Striking First pp 175-189 | Cite as

Transatlantic Relations at the Turn of the 21st Century

  • Donald J. Puchala


Dramatic world events between September 11, 2001 and March 2003 set relations between the United States and its European allies on an historic roller coaster. The September 11 terrorist attacks called forth an immediate and sincere outpouring of sympathy from Europe, and strong commitments of unity and mutual assistance from their governments. NATO members were quick to confirm that an attack against one was an attack against all. When the United States chose to retaliate against the Al Qaida network by destroying terrorist training facilities in Afghanistan and unseating the Taliban regime, Europeans recoiled somewhat at the swiftness of U.S. military retaliation, but still largely approved. Their governments materially assisted. They assisted too in the U.S.-declared war on terrorism by sharing intelligence, disrupting Al Qaida activities in Europe and cutting off funds flowing to terrorist groups. In September 2002, Washington’s endorsement of the doctrine of preemptive and preventive military force, contained in the Bush administration’s 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States, raised some serious misgivings in European quarters. Yet the NATO summit in Prague in November 2002 yielded an impressive show of transatlantic unity built around a refashioning and retooling of an expanded Western alliance to face threats in the post-Cold War world.


European Union Foreign Policy International Relation North Atlantic Treaty Organization International Herald Tribune 
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Copyright information

© Betty Glad and Chris J. Dolan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald J. Puchala

There are no affiliations available

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