will the envisaged strategic partnerships look like? Will they mainly include cultural, political, economic or military cooperation? And to what extent? Which partners in Asia are most important? You cannot be friends and have good relations with everyone. Japan and China might be potential rivals in the future; and currently Taiwan also tries to defend itself against its Chinese neighbours  - whom will the EU support in the first place?


But many other questions arise: How do current European relations with China look like? Are there common values, common objectives? Or do disagreements prevail? What do Europeans expect from the Chinese government? How will Europe try to find access to the growing Chinese market? How does Europe judge Tibet's occupation and political oppression? If China violates human rights on a large scale, how will this affect economic cooperation with the EU? Will the Europeans then refuse to conclude trade agreements with China? Or will the search for profit prevail over the idea of human rights? Or will some European countries refuse to cooperate with China, while others will even try to increase commercial relations (which would be a likely but not very coherent European strategy)? And what if China becomes a world power in the 21st century and tries to challenge other actors in the region, for instance even the USA? How would the EU react to such a situation? All these important questions are neither answered nor even addressed in the document.


Only the fact of China's WTO membership is stated and affirmed: "China has joined the WTO and Russia is negotiating its entry. It should be an objective for us to widen the membership of such bodies while maintaining their high standards." There are no further comments on how China's WTO membership will affect Europe in particular.


What will be the obvious conclusion of such a comparison of the two Security Strategies? On the one hand, it seems that the USA cares more about Asia than the Europeans do. This might have to do with geographic proximity, but also with European ignorance about the Pacific region and its huge potential. It would have been important for a European Security Strategy to provide at least some concrete guidelines of EU engagement in Asia, which will certainly play a crucial role in the 21st century.


On the other hand, it also has become clear that the USA has a strategy, whereas the EU only pretends to have one. Maybe the EU member states are simply not capable of reaching a consensus on their policy towards China. But leaving the concrete example aside, the general problem is that a comparison between a relatively concrete, elaborated, professional Strategic Concept and a vague, short and unprofessional one is rather difficult.


3.2.2. Self-confidence


Whether scholars agree or disagree with the main contents of the National Security Strategy, one is for sure: the document does not lack self-confidence. This can be illustrated by several quotations:


"The United States possesses unprecedented - and unequaled - strength and influence in the world. Sustained by faith in the principles of liberty, and the value of a free society, this position comes with unparalleled responsibilities, obligations, and opportunity." (Chapter I)


"Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States." (Chapter IX)


"In exercising our leadership, we will respect the values, judgement, and interests of our friends and partners. Still, we will be prepared to act apart when our interests and unique responsibilities require." (Chapter IX)


"Ultimately, the foundation of American strength is at home. It is in the skills of our people, the dynamism of our economy, and the resilience of our institutions." (Chapter IX)


A comparison with similar passages from the European Security Strategy shows that the fact that the EU is or can be a world power is only hesitatingly affirmed as a kind of unpleasant reality. For example Solana's first draft states: "As a union of 25 states with over 450 million people producing a quarter of the world's Gross National Product (GNP), the European Union is, like it or not, a global actor..." In the final version of the European Security Strategy the phrase "like it or not" is replaced by "inevitably".


Both restrictions can be interpreted as a lack of Europeans self-confidence. Obviously many Europeans are not yet happy with the idea that their Union might become a world power. This might be due to the fact they are not used to having power since 1945. While the United States seems to be very proud of its privileged status and makes it clear that it will mercilessly crush all its adversaries, the European Union still seems somewhat ashamed of being more influential than other actors in the international field. There might also be many Europeans who fear the new responsibilities a world power has to take over to maintain a functioning international order? A new Europe will have to accept the idea of having considerable strength; it will also have to defend its interests against rivals in the international field if it wants to be respected.


Will the European Union one day be able to develop a coherent and strong political will? Will it be able to officially affirm its leading position in the world without any hesitations and restrictions?


Will new generations of its citizens be able to overcome the deadly and inhuman ideology of nationalism, which has sparked off so many wars in the past; which has torn the one European culture politically apart; which is the main political "disease" this continent is suffering from since centuries? And will they realise that there is a common good beyond the nation state that has to be given priority?


Will the European Union in the end accept its new status as one of the great multicultural empires of the 21st century, will it overcome all foreign  dependencies and will it be prepared to use its enormous power assets in order to resist all its potential political, economic and military competitors? Maybe this glorious day will never come; at least it has not yet arrived.


