September 11, 2001: A New Beginning for NATO?

  • Richard E. Rupp


The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor sparked the establishment of a military alliance that would eventually destroy the fascist regimes in Tokyo, Berlin, and Rome. Although no single event led to NATO’s creation in 1949, the transatlantic community did share a common threat perception that sustained cooperative relations until the collapse of that danger in 1991. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union, no significant galvanizing threat emerged to unite the Alliance during the 1990s. However, on September 11, 2001, an opportunity did present itself. Just as the surprise attack on U.S. forces in Hawaii and the growing threat of Soviet power following World War II united North America and Europe, the rise of the Al Qaeda and the shocking attacks on Washington and New York were thought surely to rejuvenate NATO. The attacks presented a real opportunity for NATO and its members to demonstrate that the organization had an effective and important role to play in global politics. If North Americans and Europeans could find common ground in identifying and responding to a major threat, no greater could have been designed than the one presented by the Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.


Foreign Policy International Criminal Court Rome Statute Military Operation Bush Administration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 4.
    Barry Jones, “NATO Commits to Supporting U.S.,” International Herald Tribune, September 14, 2001Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Tom Lansford, All for One: Terrorism, NATO and the United States (Hampshire, England:Ashgate, 2002): 71–75.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    Nora Bensahel, “The Counterterror Coalitions: Cooperation with Europe, NATO and the European Union,” (Arlington: RAND, 2003): 23.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    Stephen Castle, “Terror in America: The Alliance—NATO Clears Way for Joint Response to Attacks on U.S.,” The Independent (London), September 13, 2001.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Cited in Tom Lansford, All for One see: Judy Dempsey, “EU Doubts Grow Over ‘Switch’ in NATO Role,” Financial Times September 19, 2001.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Suzanne Daley, “After the Attacks: The Alliance,” New York Times, September 13, 2001.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Cited in Tom Lansford, All for One see: Judy Dempsey, “Use of Article 5 Marks Policy Shift for Europe,” Financial Times February 16, 2001.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    George W. Bush, “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People.” September 20, 2001, Scholar
  9. 23.
    Gustav Lindstrom, “Terrorism: European Myths and Realities,” in Gustav Lindstrom (ed.), Shift or Rift: Assessing US–EU Relations after Iraq (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, 2003), 237.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    Michael Howard, “What’s in a Name? How to Fight Terrorism.” Foreign Affairs 18/1 (January/ February 2002): 8.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    Vernon Loeb, “Rumsfeld Says War Will Need Backing of ‘Revolving Coalitions,’ “The Washington Post, September 26, 2001.Google Scholar
  12. 30.
    Judy Dempsey, “US Could Act Alone, Says NATO Chief,” Financial Times, September 18, 2001.Google Scholar
  13. 31.
    Judy Dempsey, “White House Avoids Seeking NATO-wide Aid,” Financial Times, September 27, 2001.Google Scholar
  14. 45.
    Michael E. O’Hanlon, “A Flawed Masterpiece: Assessing the Afghan Campaign.” Foreign Affairs 81/3 (May/June 2002): 49.Google Scholar
  15. 48.
    Charles Grant, “The Eleventh of September and Beyond.” Political Science Quarterly 73/4 (August 2002): 139.Google Scholar
  16. 50.
    Ivo H. Daalder and James M Lindsay, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy. (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2003), p. 117.Google Scholar
  17. 57.
    Joel Blocker, “U.S.: French Officials Decry ‘Unilateralism’ and ‘Simplistic Approach,’ “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, February 11, 2002.Google Scholar
  18. 62.
    Chris Patten, Financial Times “Jaw Jaw, Not War War,” February 14, 2002.Google Scholar
  19. 64.
    Julian Lindley-French, Terms of Engagement: The Paradox of American Power and the Transatlantic Dilemma Post-11 September, Chaillot Papers 52 (Paris: Institute for Security Studies, May 2002): 14.Google Scholar
  20. 79.
    Richard E. Rupp, “NATO Enlargement: All Aboard? Destination Unknown.” East European Quarterly 3/35 (Fall 2002): 341–363. The views expressed in this article were confirmed by a senior analyst with the U.S. Library of Congress during interviews with the author in Washington, DC. May 2004.Google Scholar
  21. 80.
    See: Richard E. Rupp, “NATO 1949 and NATO 2000: From Collective Defense Toward Collective Security” The Journal of Strategic Studies 23/3 (Summer 2000): 154–176; and Richard E. Rupp, “NATO Enlargement: All Aboard? Destination Unknown.”Google Scholar
  22. 83.
    Steven Erlanger, “Rumsfeld Urges NATO To Set Up Strike Force,” New York Times, September 25, 2002.Google Scholar
  23. 85.
    Steven Castle, “Prague Summit: NATO Heals Split to Show United Front on Saddam.” The Independent (London), November 22, 2002.Google Scholar
  24. 89.
    Paul Wolfowitz, Speech delivered to the Annual Munich Conference on European Security Policy. February 2, 2002, Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard E. Rupp 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Rupp

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations