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From Pax Americana to Pax Transatlantica?

The Western Quest for Supremacy in the Era of Persistent Conflict

by Jürgen Wagner

Information on Politics & Society. News, Reports and Analysis from the European Parliament, No. 2/April 2010. Published by Sabine Lösing, MEP



1. A Transatlantic New Deal for indefinite Western Supremacy

1.1 The Decline of the West and the looming New Cold War

1.2 The Transatlantic New Deal: The more you fight, the more you decide

1.3 Implementing the Transatlantic New Deal

2. Military Neoliberalism: Preparing for the Era of Persistent Conflict

2.1 The State-Capitalist Challenge to Neoliberal Globalization

2.2 Fighting the Poor, instead of Fighting Poverty

3. Colonialism Reloaded: The New Western Way of War

3.1 Rapid Reaction Forces: Spearheads of the New Interventionism

3.2 Civil-Military Cooperation and the New Colonialism

4. The Imperial Makeover of NATO and the European Union

4.1 Imperial Makeover I: European Union

4.2 Imperial Makeover II: NATO


Box 1: Resource Wars and the Contours of the New Cold War

Box 2: NATO-EU-Cooperation: Counterinsurgency in Kosovo

Box 3: Somalia, Globalization and War

Box 4: Thomas Barnett: System Administration and Military Neoliberalism

Box 5: CIMIC in Afghanistan – A Deadly Failure


We are indeed living in an era of change. The latest financial and economic crises not only underscored the bankruptcy of the exploitative neoliberal system but also accelerated the profound ongoing shift of power away from the Western countries. Russia and especially China are questioning their continued supremacy which had been taken for granted for centuries. As a result, we can currently observe rapidly growing geopolitical tensions that could well spiral out into some sort of a New Cold War. Furthermore, there are more and more military interventions – euphemistically called "Stability Operations" – which are a desperate Western attempt to protect the crumbling neoliberal order (and therefore the profits of their corporations).

At the same time, yesterdays heavy conflicts between the United States and the European Union are now put aside for the moment. We can see a massive transatlantic rapprochement which is motivated by the common interest to uphold Western supremacy no matter what the costs. For this purpose, the transatlantic relationship is currently set on a fundamentally new footing. As the United States' power has declined over the last decade to the extend that they are no longer able to guarantee the dominance of the West largely on their own, they desperately need – and loudly demand – more military support from their allies. Provided they are willing to deliver more boots on the ground, in a "Transatlantic New Deal", the United States is willing to grant the Europeans a much a greater say within the alliance and its most important institution, NATO.

This study convincingly shows that this Transatlantic New Deal is currently in the process of its implementation in order to militarily uphold the international pecking order and that this will prove to be a dangerous recipe for disaster. Additionally, by an imperial makeover of NATO and the European Union, the Western powers are even willing to sacrifice the – at least on paper – much lauded "democratic principles" in order to be able to employ force more effectively in the future.

The reason for this militaristic approach is the reluctance to seriously try to establish a more social international order, one that is based on equality, not hierarchy, on fairness, not exploitation. As this will be the only way to avoid serious conflicts, there is indeed an urgent need for Western policy to change, as the leading social theorist David Harvey points out: "And if that means socialism, nationalizations, strong state direction, binding international collaborations, and a new and far more inclusive (dare I say 'democratic') international financial architecture, then so be it."

Sabine Lösing, Member of the European Parliament (MEP)


"The US and Europe are the best allies they've each got. Yes, they have similar traditions, share values and have a history of cooperation behind them. Yes, those interests are not always the same. But most importantly, the US and Europe are on the same side of today's geopolitical dividing line: both are declining powers with a shared, vested interest in the liberal status quo. […] Together, the US and Europe can help manage and perhaps even mitigate their collective decline. Alone, however, both will be hunted."
Daniel Korski: Partners in Decline, European Council on Foreign Relations, 02.03.2010

Not long ago, the conflicts between the United States on the one side and particularly Germany and France, two of the most important countries of the European Union on the other reached such a dimension that many analysts saw those powers as being inevitably on a collision course.1 Yet, recently, the relationship has significantly improved, a fact that is commonly attributed to the election of a new president in the United States. As Barack Obama, who took office in January 2009, shows a far greater willingness to respect European interests than his predecessor George W. Bush, this paved the way for a new beginning, so the argument goes: "Barack Obama's approach to foreign policy has nothing in common with that of George W. Bush. US foreign policy has changed radically under President Obama, and the radical departure from the confrontational style of conducting foreign policy that characterised the Bush era throws a window of opportunity wide open for the EU ambition of a world governed by effective multilateralism – a notion that echoes the 'assertive multilateralism' of the Clinton years – to see the light of day."2

In reality, it is quite to the contrary: the fundamentally shifting distribution of power in the international system mandates a new approach and Barack Obama is seen as the ideal person that has the credibility and sympathy from the European side to set the transatlantic relationship on a new footing.3 In a highly alarmist tone, eight of the most relevant think tanks from both sides of the Atlantic underscored the necessity for change in December 2009: "With the Cold War over and new powers rising, some say the transatlantic partnership has had its day. We disagree. […] The world that created the transatlantic partnership is fading fast. The United States and Europe must urgently reposition and recast their relationship as a more effective and strategic partnership. It is a moment of opportunity -- to use or to lose."4

Perhaps it is way too early to proclaim the end of Western dominance, as it is fashionable these days.5 But the combination of a rapidly declining acceptance of the neoliberal – or anglo-saxon – economic model in the so-called Third World, combined with the rapid emergence of new powers – or, as strategists call them, "potential rivals" –, especially China and Russia, currently poses a striking challenge to Western supremacy. A clear signal that the times they are a changing was the publication of the report "Global Trends 2025" by the US intelligence community in November 2008. In this document, America's intelligence agencies predicted - for the first time – that the power of the United States will diminish significantly in the years ahead. China and Russia are particularly pointed to as new emerging powers and – more troubling – as potential rivals of the United States. Moreover, the study forecasts growing "turmoil" and "unrest" in the so-called Third World and an increasing demand for "Stability Operations" in order to manage those conflicts.6 Equally, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) of the European Union, its most relevant think tank, concludes that not only the influence of the United States but also of the European Union is declining and that the West will have a tough time in order to uphold its supremacy. Therefore it notes, that in light of "Global trends 2025", the views on both sides of the Atlantic have converged recently.7

In Germany, the intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst(BND) was tasked to prepare an assessment on how the international landscape will change in the years ahead. The results have been circulated within top decision-makers to guide their future policies: "In mid-April [2009], BND President Ernst Uhrlau presented German President Horst Köhler with his analysis of the repercussions of the current situation. During the meeting at Berlin's Bellevue Palace, the president's official residence, the two men discussed a 'metamorphosis in geopolitics' and the future political make-up of a world that will never be the same again. The core message for the German government is that Europe and the United States will come under growing political pressure, and will face growing competition from China. Beijing will be one of the likely beneficiaries of future shifts on the political map."8

In this context, it is important to note that the constant bickering over the transatlantic power and burden sharing is dwarfed in light of the interests the Unites States and the European Union have in common. Both are keen to maintain the current hierarchy vis-à-vis the "contender states" (China and Russia9) as well as to ensure the stability of the current exploitative neoliberal economic order: "By and large, American priorities are the same as Europe's. This can hardly come as a surprise, since US and EU interests virtually coincide as well."10 So there are strong incentives for working more closely together, as four leading American think tanks point out: "Skeptics point to the relative decline of North America and Europe when it comes to global population trends or the world economy. Yet those trends underscore the need to deepen, not dilute, transatlantic cooperation. A weaker transatlantic bond would render Americans and Europeans less safe, less prosperous, and less able to advance either our ideals or our interests in the wider world."11

On the base of these considerations, the West is currently making serious efforts in a number of areas in order to uphold its supremacy:

First, as an analysis for the European Council demands, in light of the declining power of the United States, the "transition from pax America" will lead to a new world order which should be "overseen by a new pax Transatlantica."12 For this purpose, a new division of power and labour between the United States and the European Union, a "Transatlantic New Deal", is necessary. As Zbigniew Brzezinski points out, this "means to re-establish a shared sense of purpose between America and Europe […], as well as in NATO, pointing towards more truly shared decision-making."13 While the United States desperately needs and loudly demands a greater military support from its allies, they offer them as a reward a greater say within the transatlantic alliance. So, the essence of the Transatlantic New Deal, currently on the way to being implemented, boils down to an American offer the Europeans seem to be willingly accepting: the more you fight, the more you decide.