3.2.3. Assessment of threats


A comparison of the two texts indicates that their assessment of threats is largely the same. This view is supported by the findings of other authors.[94]


According to the European Security Strategy there are five major threats: terrorism, Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Regional Conflicts, State Failure and Organised Crime. In the one or other form these threats are also mentioned in the National Security Strategy.


Despite the fact the two texts indicate a common transatlantic threat assessment, the question arises if the “real” threat assessment of European and American political elites might actually be different or become different in the future. Especially after the terrorist attacks of Madrid on March 11, 2004, Europeans might consider themselves as “secondary targets”. Presumably Al Qaeda would not have chosen to attack Spain if it had not been an ally of the USA in the Iraq war. Therefore a military alliance with the USA might even increase potential threats through terrorist networks. Of course terrorist networks should not be allowed to blackmail European governments or exercise influence in domestic affairs. On the other hand, Europeans will find it harder to support U.S. actions in the future, especially if American mistakes and unacceptable behaviour (like torturing and sexually humiliating prisoners of war in Iraq) might increase hatred in the Arab world. Europeans might ask if it is fair and just that they have to pay the price for it. The official European Security Strategy of course does not express such wide-spread doubts.


3.2.4. Fight against HIV / AIDS


The fight against HIV / AIDS is given a great priority in the National Security Strategy. In this context it shows that the U.S. strategy does not exclusively contain a focus on military solutions.


George W. Bush announces in his introduction that the United States of America "... will also continue to lead the world in efforts to reduce the terrible toll of HIV / AIDS and other infectious diseases..."


The National Security Strategy therefore develops concrete measures for the fight against HIV / AIDS. Under the section "Promote the connection between trade and development" in Chapter IV it states:


"Beyond market access, the most important area where trade intersects with poverty is in public health. We will ensure that the WTO property rules are flexible enough to allow developing nations to gain access to critical medicines for extraordinary dangers like HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria."


The Bush Administration also emphasises its contribution to the International Development Association (IDA), which is the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries and states in the National Security Strategy that it has reversed the downward trend in U.S. contributions and proposed a major financial increase. This is also important in the fight against HIV / AIDS:[95]


"As a result of U.S. leadership, the recent IDA agreement provided for significant increases in grant funding for the poorest countries for education, HIV / AIDS, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and other human needs."


In Chapter VII the United States also shows awareness of the fact that the education systems of many African countries "have been devastated by HIV / AIDS". The USA promises to help these education systems through increased funding and by providing information technologies.


Finally the National Security Strategy expresses its confidence that the joint threat through HIV / AIDS can bring about a constructive relationship and cooperation especially with China.[96]


The European Security Strategy also assesses HIV / AIDS as a major threat. In Part I it states under the section "Global Challenges":


"In much of the developing world, poverty and disease cause untold suffering and give rise to pressing security concerns ... AIDS is now one of the most devastating pandemics in human history and contributes to the breakdown of societies. New diseases can spread rapidly and become global threats. "


This assessment of threats is correct. HIV / AIDS affects millions of people especially in developing countries, but it has also spread to Western countries. In several African countries it affects such a huge percentage of the population that it even might contribute to state failure. HIV / AIDS is no longer solely a medical problem. Since it effects so many people and even questions the survival of whole societies it has also become a security problem. Both Security Strategies have realised this. This shared assessment and the political will to solve this problem is something the two documents have in common. Both the USA and the EU have the same goal: the global fight against HIV / AIDS.


However, there is reason to believe that there might be different strategies concerning the means used in this fight. It is impossible to gain information about the common or different means through a comparison of the two documents because the European Security Strategy also remains silent about the envisaged means.


According to Holly Burkhalter, who works as a director of the Health Action AIDS campaign at the organisation "Physicians for Human Rights" the Bush Administration has pushed AIDS to the forefront of its agenda prodded by its conservative evangelical base, that has recently adopted this topic into its political programme. Such a conservative background might cause problems:


"The future of U.S. global AIDS policy will be complicated, however, because the conservative groups interested in the topic have different tactical priorities than their liberal counterparts and the broader medical establishment. They have traditionally been hostile to some important AIDS-prevention strategies such as comprehensive sex education and condom distribution, and they are much more enthusiastic than others about policies such as the promotion of abstinence."[97]


The Bush Administration's AIDS plan is to a certain amount shaped by religious conservatives. Preventive programmes have especially come under their attack. The so-called "Family Research Council" publicly insisted that the Administration's programme will not become "an airlift for condoms". By the time legislation implementing the president's vision (United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003) was completed, conservatives in the House of Representatives redirected one-third of its AIDS-preventing funding toward programmes urging abstinence before marriage.


