Michael Brenner examines European efforts--and American
responses--to reduced defense dependency in a post-Cold War world.
Unresolved questions abound: institutional form, political
direction, resources, and--above all--uncertainty about the place
of the United States in security arrangements for and with a new
Europe. As he makes clear, the culture of transatlantic security
dependency casts a shadow over the ongoing project of
reequilibrating the Euro-American alliance. U.S. prestige and power
weigh all the heavier because of American ambivalence in coming to
terms with its allies' ambitions.
Agreeing on a conception of European Security and Defense
Identity and measures to implement it has three requirements:
clarifying a security agenda dominated by political goals; candid
dialogue on the apprehensions the transatlantic partners have about
each other; and dedication to perfecting multilateralism as the
standard behavioral code for a more egalitarian alliance. Giving
life to ESDI unavoidably will generate tensions and amplify a
European voice that at times will grate on Washington's ears.
However, as Brenner asserts, making multilateralism work is the
best way to ensure that those negatives are outweighed by the value
ESDI has for advancing U.S. as well as European interests. This is
must reading for scholars, students, and policy makers involved
with European security and international relations issues.
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