Second, besides the growing geopolitical rivalries between the great powers, there is another driver for the need to improve the transatlantic relationship: while China and Russia are currently challenging the economic rules of the game, this is all the more troubling as the neoliberal system produces increasing conflicts and resistance in the so-called Third World. As neoliberal globalization increasingly breeds poverty and poverty is the main root cause of conflict and civil wars, the strategic community stresses the need for more "Stability Operations". As there is no interest in establishing a more just economic order, the new "Military Neoliberalism" aspires to fight the poor, instead of fighting poverty.

Third, in order to cope with the new challenging international environment, a "New Western Way of War" has taken shape, which can be described as follows: "By the time the Cold War ended, imperialism seemed a relict of a bygone era. […] Although the former imperialist powers continued to dominate the world stage militarily and economically, they had gone out of the business of invading and exercising permanent military control over foreign lands. But something odd happened in the years since the 1990s. For reasons that are complex, many of the same powerful Western states that contritely rejected imperialism a few short decades ago today are increasingly resorting to military force to intervene in the territories of other states, and in many cases, they are remaining on as de facto governments years after the fighting ends."14 To be prepared for this New Colonialism, the United States, NATO and the European Union have initiated a fundamental transformation of their militaries in order to improve their capabilities to occupy "problem states".

Fourth, to satisfy the demand for a more rapid and "efficient" application of force, new mechanisms in order to "streamline" the decision-making have already been created (European Union) or are currently in the planning phase (NATO). As we will show, the result is (or will be) an "Imperial Makeover of NATO and the European Union", a profound and heavily undemocratic restructuring, where power is increasingly concentrated within the hands of a few states.

Sure, as the saying goes, predictions are difficult, especially regarding the future. And indeed, there are a number of caveats, some of them will be addressed in the final chapter, that could lead to a different outcome than the one forecasted in this study. Yet, as will be argued here, there are strong incentives for the United States and the European Union to work more closely together in order to uphold their supremacy. The egoistic, interest based rationale behind a transatlantic rapprochement (in their words "multilateral co-operation"), has been most aptly described by Lord Robertson, a former General-Secretary of NATO, and Lord Ashdown, the West's ex-proconsul (or "Special Representative") of Bosnia and Herzegovina: "For the first time in more than 200 years we are moving into a world not wholly dominated by the West. If we want to influence this environment rather than be held to ransom by it, and if we want to take hold of some of the worrying features of globalisation, then real, practical multilateralism is a strategic necessity, not a liberal nicety. […] But multilateral co-operation at European level must also involve greater defence co-operation if it is to be taken seriously. The drive to create EU battle groups should be accelerated, made fully compatible with Nato response forces and should form the basis of an emerging European counter-insurgency capacity capable of operating in failed states and post-conflict environments. This will be vital if we are called upon by the UN or others to extend public authority into some of the ungoverned spaces that globalisation is helping to generate."15

1. A Transatlantic New Deal for indefinite Western Supremacy

Within the strategic community, a consensus emerged that in light of an ever more evident crisis of the neoliberal economic system (a point which will be addressed in chapter two), and the rise of new rivals questioning Western supremacy, there is an urgent need for closer transatlantic cooperation. For this to happen, a Transatlantic New Deal, a new division of power and labour between the United States and the European Union is necessary. While the United States wants burden sharing, its European allies insist on a more equal power sharing within the transatlantic alliance. To address those two potentially conflicting interests in one package-deal is at the core of the new arrangement currently being implemented.

1.1 The Decline of the West and the looming New Cold War

Up to now, it had been the United States that shouldered most of the burden to uphold and guarantee Western dominance over the rest of the world. For this service it claimed the unquestioned leadership within the transatlantic alliance and its most important organization, NATO. But the disastrous consequences of the attempt during the term of George W. Bush, to unilaterally cement America's unquestioned dominance by force (the so-called "War against Terror") led to a military, economic and political disaster. Robert Pape sums the whole situation aptly up: "America is in unprecedented decline. The self-inflicted wounds of the Iraq War, growing government debt, increasingly negative current-account balances and other internal economic weaknesses have cost the United States real power in today's world of rapidly spreading knowledge and technology. If present trends continue, we will look back at the Bush administration years as the death knell for American hegemony. […] America's shrinking share of world economic production is a fact of life and important changes in U.S. grand strategy are necessary to prevent the decline in America's global position from accelerating."16 As a result, the United States cannot any longer "go it alone", it desperately needs – and loudly demands - more (military) support from its European allies: "A strong Europe is essential to America's recovery. The United States is too stretched - militarily and economically - to do without the cohesion of its closest allies."17

On the other hand, the power of the European Union is also dwindling and it will not be able to effectively enforce its interests without the United States – especially not in an era of renewed geopolitical rivalry.18 Therefore, out of necessity, a transatlantic rapprochement is also in the interest of the European Union, as Robert Kagan points out: "In Europe there is also an unmistakable trend toward closer strategic relations with the United States. A few years ago, Gerhard Schroeder and Jacques Chirac flirted with drawing closer to Russia as a way of counterbalancing American power. But now France, Germany, and the rest of Europe have been moving in the other direction. This is not out of renewed affection for the United States. It is a response to changing international circumstances and to lessons learned from the past. The more pro-American foreign policies of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are not only a matter of their unique personalities but also reflect a reassessment of French, German and European interests. Close but not uncritical relations with the United States, they believe, give a boost to European power and influence that Europe cannot achieve on its own."19

Closing the transatlantic ranks is deemed to be all the more necessary as we currently can observe the emergence of new rivals to Western supremacy, most notably China and Russia. In 2008, the US intelligence community predicted that the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Brazil, Russia, India and China (the "BRIC" states) will overtake that of the G7 between 2040 and 2050.20 Moreover, the financial and economic crisis was a major "geopolitical setback for the West" which will likely accelerate this shift of power.21 For example Goldman Sachs now concludes that the BRIC states will leave the G7 behind them as early as 2027.22

At the same time, this "profound shift in the global-strategic correlation of forces"23 goes along with growing tensions in a number of areas which already foreshadows the potential trouble ahead: Russia's attempts to methodically try to monopolize Europe's gas supply in order to get a lever against what is perceived as hostile policies by the European Union, has led to a fierce competition between Moscow and Brussels.24 Moreover, China also has adopted a more confrontational policy vis-à-vis the United States: "China has challenged the United States on multiple policy fronts since the beginning of 2009. On the security dimension, Chinese ships have engaged in multiple skirmishes with U.S. surveillance vessels in an effort to hinder American efforts to collect naval intelligence. China has also pressed the United States on the economic policy front. […] The head of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, [published] a paper suggesting a shift away from the dollar as the world's reserve currency."25 Subsequently, at the first BRIC-summit which was held in June 2009 in Yekaterinburg, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China openly called for an end of the dollar hegemony, which would be a fatal blow to the United States.26 Finally, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a security alliance between China, Russia and four Central Asian states, is slowly but steadily developing into some sort of "Anti-NATO" – at least this is the fear among many Western strategists: "Since the summer of 2005, 'balancing' is happening big time, led by China and Russia. What could still be loosely described in the 1990s as an amorphous 'Sino-Islamic Axis' (Huntington) has taken, a decade later, a more institutionalized form to the point where some Western observers describe the China/Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) over Central Asia as an emerging 'Nato of the East.'"27

Against this background, it is no wonder when many analysts predict that this current power shift will inevitably lead to growing geopolitical rivalries. For example, an article in one of the leading magazines on European affairs points out: "Geopolitical changes to the post-World War II international order mean that power politics and remilitarisation to protect national interests are likely to become dominant features of international relations."28 Numerous authors indeed predict a new epochal confrontation, a New Cold War between "Democracies" (the West) and "Autocracies" (China and Russia).29 In this context, it is alarming that this view is obviously also shared by high ranking officials in the Obama administration. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the influential Director of Policy Planning in the U.S. State Department writes: "The United States should work to sustain the military predominance of liberal democracies and encourage the development of military capabilities by like-minded democracies in a way that is consistent with their security interests. The predominance of liberal democracies is necessary to prevent a return to great power security competition between the United States and our allies, on the one side, and an autocracy or a combination of autocracies, on the other – the sort of competition that led to two World Wars and one Cold War."30