These conservatives are inspired by Uganda's "ABC" (Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms) approach and are particular fans of its A and B components. They are convinced that these two components alone, if faithfully adopted, can drastically lower the rate of HIV/AIDS transmission. However, scientific evaluation shows different results. Studies of Ugandan AIDS prevalence that try to assess the relative contributions of abstinence, multiple-partner reduction, and condom use in lowering infection rates have found that abstinence actually made the smallest contribution, while condoms and partner reduction had the largest impact.[98]


At home, the current U.S. government provides $100 million per year for abstinence education, making the aid conditional on schools' commitment to neither endorse condoms nor provide instruction on their use. Kenneth L. Connor, president of the "Family Research Council", has suggested extending such policies to Africa, on the grounds that "responsible moral behavior is the first and best line of defense against AIDS, and is the only message we should send to young people worldwide".[99]


But here again, researchers who have compared abstinence-only and comprehensive sex-education programmes in the United States have found little evidence that the former have any effect on sexual behaviour or contraceptive use among sexually active teenagers. What was revealed was that these teenagers who received comprehensive sex-education were more likely both to delay sexual initiation and to use condoms once they did start having sex than their peers who received abstinence-only instruction. Another problem with the abstinence approach is that it fails to help certain marginalised groups who are especially at risk of HIV infection (intravenous drug users, homosexuals, prostitutes), which might be the conservative intention behind it.[100]


Despite the fact the European Security Strategy does not talk about its intended means in the fight against HIV / AIDS, it can be assumed that Europeans in general are not in favour of campaigns promoting sexual abstinence; and European political elites are not likely to share the values of America's religious conservatives. This assumption leads to the conclusion that despite the fact both Security Strategies seem to have similar approaches concerning the goals, the approaches of practical implementation might differ to a huge extent.


3.2.5. Transatlantic relations


Both Security Strategies emphasise the importance of the transatlantic relationship. Both documents also affirm the crucial role of NATO.


The National Security Strategy states in Chapter VIII:

"There is little of lasting consequence that the United States can accomplish in the world without the sustained cooperation of its allies and friends in Canada and Europe. Europe is also the seat of two of the strongest and most able international institutions in the world: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has, since its inception, been the fulcrum of transatlantic and inter-European security, and the European Union (EU), our partner in opening world trade."


It must be mentioned that the importance of Europe for the USA has been questioned by many scholars:


“… there is in Europe a considerable amount of strategic nostalgia. This is evident in the refusal of many national leaders and policymakers to believe how low a priority America accords to the continent.” [101]


The European Security Strategy states in Part II ("An International Order Based of Effective Multilateralism"):


"One of the core elements of the international system is the transatlantic relationship. This is not only in our bilateral interest but strengthens the international community as a whole. NATO is an important expression of this relationship."


Again, the National Security Strategy contains more ideas about the future role of NATO than the European Security Strategy. NATO's forces have to be transformed in order to adapt its capabilities to new circumstances. It must be able "to field, at short notice, highly mobile, specially trained forces". The National Security Strategy puts a special emphasis on technological opportunities, global engagement and multinationality. The document affirms the need of future NATO enlargement. Interoperability with allies must be maintained "even as we take the necessary step to transform and modernize our forces". The strategy seems to be perfectly aware of the above-mentioned "capability gap" between the technological standard of the USA and its European allies.


The similarities of the two texts indicate that the importance of transatlantic relationship is a consensus on both sides of the Atlantic and the partnership stands firm. However, there could be an alternative interpretation: if the transatlantic relationship had not been shattered through certain political events, it would not have been necessary to publicly announce its continuing importance. The Roman emperors only saw the need to print "concordia militium" (harmony of the troops) on their coins when this harmony was somehow in question. What will the future of transatlantic relationship look like? Will a stronger Europe be integrated into transatlantic structures?


If the provisions of Chapter IX of the National Security Strategy are taken seriously, one can assume that the USA will not allow any potential rival to develop military capabilities similar to its own:


"Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States."


