The European Security and Defense Policy

The European Security and Defense Policy: NATO's Companion - or Competitor?

Robert E. Hunter
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 206
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  • Book Info
    The European Security and Defense Policy
    Book Description:

    The emergence of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) in the last two-thirds of the 1990s and continuing into the new century, has been a complex process intertwining politics, economics, national cultures, and numerous institutions. This book provides an essential background for understanding how security issues as between NATO and the European Union are being posed for the early part of the 21st century, including the new circumstances following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. This study should be of interest to those interested in the evolution of U.S.-European relations, especially in, but not limited to, the security field; the development of institutional relationships; and key choices that lie ahead in regard to these critical arrangements.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3228-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
    (pp. iii-iv)

    Few issues have been more vexing to American policy analysts and political leaders than the emergence of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) in the last two-thirds of the 1990s and continuing into the new century. The United States has long advocated the development of a European “pillar” within NATO—in essence the idea that a politically and economically strong Europe should contribute roughly equal military capacity as the United States to mutual security. But there have been two ideas embedded in the pillar concept—not only military strength, but also strength within NATO, not outside it.

    The Europeans...

    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Chapter One BACKGROUND
    (pp. 1-6)

    For the past several years, the United States, Canada, their European allies, and other countries belonging to the European Union (EU)¹ have resumed a long-standing debate about the relationship between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a whole and a European defense “pillar” of the Western alliance. Historically, this debate has always had several strands: Most prominent have been the characteristics and pace of the development of European integration, chiefly enshrined in the European Union; the management of security within the West—until 1991 focusing on the Soviet Union and now oriented more broadly; the sharing of common transatlantic...

  9. Chapter Two INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 7-12)

    From the early days of the European Movement, launched at The Hague in 1948 under the chairmanship of Winston Churchill, the countries that later formed the European Union have had the ambition of one day creating their own foreign policy and their own defense and military institutions. This was part of trying to ensure that the tragedies of World Wars I and II would not be repeated. Thus, following the first step toward West European integration—the Schuman Plan, which became the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951—it seemed natural to try creating a European Defense Community (EDC);¹...

    (pp. 13-20)

    Thus the NATO allies and the members of the Western European Union—acting, in effect, as the executive agent for ESDI—began negotiating to determine what, in practice, it could mean and what ESDI’s relationship should properly be with NATO. These negotiations led to a grand bargain, prompted mainly by economic necessity, but also by a widely shared sense that NATO and WEU should not find themselves at loggerheads over roles and missions for post–cold war security in Europe. On the one hand, the WEU states wanted a capacity to take military actions if and when NATO were not...

    (pp. 21-28)

    The agreement reached at NATO’s Berlin and Brussels ministerial meetings in June 1996 could have been the end of the basic debate within the alliance about the development of the European defense pillar—an elegant arrangement between two institutions, respecting the interests and ambitions of each. But this was not to be, in part because of the need to work out the practical details of the relationship between NATO and the WEU.

    Furthermore, from the U.S. point of view (acting informally as lead custodian of the NATO position), some points of the grand bargain did raise questions. For example, the...

  12. Chapter Five ST.MÂLO AND BEYOND
    (pp. 29-32)

    Despite these and other continuing concerns on both sides of the Atlantic about the relationship between NATO and the WEU, ESDI was not a major topic of political discussion or controversy for more than two years after the 1996 grand bargain. But it suddenly reemerged from the bureaucratic doldrums on December 4, 1998, only a few weeks before the Euro was launched among 11 (now 12) of the 15 EU countries (known as “Euroland”), notably not including the United Kingdom. Presumably at least in part to demonstrate its engagement in a major project leading toward completion of European integration, the...

  13. Chapter Six THE THREE Ds—AND A FOURTH
    (pp. 33-44)

    Debate was now clearly under way about aspects of ESDI that had not been much discussed in the two years since the Berlin and Brussels agreements. Indeed, it can be argued that much of the ensuing transatlantic disagreement has stemmed precisely from the desultory and almost haphazard way in which the 1996 agreements had been presented in public, on both sides of the Atlantic, and certainly to the U.S. Congress. The agreements were, of course, complex and not easily understood by nonspecialists in the intricacies of either NATO or European Union politics and organization: Even the concept of “separable but...