So, not surprisingly, the American "National Intelligence Strategy" of August 2009 unmistakably singles out China and Russia (as well as Iran and North Korea) as explicit threats to the United States.31 Similarly, Barack Obama postulates a danger, coming "from rising powers that could challenge both America and the international foundation of liberal democracy."32 Consequently, Obama's Defence Minister stresses the need to maintain military dominance over those perceived rivals: "Both Russia and China have increased their defense spending and modernization programs to include air defense and fighter capabilities that in some cases approach the United States' own. […] The United States cannot take its current dominance for granted and needs to invest in the programs, platforms, and personnel that will ensure that dominance's persistence."33

On the other side of the Atlantic, there are also high level studies predicting renewed rivalries among the great powers34 and Miguel Moratinos, Spain's Foreign Minister during its EU Council Presidency, declared in February 2010: "Indeed, the world has changed. Geopolitics is back. We see a new 'multipolar world', with the emergence of new powers looking for international recognition."35 Even the future agenda of the "European Security Research Programme" is based on the assumption, that there will be "strained relations with authoritarian powers."36 Moreover, one of the most important documents regarding Europe's future military policy argues with regard to Russia that there is a need to built up "a capability to support hard power politics, both for Clausewitzian influence and possible direct military confrontation."37 But China is also increasingly viewed as a rival not as a partner by the European Union: "Until very recently, many Western politicians, bankers and business people were broadly optimistic about the rise of China. […] But over the past year China's behaviour has changed. Relatively hard-line and nationalist elements in the leadership appear to have sidelined those with liberal and internationalist instincts. This shift is spurring the EU's governments and institutions to reappraise their China strategies. China's foreign policy has become more assertive."38

Box 1: Resource Wars and the Contours of the New Cold War

Currently, with rapidly declining worldwide reserves and high-rising demand, the most visible area of the intensifying geopolitical rivalry is the growing competition to control oil rich regions. As one analyst pointed out: "In the minds of many, the geopolitics of energy relationships has replaced or absorbed the traditional geopolitics of military balances. In Russia, oil and gas, rather than the army and the navy, are being touted by ascendant conservatives as the country’s most important assets. In Europe, concerns about the Fulda Gap have been succeeded by concerns over the Nord Stream pipeline. And Gazprom acquisitions are regarded with almost the same anxiety as local Communist party gains were in various western countries during the Cold War. Indeed, the arrival of some new version of the Cold War, fought in part with energy weapons, is repeatedly prophesied. "[1]

The United States' "Army Modernization Strategy" of 2008 argues: "Finally, we face a potential return to traditional security threats posed by emerging near peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas markets." [2] Equally, the US intelligence community warns in "Global trends 2025": "Descending into a world of resource nationalism increases the risk of great power confrontations."[3] Regarding Russia, the report states: "A more proactive and influential foreign policy seems likely, reflecting Moscow’s reemergence as a major player on the world stage; an important partner for Western, Asian, and Middle East capitals; and a leading force in opposition to US global dominance. Controlling key energy nodes and links in the Caucasus and Central Asia - vital to its ambitions as an energy superpower - will be a driving force in reestablishing a sphere of influence in its Near Abroad."[4] On the other hand, Moscow also seems to have no illusions as to where the international constellation is moving. In its "National security Strategy to 2020" of May 2009, it predicts heavy conflicts over the control of energy: "The international policy in the long run will be focused on getting hold of energy sources, including in the Middle East, the Barents Sea shelf and other Arctic regions, the Caspian and Central Asia. In the face of competition for resources, the use of military force to solve emerging problems cannot be excluded."[5]

Yet, this is not just bullish talk. From the very moment when Russia started flirting with the idea of forming a Gas-OPEC, this ambition has been treated as almost a declaration of war by the NATO countries. In November 2006, shortly before the NATO summit in Riga, NATO's economic committee produced a confidential study which was submitted to all member states, stating that Moscow is pushing for a Gas-OPEC to strengthen its leverage over Europe and emphasizing the danger of an increasing willingness of the gas producers to use their resources for political purposes (the "energy weapon").[6] Then, at the NATO summit in Riga, the influential US senator Richard Lugar, who was for a short time a possible candidate as Obama's Defence Minister, proposed the formation of an "Energy NATO" which would treat a disruption of oil supplies to the West similarly to a direct military attack: "Under the worst case scenarios, oil and natural gas will be the currency through which energy-rich countries leverage their interests against import dependent nations. The use of energy as an overt weapon is not a theoretical threat of the future; it is happening now. Iran has repeatedly threatened to cut off oil exports to selected nations if economic sanctions are imposed against it for its nuclear enrichment program. Russia’s shut off of energy deliveries to Ukraine demonstrated how tempting it is to use energy to achieve political aims and underscored the vulnerability of consumer nations to their energy suppliers. [...] The Alliance must avow that defending against such attacks is an Article Five commitment. [...] We should recognize that there is little ultimate difference between a member being forced to submit to foreign coercion because of an energy cutoff and a member facing a military blockade or other military demonstration on its borders."[7]

This sabre rattling heavily backlashed, as Russia responded by strengthening the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), its alliance with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Those countries are home to 25% of the world's population, 8% of its oil and 31% of its gas reserves. Beginning in 2007, Moscow started to emphasize the military dimension with joint manoeuvres. Furthermore, like NATO, the SCO is also trying to expand its sphere of influence. Because its explicit aim is to counter the growing Western influence in Eurasia, it is not surprising that Washington has been denied its requested observer status. Even more telling is that observer status has been granted to Iran and Pakistan in 2005 and both countries have applied for full membership. Although the final decision has not been taken yet, despite clear warning from the United States, SCO Secretary-General Muratbek Sansyzbayevich Imanaliev stated in February 2010 that this issue will be appraised soon. He also indicated that there is a good chance that both countries that they could be granted full membership.[8]

This would be a geopolitical nightmare for the West. Adding Iran would boost the oil reserves of the SCO-countries to 18% and the gas reserves to 37% of the world's total. Furthermore, as in August 2007, an "SCO-Energy-Club" had been established with the goal of closely coordinating policies in this area and with the Gas-OPEC finally established on Moscow's initiative in December 2008, we can already observe the contours of the New Cold War. Indeed, the SCO is a serious contender, especially if Iran is admitted to the alliance, as David Wall, professor at the University of Cambridge's East Asia Institute, points out: "An expanded SCO would control a large part of the world's oil and gas reserves and [a] nuclear arsenal. It would essentially be an OPEC with bombs."[9]

[1] Trenin, Dimitri: Energy geopolitics in Russia-EU relations, in: Pipelines, Politics and Power: The future of EU-Russia energy relations, Centre for European Reform, October 2008, pp. 15-24, p. 15.

[2] America's Army: The Strength of the Nation, The Army Modernization Strategy 2008, p. 5f.

[3] National Intelligence Council 2008, p. v.

[4] Ibid., p. 32.

[5] УТВЕРЖДЕНА Указом Президента Российской Федерации от 12 мая 2009 г. № 537. Unofficial translation on (accessed 20.01.2010).

[6] Kreimeier, Nils/Wetzel, Hubert: EU und USA zittern vor neuer „opec“, Financial Times Deutschland, 06.03.2007.

[7] Lugar, Richard: Energy and NATO, November 27, 2006, URL: (accessed 18.02.2010).

[8] The SCO Military Alliance Appraises Membership of Iran, Pakistan, China Daily, 04.02.2010.

[9] Kimmage, Daniel:Iran and the 'OPEC with bombs', Asia Times Online, 15.06.2006.