This also means that if Europe wants to build up own military capabilities similar to the USA, it has to be prepared to face heavy American resistance; the USA might therefore become a potential foe. Can transatlantic harmony only be preserved if Europe refuses to become (in the words of the European Security Strategy) "more active, more capable and more coherent", at least in a military sense? Should the EU choose staying weak in order to satisfy its "big brother"? Will the EU and NATO one day become rivals, despite the results of the "Berlin Plus"-summit?


3.2.6. International Criminal Court (ICC)


The European Union unconditionally affirms the creation of an International Court. Under the headline "An International Order Based on Effective Multilateralism" the European Security Strategy states:


"It is a condition of a rule-based international order that law evolves in response to developments such as proliferation, terrorism and global warming. We have an interest in further developing existing institutions such as the World Trade Organisation and in supporting new ones such as the International Criminal Court."


The National Security Strategy rather perceives the International Criminal Court as a threat. In Chapter IX the document states:


"We will take the actions necessary to ensure that our efforts to meet our global security commitments and protect Americans are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans and which we do not accept. We will work together with other nations to avoid complications in our military operations and cooperation, through such mechanisms as multilateral and bilateral agreements that will protect U.S. nationals from the ICC. We will implement fully the American Servicemembers Protection Act, whose provisions are intended to ensure and enhance the protection of U.S. personnel and officials."


Some scholars support the American point of view.[102] Since it is the United States which has to carry the burden of maintaining the international order (due to European military incompetence), it should have something like a privileged status. For example, the USA will not be capable of performing important humanitarian interventions in other countries to protect minorities from genocide (like in Kosovo) if its soldiers can at any time be sued before such an International Criminal Court. Such a Court can be misused as a political instrument by America's political opponents. Such a situation might prove to be a heavy burden for the American army, whose soldiers have the right to fulfil their duty in accordance to the regulations of their nation without having to fear persecution by multilateral institutions. The USA is a civilised country and a democracy; war crimes can be dealt with before U.S. institutions.


Others try to put forward arguments that support the European position by calling U.S. policy "janus-faced".[103] On the one hand, the USA insists that war criminals (who live, for example, in Serbia) and terrorists must be brought before an international court. It threatens countries who do not comply with sanctions. On the other hand, it tries to conclude bilateral treaties which would exempt U.S. nationals from surrender or transfer to the International Criminal Court. It also uses sanctions (like cutting military aid) against countries that refuse to grant such exceptions to U.S. nationals.


Recent events in Iraq have shown that the so-called civilised U.S. soldiers are of course capable of committing war crimes. Photographs published by American media show extreme violence that was used against Iraqi prisoners of war. Sometimes in order to gain information, sometimes just for the entertainment of their guards they were exposed to electrical shocks and even sexual humiliation. Many prisoners had to undress and were forced to perform sexual acts even before cameras, others were raped. One must also take into account that the victims were Muslims, who consider such humiliations as extremely painful, especially if it takes place in front of women, in this case female U.S. soldiers. The national authorities of the United States initially hesitated to react to these allegations and even tried to suppress the pictures. Now some of the criminals have been suspended. But according to Amnesty International, the crimes were not only performed by a few madmen, but had a rather systematic character.


There is no reason why American soldiers should be allowed to commit such crimes in occupied countries; and there is no reason why they should be immune or "protected" from the jurisdiction of an International Criminal Court if national authorities fail to punish them. If the United States claims to represent and defend universal values like human rights, it must also agree to be judged according to these standards.


3.3. Summary of the Thesis / Conclusion


The objective of this thesis is to compare two core documents of international relations: the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (the "Bush doctrine") and the European Security Strategy (the "Solana doctrine"). What do the Security Strategies of the USA and the EU have in common, where are the main differences? This topic ultimately leads to the question of the future of transatlantic relations, which are currently suffering from major problems; some authors even indicate that "the West is cracking" (Fukuyama). Are America and Europe drifting apart? What does the comparison of the two documents indicate, taking into consideration the relevant theoretical background concerning transatlantic relations (realism, constructivism, liberalism)?


This thesis therefore consists of three parts:


PART I deals with the first of the two documents, the National Security Strategy of the United States of America. After a sketch of the history of the document and a summary of its main contents, the commentaries emphasise the problematic situation the USA is caught in at the moment: the country can be seen as omnipotent and at the same time powerless. It is omnipotent, because it is the world's leading military power and can intervene everywhere around the globe. It is nearly powerless against new threats like terrorism, which hit by surprise and make the USA extremely vulnerable. The National Security Strategy tries to face new threats by heavily relying on preemptive / preventive military strikes. It is questionable if this strategy will really fulfill its objective: making the world safer for the USA.


