Repairing the Damage: Possibilities and Limits of Transatlantic Consensus, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Repairing the Damage

Possibilities and Limits of Transatlantic Consensus, 1st Edition

By Dana H. Allin, Gilles Andréani, Gary Samore, Philippe Errera


104 pages

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The damage that has been done to the transatlantic alliance will not be repaired through grand architectural redesigns or radical new agendas. Instead, the transatlantic partners need to restore their consensus and cooperation on key security challenges with a limited agenda that reflects the essential conservatism of the transatlantic partnership during the Cold War and the 1990s. There will inevitably be big challenges, such as the rise of China, where transatlantic disparities in strategic means and commitments preclude any common alliance undertaking. Yet such limits are nothing new. The absence of a common transatlantic commitment to counter-insurgency in Iraq may cause resentments, but so too did the lack of a common commitment to counter-insurgency in Vietnam.

This Adelphi Paper suggests ten propositions for future transatlantic consensus – that is to say, ten security challenges for which the allies should be able to agree on common strategies. These run the gamut from an effective strategy to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability to transatlantic leadership for international cooperation against global warming. If pursued with seriousness and a reasonable degree of transatlantic unity, these propositions could constitute the foundations of an effective partnership. They are, in the authors’ view, the basis for a consensus on the most pressing security challenges of the twenty-first century.

The time is right for this kind of serious rededication to alliance purposes. There has already been some effort to repair the damage; moreover, new leaders are in place or coming to the countries that were major protagonists of the transatlantic crisis: Germany, France, Britain and, in 2009, the United States. It is possible that these four new leaders will be better able to put the disputes of the recent past behind them. This extended essay is a guide to the possibilities, and also the limits, of a new start.

Table of Contents

Introduction Ten Propositions for Transatlantic Consensus 1 Beyond the War on Terror 2 Confronting Proliferation 3 State Failure, State-building and Democratic Change Conclusion Ambitions and Limits of a Transatlantic Partnership Appendix IISS Transatlantic Steering Group and Workshop Participants

About the Authors

Dana H. Allin is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs and Editor of Survival at the IISS. He is also Professorial Lecturer in American Foreign Policy and European Studies at the Bologna Center of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. His previous publications include Cold War Illusions: America, Europe and Soviet Power (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1994 and 1998) and NATO’s Balkan Interventions, Adelphi Paper 347 (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the IISS, 2002).

Gilles Andréani is Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Paris II Panthéon- Assas University. He served twice, from 1995 to 1999, and from 2002 to 2004, as head of policy planning in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1999–2000 he was a Senior Fellow for International Security Affairs at the IISS, where he was in charge of the nonproliferation programme of the Institute.

Philippe Errera is a French diplomat. He co-authored this Adelphi Paper as deputy director of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs planning staff.

Gary Samore is Vice President and Director of Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Previously, he was Vice President for International Programs at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago and Director of Studies and Senior Fellow for Non-Proliferation at the IISS. Prior to 2001, Dr Samore served in the US government, as Senior Director for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls for President Bill Clinton and in various positions at the State Department, working on US non-proliferation policy.

About the Series

Adelphi series

The Adelphi series is The International Institute for Strategic Studies' flagship contribution to policy-relevant, original academic research.

Six books are published each year. They provide rigorous analysis of contemporary strategic and defence topics that is useful to politicians and diplomats, as well as academic researchers, foreign-affairs analysts, defence commentators and journalists.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General