In light of this looming New Cold War, many authors and strategists like Robert Kagan call for much closer cooperation between the United States and Europe in order to uphold their supremacy vis-à-vis the contender states: "The old competition between liberalism and autocracy has also reemerged, with the world's great powers lining up according to the nature of their regimes. […] History has returned, and the democracies must come together to shape it, or others will shape it for them."39 This view is directly reflected in the "German Coalition Agreement" of October 2009 which also aptly summarizes the need for a Transatlantic New Deal: "In the globalized world of the 21st century, we regard the idea of the West as the foundation and its institutions as the platform of the German foreign policy. In the age of globalization, the West has to become more united in order to be able enforce its interests. […] We see close political coordination with the United States as a power maximizer for our interests which will increase the weight of Germany and Europe in the world."40

1.2 The Transatlantic New Deal: The more you fight, the more you decide

As mentioned, in light of the new challenging international environment, a number of recent studies call for closer cooperation between the United States, NATO and the European Union.41 But this will only happen if a Transatlantic New Deal is able to satisfy the expectations of both sides: Washington has voiced its interest very loudly, it wants more military contributions from its European allies - no more free-riding and buck passing. These calls for more troops are most directly articulated regarding the European contributions to the war in Afghanistan. For example, America's ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, undiplomatically challenged the allies in July 2009, when he complained: "Let me be frank. The United States is doing its part. […] I recognize that Europe – including Germany – has done a lot as well. Even so, Europe and Germany can and should do more."42 If they don't deliver, the Europeans cannot expect what they have demanded for decades - a greater say within the transatlantic alliance. As then NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer pointed out in February 2009: "[A] 'two way street' must also apply to the rebalancing of the relationship between the US and Europe, including through NATO. […] 'Leadership and burdens'.  They go together.  I am frankly concerned when I hear the US planning a major commitment for Afghanistan, but other Allies already ruling out doing more. That is not good for the political balance of this mission.  It also makes the calls for Europe's voice to be heard in Washington ring a little hollow."43

So, because not playing second fiddle within NATO any longer is a core interest of most European states, particularly of France and Germany, they are willingly responding to America's call to arms.44 As a reward they truly expect that the partnership, which has been solely dominated by Washington for decades, will move gradually but steadily into one of co-equals. This is the essence of the current transatlantic quid pro quo: "The greater the European effort, the greater the say Europeans will demand."45 That the Transatlantic New Deal indeed only works as a two way street has been clearly pointed out in the "Report <Titre>on the role of NATO in the security architecture of the EU", which was adopted by the European Parliament </Titre>in February 2009: "[The European Parliament] notes the significant difference in scale as well as effectiveness between the defence spending of European members of NATO, on the one hand, and the USA, on the other; calls on the EU to commit itself to fairer global burden-sharing; also calls on the USA to show a greater willingness to consult its European allies on issues related to peace and security."46

In fact, there are currently numerous signs that both sides are willing to live up to the expectations. The United States is making allowances regarding the transatlantic power sharing, while the European Union is taking over more of the military burden.

1.3 Implementing the Transatlantic New Deal

It was at the Munich Security Conference in February 2009 where the United States offered the Transatlantic New Deal to its European allies. In his programmatic speech, Vice President Joseph Biden emphasized that "the threats we face have no respect for borders.  No single country, no matter how powerful, can best meet them alone." Moreover, he proclaimed a "new era of cooperation" grounded on the following basis: "America will do more, but America will ask for more from our partners."47 Regarding the European military policy he continued: "We also support the further strengthening of European defense, an increased role for the European Union in preserving peace and security, a fundamentally stronger NATO-EU partnership."48 This is a tremendously important concession by the United States. Up to now, it did what it could to torpedo Europe's emergence as a unified and military capable international actor, able to act autonomously from NATO (and therefore from Washington). Showing this new willingness to allow – and even encourage – Europe to play a far larger role in the military arena is one – perhaps even the most – important reconfiguration of America's grand strategy since the end of the Cold War. So far, such a development was not on the cards, as it was feared that Europe could thereby develop into a powerful rival for America's supremacy.49

To name another arena where the United States has made huge concessions: as a reward for France's re-integration into NATO's military structures, Washington offered Paris the leadership over "Allied Command Transformation" (ACT) in Norfolk. ACT is one of the alliance's two Supreme Commands which had been American-led since NATO's creation (although most of the time, it was termed otherwise). Up to now, such a tremendous hand-over of power by the United States would have been unthinkable, now it is part of the new transatlantic package-deal: on September 9, 2009, a French officer took over the control of ACT.50

On the other hand, the European Union also has lived up to some of America's expectations. For example, the new US administration has made it unmistakably clear that it does not intend to terminate the occupation of Iraq in the foreseeable future51, a fact that should be well known by European decision-makers. Nevertheless, only one week after the election of Barack Obama, the European Union decided to allow its EUJUST LEX mission for the training of Iraqi officials (mainly judges and police officers) for the first time to operate within the country itself.52 Since mid-2009, the European Union is supporting the occupation with a presence on the ground and there are already proposals to further enlarge the engagement.53 Similarly, the North Atlantic Council decided in December 2008 that the "NATO Training Mission in Iraq" (NTM-I) should from now on also operate within the country.54 Furthermore, in its summit declaration of April 2009, NATO offers a long-term commitment to Iraq: "We reiterate our willingness to continue providing a broad range of training support to the Iraqi Security Forces through the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I). […] We recall our offer to the Government of Iraq of a Structured Cooperation Framework as a basis for developing a long-term relationship."55 This new support for America's occupation is of particular importance against the background of the fierce conflicts between the United States and the European Union, and here especially with France and Germany, in the context of the invasion of Iraq only several years ago. It is an important signal to the United States (forget the "infightings" in 2003, now we stick together) as well as to the rest of the world (the transatlantic ranks are closing again).56

However, the most important battleground for whether the Transatlantic New Deal will be successful, is Afghanistan. Its relevance for the future of the whole transatlantic relationship has been clearly articulated by the European Council on Foreign Relations: "President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, have made it clear that they expect a significant enhancement of the European effort in Afghanistan. The issue is likely to be viewed in Washington as a litmus test of whether the Europeans can be taken seriously as strategic partners."57 Due to their interest in the Transatlantic New Deal, the Europeans have recently delivered what is most demanded – more boots on the ground. The European contributions to NATO's ISAF in Afghanistan nearly doubled from 17,000 troops in 2006 to about 33,000 at the beginning of 2010 – with many more to come in the next months.

Finally, and as a consequence, we can currently observe an intensification of the cooperation between the United States, NATO and the European Union. This applies to Afghanistan, where the EU mission EUPOL closely works together with NATO's ISAF mission as well as to Kosovo. Here, the United States is for the first time taking part in a mission in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy, while the EU EULEX mission is also operating hand in hand with NATO's KFOR: "In Kosovo and Afghanistan, the EU is implementing its own civilian crisis management missions alongside NATO military operations, and cooperation takes place at a practical level on the ground."58

Box 2: NATO-EU-Cooperation: Counterinsurgency in Kosovo

In Kosovo, NATO and the European Union are working hand in hand in order to cement the secession of the province from Serbia. As more and more people in Kosovo are upset over their miserable economic situation, which is in large part a result of the neoliberal "reforms" dictated by the Western occupiers, there are increasing protests against the presence of NATO and the European Union.[1]

To suppress those protests more effectively, NATO's KFOR and Europe's EULEX mission have begun to undertake joint "Crowd & Riot Control Exercises". That the goal is indeed to fight social protests can be seen in the following description of one of those manoeuvres: "The exercise’s scenario was based on real facts. European Union parliament made the decision to redirect donation of money to Kosovo from building two hospitals, as it was announced an early spring press release, to establishing trash recycling centre in Kosovo. The following day, after the announcement Kosovo television and radio station reported upset and disappointed local civilians. In response to the news, the hospital workers association (HWA) called for demonstrations and actions to be taken against EU, EULEX and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial planning (MESP) on 17 June [2009] in Camp Vrelo. […] As a result, exercise’s participants were taught valuable lessons on being readily prepared in case they are faced with a furious mob, the ability to anticipate what the crowd may do and finally, practice their crowd riot control techniques."[2]

[1] See on neoliberal Nation Building in Kosovo Hofbauer, Hannes: Experiment Kosovo. Die Rückkehr des Kolonialismus, Wien 2008.

[2] The Balkan Hawk 2009 CRC Exercises,, 30.06.2009, URL: (accessed 18.02.1010).

2. Military Neoliberalism: Preparing for the Era of Persistent Conflict

Forty years of neoliberalism led to a massive impoverishment of vast sections of the world's population and have widely discredited this exploitative economic system.59 Because there is currently absolutely no interest to create a more just economic order60, this poverty is breeding more and more conflicts and failed states which have to be "stabilized" ever more frequently by military means in the view of Western strategists.61 As both the United States as well as the European Union have a common interest in guaranteeing the stability of the current economic order (and the resulting profits for their corporations), they need their militaries to play "globalization's bodyguard."62

2.1 The State-Capitalist Challenge to Neoliberal Globalization

We start this chapter with the statement that TINA ("there is no alternative") no longer applies. For decades, the countries of the Third World were being told that there is no other possible form of organizing their economies than along the neoliberal lines dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. And indeed, for a long time, there were virtually no other options available for them. But this situation has changed dramatically over the last several years.