PART II deals with the second document, the European Security Strategy. The commentaries on the text emphasise the lack of political will and military capability behind the Strategic Concept, which is due to the national organisation of foreign policy and defence, which should be replaced by more supranational patterns.


PART III is a direct comparison of the two texts, with particular reference to several chosen topics. The main results are the following: the size and quality of the two Security Strategies differ to a large extent. The National Security Strategy is almost twice as large than the European Security Strategy; and it is much more elaborated, detailed and concrete. Every Security Strategy must by its very nature be vague to a certain extent (because it always contains more general provisions and must leave a kind of uncertainty to the potential foe). Nevertheless, the vagueness of the European Security Strategy is disturbing; it leaves the reader with an uncertainty about the actual meaning of crucial provisions ("preventive engagement", "robust intervention"). The differences in size and quality can be explained by two facts: the National Security Strategy represents the will of one government, the European Security Strategy is a compromise of fifteen governments. After Enlargement 25 governments are involved in strategic decisions. The vagueness of the document is sometimes due to the fact that a consensus cannot be reached. In this context it is also worth noting that the National Security Strategy also shows much more self-confidence.


However, when the provisions are concrete, it shows that they have something in common. The assessment of threats (terrorism, weapons of mass destruction etc.) is largely the same. But it must be noted that even if the formulation of the documents indicate a common objective, the means envisaged in practical politics might differ to a large extent. This can be illustrated by the "fight against HIV / AIDS", which is a priority for both Security Strategies. But one must take into account that the actual political measures used in this fight by the Bush Administration are shaped by its Christian fundamentalist clientele, which prefers abstinence before marriage to the distribution of condoms. It is hard to imagine that European political elites share such preferences. Sometimes the two Stategies also differ with respect to their objectives. While the European Union strongly supports organisations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), the USA explicitly refuses to accept its jurisdiction and states that it will "protect" its soldiers from it. Recent allegations concerning torture of Iraqi prisoners of war by U.S. servicemen make this position morally dubious. The comparison therefore indicates that there are differences in the European and the American position and that their "strategic cultures" are drifting apart.


This thesis takes into account several theoretical approaches which try to explain why current transatlantic differences occur. Constructivism (which takes into account larger communities' "social construction" of world-views through different historical experiences) and liberalism (which mainly focuses on an analysis of domestic affairs, the design of a certain democratic political system and its influence on a country's foreign policy) can contribute to an explanation of the growing gap. However, the solutions suggested by the theories are questionable. For example, it would be a nice conclusion for a thesis to suggest, with constructivism, the initiation of a transatlantic dialogue. Unfortunately, it is hard to imagine having a dialogue with a politician like George W. Bush who offers to the world the alternative either to be with or against him. If this is the alternative, discussion is impossible. Either one agrees or is perceived as a foe. One of the main problems of transatlantic relations is that Europeans accuse Americans of having turned their back on the idea of dialogue. It must also be taken into account that there is certain unacceptable behaviour which makes dialogue impossible. This behaviour includes torturing of prisoners of war, like in Iraq. It also includes American facilities like Guatanamo Bay, where detainees are held like animals in small cages and have no chance for a fair trial. There can be no dialogue about such despicable human rights violations and with persons who are politically responsible for them.


This thesis does not suggest that realism is the best theory of international politics. Every theory takes into account one certain perspective on a complex reality and can therefore in a way improve our understanding. However, in the case of transatlantic relations it seems that realism (as, for instance, represented by the author Robert Kagan) can not only provide a coherent explanation of the gap, but also meaningful suggestions for a possible solution to the problem. It has been suggested that the USA, despite its enormous power potential and the possible need to sometimes act unilaterally, should, especially under future administrations, show more "decent respect for the opinion of mankind". The European Union, on the other hand, should build up its own military capabilities, equipped with the necessary resources, under a supranational command structure. If the transatlantic alliance continues (and in the short run there is no alternative for both sides) Europe could through its increased capabilities become a more precious ally to the United States and overcome the "capability gap" current transatlantic cooperation is suffering from. A shared burden automatically must mean shared responsibility and leadership.