    (pp. 45-52)

    One significant way in which the duplication issue has remained important emerged from the introduction of another factor. By the time of St. Mâlo and the first U.S. formal response to it, the NATO Alliance was also “seized of” concerns about its own military resources and capacities. Having successfully completed the design phase of adapting the NATO Alliance to meet the challenges of the post–cold war era,¹ the allied states had to consider the scope of possible NATO military actions in the future and, in particular, the capabilities needed to undertake such actions. These concerns arose even before the...

    (pp. 53-58)

    Following the St. Mâlo summit, the pace picked up in bargaining between NATO and the WEU states over the nature of their relationship. The key focus was at NATO’s Washington summit in April 1999, where the allies “acknowledged” the EU’s “resolve,” post–St. Mâlo, “to have the capacity forautonomous actionso that it can take decisions and approve military actionwhere the alliance as a whole is not engaged[emphasis added in both places].”¹ NATO’s new Strategic Concept agreed that ESDI “will continue to be developed within NATO.”² And this process

    will assist the European Allies to act by themselves...

  16. Chapter Nine CONGRESS RESPONDS
    (pp. 59-62)

    Cologne also reinforced growing skepticism on Capitol Hill about ESDP. The skepticism grew from a compound of several factors, of which the following were most important: (1) poor understanding of what had actually been happening, at Berlin in 1996 and afterward—indeed, the U.S. administration can be faulted for inadequate efforts to see that ESDI issues were well understood in the Congress; (2) concern both about NATO’s primacy and the willingness of allies to produce increased military capabilities, including for use beyond Europe; (3) what many members of Congress regarded as the disproportionate share of the military burden borne by...

    (pp. 63-70)

    The “moment of truth” came at the Helsinki EU summit in December 1999. There were a major step forward in ESDP institution building and the resolution, or at least so it seemed at the time, of at least one of the most critical elements of dispute with NATO—i.e., in essence with the United States: the ongoing disagreement about the concept of “NATO first” (although the term was understandably not used in the Helsinki documents).

    At Helsinki, the Finnish EU presidency moved forward the work set in motion at Cologne. In a lengthyPresidency Report,it proposed for adoption a...

    (pp. 71-86)

    Because the Helsinki decisions gave much greater substance and reality to the prospect that a European Security and Defense Policy— and rapid reaction force—could actually come into being, attention began to focus on the precise qualities of the relationship to be forged between NATO and EU/ESDP. Three reasons have already been cited: The risks (however slight) that (1) some sort of competitor for (or even just distraction from) the NATO integrated military command structure could be developing; (2) so much effort would be put into creating ESDP structures that the necessary political will and resources would not be put...

    (pp. 87-92)

    Following the initiatives taken at Helsinki, by the time of the European Council summit at Santa Maria da Feira (June 19–20, 2000), the EU had made major strides toward developing the modalities of the new ESDP, especially in a variety of areas designed to develop “a military crisis management capability as well as a civilian one.”¹ Two efforts, however, stand out: the ESDP’s relationship to third parties in Europe (NATO members and aspirants to join the EU) and its relationship directly with NATO.² Throughout, the PortuguesePresidency Reportto the council is careful to reiterate “the decision-making autonomy of...

  20. Chapter Thirteen PARALLEL TRACKS
    (pp. 93-98)

    During the latter half of 2000, the EU/ESDP and NATO could be said to be moving on parallel tracks: but as in Euclidean geometry, mov- ing in a similar direction, not converging. The former followed what, in EU terms, is the inexorable logic of implementing decisions already made—i.e., reducing them to bureaucratic practice. These focused on the four working groups set up with NATO, where “WEU- NATO relations have paved the way for the EU’s relationship with NATO. And the European Union is now close to defining its proposals on cooperation with NATO”;¹ the building up of formal contacts...