Those who are interested in the question of why exactly the rise of China and Russia is seen as such a major problem - besides the fact that states always compete for power within a capitalist system - will find a highly interesting passage in the intelligence report "Global Trends 2025": "For the most part, China, India, and Russia are not following the Western liberal model for selfdevelopment but instead are using a different model, 'state capitalism.' State capitalism is a loose term used to describe a system of economic management that gives a prominent role to the state. […] By 2025 […] power will be more dispersed with the newer players bringing new rules of the game while risks will increase that the traditional Western alliances will weaken. Rather than emulating Western models of political and economic development, more countries may be attracted to China's alternative development model. […] The transfer is strengthening states like Russia that want to challenge the Western order." 63 So, here we are, the real problem is that Russia as well as China are posing a challenge to the Western dominated neoliberal economic order.64

Indeed, China is already challenging the policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Africa65 and the new Russian "National Security Strategy", published in May 2009, unmistakably criticises the Western neoliberal order: "The development of the world moving towards globalization in all spheres of international life, has high dynamic and interdependent events. Exacerbated tensions between the states associated with the uneven development as a result of globalization processes, the growing gap between the well-being of nations. The values and models of development have been the subject of global competition."66 Sergei Karaganov, a leading Russian analyst on foreign affairs, already predicts "A New Epoch of Confrontation" (NEC): "Bitter multi-level competition – economic, geopolitical and ideological – will become another characteristic of the NEC. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has formulated this peculiarity of the new world in the following way: 'The paradigm of contemporary international relations is determined by competition in the broadest interpretation of this notion, particularly when the object of competition is value systems and development models. The novelty of the situation is that the West is losing its monopoly on the globalization processes. This, perhaps, explains attempts to present the current developments as a threat to the West, its values and way of life.'"67

In the view of the Western powers, this troubling situation is further complicated by the fact that the neoliberal system in itself generates more and more conflicts which have to be "stabilized" by military means.

2.2 Fighting the Poor, instead of Fighting Poverty

In the last several years, the frequency of Western interventions in the Third World has risen tremendously. Obviously, the way in which the West enforces its economic interests has taken a more "robust" form of "military neoliberalism"68: "Under what we are identifying as neoliberal geopolitics there appears to have been a new development in these patterns of state-managed liberalization. The economic axioms of structural adjustment, fiscal austerity, and free trade have now, it seems, been augmented by the direct use of military force."69

This is, as we will argue, no accident, because sticking to neoliberalism and thereby knowingly accepting the further impoverishment of many people in the periphery, is a decision which has vast implications for the question of war and peace in the world. In sharp contrast to the picture painted by the mass media and many think tanks as well as politicians, civil wars do not primarily erupt because of "home grown" factors (religious hatred, ethnic conflicts, greed by some warlords, etc.), as they want us to believe. Instead, there is a vast consensus within the scientific community that poverty is by far the most important factor for the outbreak of violence. Even the World Bank concludes: "Empirically, the most striking pattern is that civil war is heavily concentrated in the poorest countries. War causes poverty, but the more important reason for the concentration is that poverty increases the likelihood of civil war. Thus our central argument can be stated briefly: the key root cause of conflict is the failure of economic development."70 As neoliberalism breeds poverty and poverty breeds violent conflict, the "need" for "Stability Operations" in order to contain those growing conflicts will grow tremendously in the future. For example, the European Council on Foreign Relations predicts: "Recent research suggests that the number of civil wars is once again on the rise, and the EU can expect to find itself called upon to deploy into countries or regions emerging from conflict."71

Box 3: Somalia, Globalization and War

An actual example of the vicious circle of neoliberal structural adjustments leading to the impoverishment of the population and the outbreak of violence that has to be "stabilized" by Western forces are the pirates operating at the Horn of Africa.

Like many other countries, Somalia was forced to adopt neoliberal structural adjustments in the 1980s, causing the state to collapse: "The crisis [in Somalia was] directly a precipitate of ruthless exploitation, underdevelopment and marginalization of the Somali social formation by the forces of Western imperialism. […] It is into this crisis, precipitated by internal and external forces, that the IMF and the World Bank waded in the 1980s only to deepen contradictions, destroy the foundations of stability, erode the legitimacy of the state, [and] intensify poverty and alienation."[1]

Thereafter, the Somali state could not pay most of its officials any longer and, for example, the Coast Guard had to be dissolved. With no one protecting the country's 12 Mile Zone, European fishing trawlers started looting the fishing stock which had been the income source for many Somalis. As a result, the former Coast Guards and Fisherman grouped together as the "pirates" now acting in the region: "At first, the trawlers were tapped for 'licensing fees', which provided a new source of revenue for jobless fishermen, too. This successful business model was then applied to merchant vessels as well. Now Europe is left with no alternative but to send in the military to keep pirates at bay off the African shore. But it should finally start thinking about how to put an end to its own form of piracy."[2]

As Somalia lies at an important shipping lane where large parts of the world's oil flows have to get through, NATO (Operation Allied Provider and Allied Protector) and the European Union (Operation ATALANTA) saw themselves forced to sent war ships into the region in order to fight the symptoms (pirates) as they are unwilling to address the root causes of the conflict (neoliberalism and poverty).[3]

[1] Ihonvbere, Julius O.: The World Bank/IMF Structural Adjustment Programs and the Somali Crisis, A paper prepared for the symposium on "Towards Conflict Resolution in the Horn of Africa," November 19, 1994, URL: (accessed 15.02.2010); see also Michel Chossudovsky: Global Brutal, Frankfurt 2002, pp. 109-117.

[2] Somali piracy, made in Europe, Die Welt, 27.07.2009, URL: (accessed 18.02.2010).

[3] See Haydt, Claudia: Kanonenboote und Piraten: NATO, EU und die Kontrolle der Meere, in: DFG-VK/IMI: Kein Frieden mit der NATO, Tübingen 2009, pp. 11-15; Pflüger, Tobias: Gefährliche Gewässer, Junge Welt, 23.10.2008.

In this context, the military is tasked to cope with "The Wretched of the Earth" (Franz Fanon) who are finding themselves permanently on the dark side of globalization. The United States' "Army Modernization Strategy" already predicts an "Era of Persistent Conflict" in which the West has to deal with the global have nots: "Globalization accelerates the redistribution of wealth, prosperity, and power, expanding the 'have' and 'have not' conditions that can foster conflict.  The scale of this problem is evident in the projection that 2.8 billion people are expected to be living below the poverty line by 2025."72  Likewise, the NATO Defence College defines the primary task of the alliance as follows: "In its broadest sense, NATO today is the protector of globalization. By defending its constituting freemarket democracies and projecting security and stability in critical regions of the world NATO simultaneously drives and protects the process of modernization and liberalization."73

Finally, one of the most important document regarding Europe's future military tasks demands, in a shockingly open way, "Barrier operations – shielding the global rich from the tensions and problems of the poor. As the ratio of the world population living in misery and frustration will remain massive, the tensions and spillover between their world and that of the rich will continue to grow. As we are unlikely to have solved this problem at its root by 2020 – i.e. by curing dysfunctional societies – we will need to strengthen our barriers. It is a morally distasteful, losing strategy, but will be unavoidable if we cannot solve the problems at their root." Moreover, the article also concludes that there is not only a need to strengthen "Fortress Europe", but also to act in a more offensive way, when it demands "Boots on the Ground (BOG) operations, providing security for conflict resolution or state building, from consensual peacekeeping to enforcement. Such peace support operations differ from the direct unleashed violence since they are in essence a subordinate part of a broader social engineering campaign. […] This is the predominant focus of today's military agenda, and the ESDP and EU Battle Groups are typical products of this requirement."74

Based on these considerations, the "Stability Operations" which have come to the center stage of contemporary Western security policy, aim "at taming chaos through disciplinary and regulatory mechanism directed at reforming the institutions of potentially disorderly states."75 In this context, it is a bitter irony that the economic remodelling that is thereby being implemented at gunpoint is a big part of the problem, not of its solution: "[Peacebuilding] has centred on neo-liberal state building, which is focused on the constitution of free markets designed to stimulate growth led by the private sector. Informed by the development orthodoxies embodied in the 'Washington Consensus', neo-liberal state building requires the construction of a particular type of state: one that is oriented towards regulating and supporting markets, while providing a residual welfare floor for its citizens in lieu of growth led by the private sector. But the neo-liberal state has proved to be a poor model for successful post-conflict state building. Most rebuilt neo-liberal states have struggled to catalyse the private-sector investment that is central to its developmental approach. [...] Neo-liberal state building thus has the paradoxical effect of leading to the construction of weak, even stillborn, states."76

In its most direct form – in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and in Iraq – what we term "military neoliberalism" turns out to be a "neo-colonial top-down imposition of a liberal peace."77 Thereby, the vicious circle of neoliberalism, poverty and the resulting conflicts, Western interventions and, finally, more neoliberalism is perpetuated indefinitely. That is exactly the reason why there is an increasing demand for "stabilizing" the periphery.

