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Future of Transatlantic Security Relations: Four Scenarios


After the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent military action in Afghanistan
and Iraq, is the transatlantic community headed towards a divorce of
Europe and the United States? Or, quite the opposite, are we witnessing a
dawn of a new, revitalised, globally active western community? The article
focuses on possible evolution of the transatlantic community, and aims at
judging various future arrangements of security and defence area against
the background of realist approach of international relations. The analysis
proceeds in four steps. First of all, the realist theoretical background is laid
down, as compared to other possible approaches, including the one of
Robert Kagan. Self-interest and the crucial importance of security of an
international actor are presented as basic principles. Secondly, the military
capabilities of the United States of America and Europe are compared, as
the gap between them justifies the concept of strong America and weak
Europe. The third part presents four possible scenarios of future
transatlantic relations. Since the position of the United States is to be
considered constant for foreseeable future, the article closely examines the
relationship between NATO and the EU. The structure on which the
scenarios are based combines two processes: the process of European
integration in security and defence, and the evolution of transatlantic
cohesion. Military capabilities, effectiveness of political leadership, and a
capacity for global action are considered to be the substantial aspects for
the evaluation of the balance of power. Finally, the scenarios are compared
with the assumptions of the realist theory. The results differ substantially
from Kagan's who claims that the strengthening of Europe will result in a
closer transatlantic community. The realist approach foresees either a close
alliance based on subordination of Europe to the United States in case of
substantial external threat, or a strong Europe opposing the power of the
United States.


International security, United States of America, European Union/European Communities, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, international relations, defence policy/security policy, transatlantic relations, hegemony, realism, prognosis

PDF Research Article (Czech)