But if it turns out that cooperation one day becomes impossible, because the political positions differ too much, Europe must learn to defend its own interests, pursue its own objectives and stand on its own feet. The Old World has contributed too much to civilisation to be just a political satellite of another great power.





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[1] Andrea Riemer, Gunther Hauser, Gesamtstrategien im Vergleich: Die Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der USA und die Europäische Sicherheitsstrategie; Riemer's and Hauser's paper, published by the Austrian Military Academy, provides some insights that served as a starting point of this study. However, their paper is not only very short (17 pages), but also contains some false and misleading information (see for instance footnote 54).

[2] Ivo Daalder, America Unbound, p.122

[3] Ben Lombardi, The "Bush Doctrine": Anticipatory Self-Defence and the New US National Security Strategy, p.92

[4] Ibid.

[5] Francois Heisbourg, A Work in Progress: The Bush Doctrine and Its Consequences, p.76

[6] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.19; Joachim Krause et al., Wohin gehen die USA? Die neue Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der Bush-Administration, p.40

[7] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.19

[8] Ben Lombardi, The "Bush Doctrine": Anticipatory Self-Defence and the New US National Security Strategy, p.93

[9] Joachim Krause et al., Wohin gehen die USA? Die neue Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der Bush-Administration, p.40

[10] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.20

[11] c.f. Ivo Daalder, America Unbound, p.120

[12] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.20

[13] Information and quotes from Ivo Daalder, America Unbound, p.121-122

[14] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.19

[15] Andrea Riemer, Gunther Hauser, Gesamtstrategien im Vergleich: Die Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der USA und die Europäische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.13: According to this study the view of the Clinton Administration on unilateral engagement did not differ to much from the view expressed in the Bush doctrine.

[16] Ivo Daalder, America Unbound, p.122

[17] Francois Heisbourg, A Work in Progress: The Bush Doctrine and Its Consequences, p.77: "It is difficult for U.S. partners and allies, and even for an analyst, to equate this classical approach with the one developed, among others, in Wolfowitz's speech."

[18] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.19

[19] Erich Reiter, Die nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der USA vom September 2002, p.1

[20] Ben Lombardi, The "Bush Doctrine": Anticipatory Self-Defence and the New US National Security Strategy, p.104

[21] Erich Reiter, Die nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der USA vom September 2002, p.3

[22] Joachim Krause et al., Wohin gehen die USA? Die neue Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der Bush-Administration, p.45

[23] Erich Reiter, Die nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der USA vom September 2002, p.2

[24] Joachim Krause et al., Wohin gehen die USA? Die neue Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der Bush-Administration, p.40

[25] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.20

[26] National Security Strategy, introduction, p.I

[27] Joachim Krause et al., Wohin gehen die USA? Die neue Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der Bush-Administration, p.41

[28] National Security Strategy, chapter I, p.1

[29] Kenneth Stein, Die Bush-Doktrin, Selektives Engagement im Nahen Osten, p.51

[30] Joachim Krause et al., Wohin gehen die USA? Die neue Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der Bush-Administration, p.43

[31] Ben Lombardi, The "Bush Doctrine": Anticipatory Self-Defence and the New US National Security Strategy, p.104

[32] Herfried Münkler, Der neue Golfkrieg, p.123

[33] Ben Lombardi, The "Bush Doctrine": Anticipatory Self-Defence and the New US National Security Strategy, p.102

[34] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.20

[35] Ivo Daalder, America Unbound, p.13

[36] Ibid., p.3

[37] Colin Powell, A Strategy of Partnerships, p.25

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid., p.27

[40] Ibid., p.30

[41] Kenneth Stein, Die Bush-Doktrin, Selektives Engagement im Nahen Osten, p.49

[42] Francois Heisbourg, A Work in Progress: The Bush Doctrine and Its Consequences, p.76

[43] Ibid., p.79

[44] such a claim is for example put forward by Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.20: "Auch wurde häufig verkannt, dass die Autoren des Dokuments wohlweislich Prävention (prevention) und Präemption (preemption) unterscheiden..."; he does not state where this distinction is actually drawn in the text.