3. Colonialism Reloaded: The New Western Way of War

Within the transatlantic alliance, a new common cause regarding the current primary military tasks has been found, as the Institute for Security Studies points out: "On both sides of the Atlantic there is a growing desire to move beyond these differences to generate more effective collaboration on conflict prevention and crisis management, not only between NATO and the EU, but also potentially between the US and the EU directly. Peace-building and stabilisation operations have become a dominant paradigm for the use of force in the post-Cold War world, and offer a framework in which EU-US collaboration may be advanced."78 For this purpose, a deep transformation of the Western militaries has been initiated which focuses on two aspects: on the one hand, troops should be deployable on far shorter notice in order to suppress "unrest" and "insurgencies" in the Third World as quickly as possible. On the other hand, these "Rapid Reaction Forces" should primarily prepare the way for the quasi-colonial occupation forces which subsequently follow.

Yet, this New Colonialism faces a significant problem. The US Military estimates that in order to "successfully" stabilise a failed state, it would take a force of 20 solders per 1,000 inhabitants and an occupation lasting between 5-8 years.79 These numbers indicate that a "Stability Operation" will only be conducted when important interests are at stake – there are simply not enough resources for another approach. So, a country in the Third World will only "enjoy" a Western intervention with a subsequent occupation, when it is worth the price – or, in the words of the most important scientific advisory board of the Pentagon, when the country is "ripe and important"80. Nevertheless, even in the limited cases where vital interests necessitate a direct occupation, Western forces are not able to mobilize enough boots on the ground. Therefore, one of the main questions of current military planning is about how to occupy countries more effectively in the future – and "Civil-Military Cooperation" (CIMIC) is currently promoted as the answer.81

3.1 Rapid Reaction Forces: Spearheads of the New Interventionism

To begin with the Rapid Reaction Forces: As early as 2001, then US President George W. Bush authorized "a comprehensive review of the U.S. military, the state of our strategy, the structure of our forces, the priorities of our budget." Bush clearly named the priorities of this transformation: "lighter," "more lethal," "easier to deploy and sustain," and with "pinpoint accuracy."82 Similarly, in 2003, France and Great Britain (soon to be joined by Germany) developed the "Battle Groups Concept". The three countries detailed their proposals for a strengthened European rapid reaction capability in a "Food-for-thought paper" circulated in early 2004. The paper emphasised that the future tasks will "be critically dependent on speed of response e.g. in support of conflict prevention. […] Success will almost always rely heavily on the ability to act decisively as well as quickly."83 To satisfy this demand, the paper proposed the creation of so-called "Battle Groups" composed of around 1,500 soldiers which have four specific characteristics: First, they can be deployable nearly worldwide (6,000km around Brussels) and on very short notice (within 5-30 days); second, they can be deployable without a mandate from the United Nations Security Council - a clear violation of international law; third, they are primarily focused on "fixing" failed states, especially in Africa; and finally, these troops are supposed to clear the way for the subsequent occupying forces (so-called "Peacekeepers") to administer the invaded country.84 The European Council approved the Battle Group Concept with the Helsinki Headline Goal 2010 in June 2004 and since January 2007, two of those Battle Groups are permanently on stand-by to be sent abroad in order to enforce European interests.

Likewise, the decision to set up a "NATO Response Force" (NRF), formally taken at the summit meeting in November 2002, followed the same logic. The 25,000 soldier strong NRF is "a highly ready and technologically advanced force made up of land, air, sea, and special forces components that can be deployed at short notice to wherever needed."85 Regarding its primary tasks, General Ray Henault, then Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, argued in 2007: "Crises do pop up and the primary threats to the Alliance as laid out in the Comprehensive Political Guidance are the threats of terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the impacts of failed and failing states and that's what the NRF will be prepared to respond to."86 Although there are still questions about whether this is actually the case, the NRF declared that it had reached "Full Operational Capability" in 2006.87

These Rapid Reaction Forces are the spearheads of the new Western interventionism, or, in the words of the influential former Pentagon adviser Thomas Barnett, the "Leviathan". But the New Western Way of War has another important component, which is described by Barnett as follows: "The Leviathan (planes and smart bombs) will shock and awe, just as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq; the SysAdmin force (military police, humanitarian aid, etc.) will follow, doing what we failed to do in Iraq. We need to build up our SysAdmin capabilities."88

Box 4: Thomas Barnett: System Administration and Military Neoliberalism

In order to fundamentally overhaul the structure of the US forces, the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review created the Office of Force Transformation, directed by Arthur K. Cebrowski.[1] In a speech before the right-wing Heritage Foundation, Cebrowski named the real mastermind behind the transformation of the military: "much of what you see is the product of [my assistants] work, principally my assistant for strategic futures, Dr. Tom Barnett."[2]

According to Barnett, a former Professor at the US Naval War College, who also extensively briefed Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence under George W. Bush, there exists a "nexus between terrorist networks, terrorist states, and weapons of mass destruction […] that can make mighty adversaries of small or impoverished states and even relatively small groups of individuals."[3] On the base of this assumption, he further claims that these dangers only originate in those parts of the world he calls the non-integrating gap which are disconnected from neoliberal globalization. Therefore such a "Disconnectedness defines danger."[4] Because of his importance, it is worth to quote Barnett extensively: "Show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and—most important—the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap. […] So where do we schedule the U.S. military’s next round of away games? The pattern that has emerged since the end of the cold war suggests a simple answer: in the Gap. […] If we map out U.S. military responses since the end of the cold war, […] we find an overwhelming concentration of activity in the regions of the world that are excluded from globalization’s growing Core. [...] If a country is either losing out to globalization or rejecting much of the content flows associated with its advance, there is a far greater chance that the U.S. will end up sending forces at some point. Conversely, if a country is largely functioning within globalization, we tend not to have to send our forces there to restore order to eradicate threats."[5] From this point of view, as it is the only way to prevent future terror attacks, the (military) integration of countries into the neoliberal world order becomes a "strategic imperative".[6]

Due to their almost symbiotic relationship, it is also not surprising that Cebrowski's own writings largely correspond with those of Barnett: "For example, disconnectedness now is one of the great danger signs around the world. It's an indicator of where the Department of Defense might be spending more and more of its time. […] There are a lot of nations functioning within globalization. These are nations that accept the rules. [...] If you are fighting globalization, if you reject the rules, if you reject connectivity, you are probably going to be of interest to the United States Department of Defense."[7] Cebrowski perfectly described the function of the US military as enforcer and stabilizer of the exploitative neoliberal world economic order, when he argued that "our role is that of Systems Administrator. Instead of stopping something, the role is to keep the system up and running, just like with your computer system."[8]

[1] Cebrowski led the Office until he died in November 2005.

[2] Cebrowski, Arthur: Speech to the Heritage Foundation, 13.5.2003, URL: (accessed 30.05.2004), p. 1.

[3] Quoted in Record, Jeffrey: The Bush Doctrine and war with Iraq, in: Parameters (Spring 2003), pp. 4-21, p. 5. See also the National Security Strategy of United States, September 2002, p. 1: "America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones." It should be noted here that such a connection between failed states and terrorism is unproven at best. See Hehir, Aidan: The Myth of the Failed State and the War on Terror: A Challenge to the Conventional Wisdom, in: Journal of Intervention and State Building, November 2007, pp. 307-332; Dempsey, Gary T.: Old Folly in a New Disguise Nation Building to Combat Terrorism, CATO Policy Analysis no. 429, March 21, 2002.

