Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Europe

  • March 01, 2003
  • LTC Raymond A Millen

War with Iraq signals the beginning of a new era in American national security policy and alters strategic balances and relationships around the world. The specific effects of the war, though, will vary from region to region. The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region. The vast majority of European states will contribute to the peacekeeping mission in Iraq if asked bilaterally. Four conclusions have been reached. 1. Given its proximity, the European Union can provide substantial economic and diplomatic resources for stabilizing the region. 2. The European Union will seize upon the opportunities of greater regional democratization to practice diplomacy and crisis resolution. 3. The post-Iraqi war era provides an opportunity for NATO to reorient towards the Middle East. 4. European active participation on the global war on terrorism is predicated on clear success in the Middle East. Failure will result in a period of European isolationism.