• Richard E. Rupp


As the immediate horror and magnitude of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, unfolded, officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rushed to the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Gathering in emergency session, less than twenty-four hours after the World Trade Center had been destroyed, the NATO powers invoked Article V of the Alliance’s 1949 founding charter. A collective defense mechanism, Article V declared, in effect, that an attack on any member of the organization constituted an attack on all its members. Not once during the Cold War or post-Cold War periods had NATO taken this ultimate step. Though the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union witnessed disputes among the NATO allies on a range of issues, the attacks on New York and Washington appeared to unite the transatlantic community as never before. Expressions of support from Europe and Canada were genuine and tangible. Germany’s Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, rallied his nation, terming the attacks a “declaration of war on the free world.”1 French sentiment was captured in Le Monde’s headline, “We are all Americans.”2 Throughout Europe, public opinion endorsed a military response to Al Qaeda’s wanton act of violence and destruction.3


Foreign Policy Bush Administration Military Spending North Atlantic Treaty Organization Defense Spending 
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© Richard E. Rupp 2006

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  • Richard E. Rupp

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