[4] Barnett, Thomas P.M.: The Pentagon's New Map, in: Esquire, Vol. 139, no. 3, pp. 174-179 & 227-228.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Marshall, Will: Closing the National Security Gap, DLC Blueprint Magazine, 25.07.2004. See also Lieberman, Joseph I.: Interrelation of Economic Development and Security, Speech at the 41st Munich Security Conference, 12.02.2005: "The suggested policy for a safer tomorrow, therefore, is to economically integrate the countries currently outside the global economic network in which Islamist terrorists - our most threatening enemies - will otherwise grow."

[7] Cebrowski 2003, p. 4.

[8] Ibid., p. 5.

3.2 Civil-Military Cooperation and the New Colonialism

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that effective "stabilization" (read: control) within the context of an occupation has become just as significant as the military victory itself. As the "Long Term Vision", a core document of the European Defense Agency, points out: "ESDP operations will be expeditionary, multinational and multi-instrument, directed at achieving security and stability more than 'victory'. […] In such circumstances, the military will be only one of a range of instruments applied to achieve the campaign goals."89 Nowadays, it does not suffice to win on the battlefield because the ambition is to "help a failed state to exercise responsible sovereignty."90 In other words, countries being invaded by Western Rapid Reaction Forces are to be occupied afterwards until they are correctly functioning within the neoliberal system and adhere to the rules of the game. Indeed, there are high ranking policy makers like Stephen Krasner, former Head of the State Department's influential Policy Planning Staff, who are openly calling for the re-colonisation of so-called failed states – or at least those where vital interests are at stake: "In some cases, decent governance may require some new form of trusteeship, almost certainly de facto rather than de jure."91

Another top decision-maker, Robert Cooper, lead author of the "European Security Strategy" and one of the most influential shapers of Europe's military policy92, openly pleads for a "new liberal imperialism": "Postmodern imperialism takes two forms. First there is the voluntary imperialism of the global economy. This is usually operated by an international consortium through International Financial Institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. […] The second form of postmodern imperialism might be called the imperialism of neighbours. Instability in your neighbourhood poses threats which no state can ignore. Misgovernment, ethnic violence and crime in the Balkans poses a threat to Europe. The response has been to create something like a voluntary UN protectorate in Bosnia and Kosovo. […] The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era - force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle."93

This New Colonialism, however, requires capabilities that are only scarcely available in the military, or not at all. What is needed is lawyers, engineers, military police or "police-soldiers" who are trained in counterinsurgency, etc. – in short, everything that was required for a traditional colonial administration. To amend these shortcomings, the European Union developed the concept of "Civil-Military Cooperation" (CIMIC) which is called "Whole-of-Government-Approach" in the United States and "Comprehensive Approach" by NATO. Notwithstanding these different terms, these concepts all boil down to the same interest. Their "logic" is described by five former NATO generals using the term "integrated approach" as follows: "We […] firmly believe that one can no longer win in an armed conflict simply by killing or capturing as many of the enemy as possible or by just destroying his power base. Non-military means must be part of an integrated strategy: one in which non-military means are coordinated and deployed with maximum precision, concision and integration."94 Or, in the words of the "European Security Strategy": "We could add particular value by developing operations involving both military and civilian capabilities. […] In almost every major intervention, military efficiency has been followed by civilian chaos. We need greater capacity to bring all necessary civilian resources to bear in crisis and post crisis situations."95 In short, the goal is to use the whole panoply of instruments, be they military or civilian, in order to effectively occupy a given country.

As said, as done: with "Department of Defense Directive" (DoDD) 3000.05, issued in November 2005, the Pentagon commanded a comprehensive integration of civilian capacities into the planning process and emphasized that from now on "Stability operations are a core U.S. military mission that the Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct with proficiency equivalent to combat operations. […] Integrated civilian and military efforts are essential to the conduct of successful stability operations."96 This directive has far reaching implications: "To put 'stability operations' and 'combat operations' on an equal footing—not just in a memorandum but for real—is to alter the way that the Pentagon not only plans and fights wars but also recruits, organizes, and even envisions the U.S. armed forces, especially the Army and Marines, which do the fighting and stabilizing on the ground."97

Subsequently, the implementation of DoDD 3000.05 was put into fast forward.98 Therefore, the Institute for Security Studies described the potential end point of this development as follows: "Training programmes are starting to be modified in military academies to include courses related to 'integrated operations', civilian-military work, stabilisation and reconstruction. In short, an army with 'colonial' capabilities is being potentially prepared for tomorrow."99 An integral part of such "Stability and Reconstruction Operations" (S&R) addresses the necessity to deal with those that do not have much sympathies for being colonized: "If S&R operations are to be successful, counterinsurgency operations must have the credible presence and capability to deal with these threats to stability decisively."100 As a result, an updated version of FM-23, the "US Counterinsurgency Field Manual" was prepared under the auspices of the new star general David Petreus at the end of 2006. Quite tellingly, FM-23 tries to draw the lessons from past uprisings against colonial powers and stresses the need to incorporate civil competencies in order to be able to combat insurgencies more efficiently.101 On the base of this manual, "counterinsurgency is fast becoming the U.S. Army's organizing principle."102

Under President Obama, this course was even further accelerated: Department of Defense Directive 3000.07, signed on December 1, 2008, states that "irregular warfare is as strategically important as traditional warfare."103 Consequently, in April 2009, Robert Gates granted a significant budget increase to stability and counterinsurgency operations.104 Finally, DoDD 3000.05 was updated by the Obama administration in September 2009 without changing the main direction of the previous version.105 No wonder, Thomas Barnett has been enthusiastic about this document, calling it "The New DoD SysAdmin directive".106

Similarly, Civil-Military Cooperation is at the heart of the European Foreign and Security Policy. To give just one example, within the new External Action Service, which will be set up in the course of 2010, the competencies of the European Commission (foreign, trade, and development policy) and the Council (civilian and military operations) will be united under the hat of one single "super-ministry". Furthermore, Council Directorate E-VIII which is responsible for military mission planning and Directorate E-IX (civilian operations) will both merge into the new "Crisis Management Planning Directorate" (CMPD). Thereby, a separation of civilian and military missions virtually ceases to exist. This poses the "risk that the proposed integration of civilian and military dimensions of EU crisis management strategic planning could lead in effect to the absorption of the civilian dimension into the military dimension.107 Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU since December 1, 2009 and therefore head of the External Action Service, summed the whole approach up as follows: "We must mobilise all our levers of influence — political, economic, plus civil and military crisis management tools — in support of a single political strategy. […] The creation of the European External Action Service is important to promote exactly the kind of joined up thinking and action we need. This is not just a bureaucratic exercise, It is a once-in-a- generation opportunity to build something new. […] I hope by now you get my point. The days when EU foreign policy could be dismissed as all talk and no action are long over."108

Finally, with regards to NATO, there are already a number of proposals to adopt state building as the central task of the alliance109 as well as to set up a civil-military army for this purpose: "Consideration should be given to the creation of a NATO Stabilization and Reconstruction Force (SRF), an integrated, multinational security support component that would organize, train and equip to engage in post-conflict operations, compatible with EU efforts."110 Therefore, it is not surprising that, for example, the German Government explains that the Comprehensive Approach will form a central element in NATO's New Strategic Concept which will be adopted in Autumn 2010.111 Furthermore, the Comprehensive Approach is also seen as the ideal starting point from which to improve the cooperation between NATO and the European Union: "Poor cooperation between the two institutions makes it difficult for NATO and the EU to adopt a truly 'comprehensive' approach to warfare, which integrates civilian and military capabilities. [...] With civil-military co-operation and 'reassurance' likely to be front and centre in the new strategic concept, the EU and NATO governments should relaunch their efforts to boost cross-institutional co-operation."112

Should this development continue unchecked, a complete amalgamation could occur. The call of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, a think tank that directly advises the German government, for the creation of a new strategic planning unit in the Federal Foreign Office confirms this fear: "Its task would be to merge the political, economic and military aspects of the counterinsurgency effort. [...] With the help of this planning unit, it would be possible to develop and realise a common civil-military strategy for all ongoing foreign missions on a continuous basis."113 Furthermore, the military should always be in command on the ground: "On an operative level, the integration of civilian and military resources should occur within the engagement command structures of the ministry of defence. [...] In general, consideration should be given to incorporating the personnel of the civilian ministries involved in foreign missions into the structures of the defence ministry for the duration of the engagements. [...] An important advantage of a civil-military organization specifically responsible for foreign missions would be the ability to guarantee continuity with regard to personnel and content. This unit, for example, could coordinate joint mission preparation for civilian and military personnel."114