[45] Francois Heisbourg, A Work in Progress: The Bush Doctrine and Its Consequences, p.77

[46] Ibid., p.79

[47] Karl-Heinz Kamp, Von der Prävention zur Präemption, Die neue amerikanische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.20

[48] Colin Powell, A Strategy of Partnerships, p.25

[49] Ivo Daalder, America Unbound, p.122

[50] Ibid., p.126

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Andrea Riemer, Gunther Hauser, Gesamtstrategien im Vergleich: Die Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der USA und die Europäische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.13-14

[54]Ibid., p.14: "Die am 12.12.2003 beim Gipfel des Europäischen Rates unter italienischem Vorsitz verabschiedete EU-Sicherheitsstrategie unterscheidet sich lediglich in Nuancen von jenem Text, den Javier Solana beim Europäischen Rat im Juni 2003 vorgelegt hatte."

[55] Johann Frank, Gustav Gustenau, Erich Reiter, Anmerkungen zum Entwurf einer Europäischen Sicherheitsstrategie, p.9

[56]Ibid., p.5

[57] Ibid., p.9

[58] Kegley, Wittkopf, World Politics, p.640

[59] Ibid., p.12

[60] Colin Powell, A Strategy of Partnerships, p.23

[61] David Gompert, Akteur oder Statist, Die Rolle der Europäischen Union auf der Weltbühne, p.18

[62] Wouters, Naert, The European Union and ‘September 11’, p.8

[63] Jörg Monar et al., 11 September and the Challenge of Global Terrorism to the EU as a Security Actor, p.12

[64] Ibid., p.13

[65] Hanspeter Neuhold, Transatlantic Turbulences: Rifts or Ripples?, p.464

[66] Jörg Monar et al., 11 September and the Challenge of Global Terrorism to the EU as a Security Actor, p.15

[67] partly after Wouters, Naert, The European Union and ‘September 11’, p.29-33 and Wolfgang Wessels, Security and Defence of the European Union, pp.22-27

[68] Erich Reiter, Der Kongoeinsatz der EU, p.11

[69] Robert Cooper, Macht und Ohnmacht - aus europäischer Sicht. Eine Antwort auf die Thesen Robert Kagans, p.32

[70] Ibid.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Ibid., p.36

[73] Peter Mayer, Volker Rittberger, Fariborz Zelli, Risse im Westen? Betrachtungen zum transatlantischen Verhältnis heute, p.52

[74]  International Herald Tribune August 9, 2002

[75] Peter Mayer, Volker Rittberger, Fariborz Zelli, Risse im Westen? Betrachtungen zum transatlantischen Verhältnis heute, p.34

[76] Gert Krell, Arrogance of Power, Arrogance of Impotence, pp.26-27

[77] Ibid., p.28; it should be noted that Kagan also includes some elements of constructivism in his works, especially when dealing with the phenomenon of European integration

[78] Robert Kagan, Power and Weakness, p.9

[79] Ibid. p.3

[80] Ibid., p.11

[81] Ibid., p.17

[82] Ibid., p.18

[83] "balancing" means, in realist terms, the creation of a political and military counterpart

[84] Gert Krell, Arrogance of Power, Arrogance of Impotence, p.30

[85] Peter Mayer, Volker Rittberger, Fariborz Zelli, Risse im Westen? Betrachtungen zum transatlantischen Verhältnis heute, p.42

[86] Ibid.

[87] Gert Krell, Arrogance of Power, Arrogance of Impotence, p.30

[88] Ibid., p.32

[89] Peter Mayer, Volker Rittberger, Fariborz Zelli, Risse im Westen? Betrachtungen zum transatlantischen Verhältnis heute, p.43

[90] Ibid.

[91] Ibid., p.44

[92] Gert Krell, Arrogance of Power, Arrogance of Impotence, p.34

[93] Andrea Riemer, Gunther Hauser, Gesamtstrategien im Vergleich: Die Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der USA und die Europäische Sicherheitsstrategie, p.19

[94] Ibid., p.21: “Bei der Einschätzung der Bedrohungslage sind die National Sicherheitsstrategie und die EU-Sicherheitsstrategie nahezu deckungsgleich.“

[95] National Security Strategy, Chapter VII, Section "Increase the amount of development assistance that is provided in the form of grants instead of loans", p.22

[96] National Security Strategy, Chapter VIII, p.27

[97] Holly Burkhalter, The Politics of AIDS, p.8

[98] Ibid., p.12

[99] Ibid., p.13

[100] Ibid., p.14

[101] Nicole Gnesotto, Reacting to America, p.102

[102] Walter Schilling, Europa, Amerika und der Internationale Strafgerichtshof, p.51-56

[103] Hanspeter Neuhold, Transatlantic Turbulences: Rifts or Ripples?, p.459