European Security: Washington's Shaping Strategy in Action

  • March 01, 2000
  • Dr Stephen J Blank, Dr William T Johnsen, Dr Thomas-Durell Young

Notwithstanding the claims of some in the United States, European affairs continue to dominate U.S. foreign policy and strategic thinking. The end of the Cold War has not seen any blurring of the focus of U.S. officials on European affairs. Managing the implications of the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the seemingly never-ending conflicts in the Balkans, increasing Western norms and institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, and expanding and reforming the North Atlantic Alliance are just some of the issues that require firm and consistent U.S. leadership. How the United States has, and should continue, to deal with these issues is the subject of this collective effort. In addition to assessing past and present challenges to U.S. and Western security interests and objectives in Europe, the authors also analyze the strategies and policies of the Department of Defense in this crucial region of the world. Recommendations for consideration by officials include the need for a lighter leadership touch in some areas and for stronger encouragement in others. However, let there be no doubt that a U.S. policy toward Europe of stasis or benign neglect should be rejected. The United States is a European power by virtue of its history, current commitments, and strategic and political exigencies. Finding the most efficacious means of achieving these national objectives, while working to effect a Europe whole and free, is the daunting long-term task to be faced.