  21. Chapter Fourteen U.S. CONCERNS CRYSTALLIZE
    (pp. 99-108)

    The United States formally supported the Capabilities Commitment Conference; as Secretary Albright said, as “a strongly positive development we wholly support.”¹ Notably, however, she added in her written statement that “This EU force will be available to both NATO and the EU.”² This was true enough in terms of most, though not all, of the EU forces pledged at the conference; but “available to … NATO” is certainly not true of the European rapid reaction force itself; and this serious misperception only serves to underscore transatlantic disagreements about the development of ESDP. Indeed, the parallel development within NATO during the...

  22. Chapter Fifteen NICE AND BEYOND
    (pp. 109-116)

    In terms of developing confidence in the United States about the future of ESDP, the European Council that convened at Nice two days after Cohen’s comments was important as much for what it did not do as for what it did. First, it accomplished several major steps forward in developing the institutions for the European Security and Defense Policy—designed “to enable the European Union to assume its responsibilities for crisis management as a whole.”¹ These steps focused on the elaboration of the Political and Security Committee (PSC), the Military Committee of the European Union (EUMC), and the Military Committee...

  23. Chapter Sixteen THE NEW U.S.ADMINISTRATION
    (pp. 117-124)

    With the onset of any new U.S. administration, for a time progress in U.S.-European relations comes to a virtual standstill. The allies want time to take the measure of the new U.S. president and his team; and the new team will itself take time, both to be constituted (the appointment and confirmation processes are long and drawn out) and to revisit old propositions about security relations with Europe before, almost always, ratifying at least most of what the last administration has done.¹ This time, there was also virtue in a breathing space in the development of relations between NATO and...

  24. Chapter Seventeen SORTING IT OUT
    (pp. 125-136)

    By the spring of 2001, work was moving forward both at the European Union and regarding the common understanding of the key areas of difference between the EU’s ESDP and NATO, especially as seen from Washington. Progress in relations between the two institutions took place despite the restraints imposed by Turkey on actions by the North Atlantic Council, along with clear emphasis on the principle that “nothing is decided until all is decided.” NATO and the EU began the practical work related to the four working groups and, on February 5, held the first-ever meeting of the North Atlantic Council...

  25. Chapter Eighteen STRIKING THE BALANCE: A U.S.VIEW
    (pp. 137-148)

    From 1993—when the United States first indicated that it would be truly open to a vigorous “European pillar” within the alliance, through the Berlin-Brussels agreements of 1996 and the “Berlin- plus” agreement of 1999, to the building of major bureaucratic struc- tures for a European Security and Defense Policy—much has happened, not just in this one corner of the development of transatlantic relations for the 21st century, but in the total corpus of European security. NATO has admitted three new members and promises to take in more—its “open door”—at the November 2002 Prague NATO summit. The...

    (pp. 149-158)

    There needs to be wholehearted, unambiguous European adherence to the principle of “where NATO as a whole is not engaged,” and po- litical processes should be developed to ensure that no doubts arise about this point or about NATO’s ability, sufficiently early in a crisis, to make such a determination. Many Europeans will resist the notion that this implies “NATO first”: But as a practical matter, it is important for preserving cohesion of the alliance. Securing this goal, which is important to the United States, will probably have to come from day-to-day consultations, including close cooperation between the North Atlantic...

  27. Chapter Twenty LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
    (pp. 159-162)

    As this study has sought to demonstrate, resolving current issues in NATO–EU/ESDP relations, including U.S. interests and concerns about the EU’s ventures in foreign policy and defense, is, at least for the near and medium terms, more about political will and tactics than about long-term goals and strategy. At some point, the European Union is likely to have its own foreign policy—and, in some areas of economics-as-foreign-policy, it already does. Even beyond Europe, there continues to be a high degree of common strategic perspective among the United States, Canada, the European allies, the non-NATO members of the European...

    (pp. 163-180)

    This monograph was completed before the tragic events of September 11, 2001—a second “date which will live in infamy.” Less than a month later, as the campaign in Afghanistan was just beginning, it was not possible to predict with certainty the effects that the ensuing major changes in international politics will have on the role of the European Security and Defense Policy, or on its relationship to NATO. However, a number of developments and trends can already be discerned.

    Following the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, the focus of attention...