Box 5: CIMIC in Afghanistan – A Deadly Failure

NATO's biggest war is also the prototype, where Civil-Military Cooperation (or the Comprehensive Approach) is practiced for the first time on a large scale: "Afghanistan has become the laboratory in which the experimental Comprehensive Approach is being tested."[1]

This primarily works via 26 – military controlled – Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) which are composed of soldiers as well as civilians. With those units, civilian reconstruction and humanitarian assistance are conflated with purely military tasks: "On any given day they could theoretically be shooting at people in the morning and then distributing aid in the same area that afternoon. The teams can even call in coalition air strikes if a local situation deteriorates."[2] In a highly informative peace titled "The Integration of Special Operation Forces and USAID in Afghanistan", the Small Wars Journal detailed how the US Development Agency directly supports the war. "The military must think beyond lethal options and development agencies must take the kid gloves off when dealing with communities pandering to both sides – the insurgents and the government. […] USAID has four objectives operating in a COIN [Counterinsurgency] environment: (1) strengthen local ties to national government, (2) demonstrate benefits of alliance with the IRoA [Islamic Republic of Afghanistan], (3) reward communities who drive insurgents of out of the area, and (4) strengthen local will and ability to resist insurgents."[3] No wonder then, that Afghans are highly irritated regarding the role and function of humanitarian actors in the country. This is all the more the case, as some civilian actors are obviously spying for the military. "Anne Bodine, a US State Department political analyst and senior advisor to the PRT in Herat, said: ‘We are the eyes and ears of the US government.’"[4]

For sure, most Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) object to any form of support for the war, but they are unable to efficiently distance themselves, as it is a little too much to expect from the Afghan insurgents to be able to differentiate between "good" and "bad" civilian actors – this is virtually impossible in stress situations like in Afghanistan. In the eyes of the armed opposition against the Western troops, every civilian actor in the country is a potential collaborator of the occupiers and therefore, like it or not, a legitimate target. And this is exactly what happened. As the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) documents, attacks on NGOs skyrocketed in the last few years from 106 (2006) to 137 (2007) and finally to 172 (2008). Furthermore, ANSO notes that those attacks have become "politicised" as there is a "shift from criminal to conflict related actors."[5] As a result, numerous NGOs have been forced to terminate their work and to withdraw from the country.

Against this background, in January 2010, eight of the largest international NGOs issued a devastating critique of the Civil-Military Cooperation practised in Afghanistan: "As political pressures to 'show results' in troop contributing countries intensify, more and more assistance is being channelled through military actors to 'win hearts and minds' while efforts to address the underlying causes of poverty and repair the destruction wrought by three decades of conflict and disorder are being sidelined. […] There is little evidence this approach is generating stability and, in some cases, military involvement in development activities is, paradoxically, putting Afghan lives further at risk as these projects quickly become targeted by anti-government elements. […] Part of the problem is that the militarized aid approach focuses not on alleviating poverty but on winning the loyalty of Afghans through the provision of aid. In 'Commanders’ Guide to Money as a Weapons System,' a US army manual for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, aid is defined as 'a nonlethal weapon' that is utilized to 'win the hearts and minds of the indigenous population to facilitate defeating the insurgents.'"[6]

[1] Lindley-French 2009, p. 22.

[2] Christian Aid: The Politics of Poverty. Aid in the New Cold War, May 2004, URL: (accessed 18.02.2010).

[3] Mann, Sloan: The Integration of Special Operation Forces and USAID in Afghanistan, in: Small Wars Journal, August 2008, URL: (accessed 30.09.2009).

[4] Christian Aid 2004, p. 47; see also Baumgard, Frank: Zivil-Militärische Zusammenarbeit in der Bundeswehr, in: Wehrtechnik V/2008, 96-105, S. 98.

[5] ANSO Quarterly Data Report, Kabul, April 2009, URL: (accessed 30.09.2009).

[6] Quick Impact, Quick Collapse. The Dangers of Militarized Aid in Afghanistan (Action Aid, Afghanaid, CARE, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Trocaire), January 2010, URL: (accessed 18.02.2010); see also Was will Deutschland am Hindukusch?, VENRO-Positionspapier 7/2009; Caritas fordert Strategiewechsel für Afghanistan, Pressemitteilung, 10.06.2008.

Such proposals must be fiercely rejected. Soldiers are soldiers, and civilians are civilians – both pursue completely different priority objectives, or at least they should. Humanitarian aid is strictly committed to direct poverty reduction, at least on paper; it must not be used as an instrument to support Western colonial engagements. This is all the more the case, as the European Union and NATO are on their way to streamlining their decision-making mechanisms in such a way as to be able to conduct these types of missions far more often in the future.

4. The Imperial Makeover of NATO and the European Union

While there is a vast amount of literature analysing the United States as an empire115, it has largely gone unnoticed that the European Union and NATO are developing in the same direction. One of the defining elements of an empire is that power is heavily concentrated within a small core: "Imperial boundaries do not divide political units possessing equal rights; instead they involve gradations of power and influence. […] Empires have no neighbours which they recognize as equals. […] There is almost always a scale of integration descending from centre to periphery, which usually corresponds to decreasing rights and an increasingly limited capacity to determine the politics of the centre."116 As we will point out below, this already applies to the European Union and, perhaps, soon also to NATO.

4.1 Imperial Makeover I: European Union

Quite a few observers have noticed the recent transformation of the European Union which is increasingly becoming structured like an empire. One of the exceptions is Jan Zielonka, who argues that the eastern enlargement in 2004 "has dramatically and irreversibly transformed the nature of the Union. [It] was an impressive exercise in empire building. […] In other words, the Union not only started to organize its internal political space along an imperial pattern; it also started to behave towards its neighbours in a truly imperial fashion."117

In the external dimension, the European Union is steadily expanding its sphere of influence, preferably by non-military means but increasingly with brute force – over 20 missions which have taken place under the auspices of European Defense and Security Policy since 2003 are cases in point. For a long time, the usual tool for expansion was formal enlargement, but in recent years a new approach is taking shape. Via the "Neighbourhood Policy", the goal is to absorb as many countries as possible into a European Empire without giving them a meaningful influence over its policies by denying them EU membership. Mark Leonard, director of the highly influential European Council on Foreign Relations, precisely sketched out the ambitious scope of this European Empire he calls the "Eurosphere": "The EU's reach goes beyond those applying for membership. There is a belt of 70 countries surrounding it – home to 20 per cent of the world's population – which are heavily dependent on the EU. These 1.3 billion people live in the European part of the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North and Sub-Saharan Africa. The EU is their main source of trade, international bank credit, foreign direct investment and development assistance. The EU has used this dependence to develop institutional links with these countries, designed to bring them under the European legal and political umbrella. […] The EU will need to think carefully about how these arrangements can be strengthened – perhaps by developing a stronger neighbourhood policy with 'deep free trade' agreements, a European energy community, and security partnerships – to ensure that its 'transformative power' can have an impact on countries that will never join the EU."118

But the European Union has also started an imperial makeover of its internal structure. Until then, it had been an organization with relatively flat hierarchies where the influence and power of big and small states was distributed fairly equally. But this changed dramatically because Core-Europe, the top dogs, Germany, France and Great Britain, were concerned that they could lose control over Europe's policies with so many new states entering the Union in 2004. Therefore, in advance of enlargement, they drafted the European Constitution which had as one of its primary aims to concentrate the decision-making power in the hands of those few countries far more heavily than before. Due to several problems, not least because the “newcomers” were not overly enthusiastic about this "imperialisation" of the European Union, the Constitution did not come into force until December 1, 2009 and by then, it was known as the Lisbon Treaty.119

Two "innovations" in this new treaty are of particular importance in this context. First is the introduction of double majority voting in the most important EU body, the Council of the Heads of State and Government. As a result of this, Germany will nearly double its share of vote in the Council from 8.4% to 16.73% (the other winners are France, Great Britain and Italy), while all other states will significantly lose influence. With the passing of the Lisbon Treaty (Article 9c) this dramatic power shift will be introduced as normal practice starting in 2014.

In the military area, this centralisation of power is mirrored by the introduction of the Lisbon Treaty's "Permanent Structured Cooperation" (PSC). Previously, Member States were forbidden from creating any kind of "core", "avant-garde" or "pioneer" groups in which only a few countries would decide over specific aspects of Europe's security policy. For the whole European Security and Defence Policy, the unanimity rule applied, which gave the smaller Member States some sort of influence over its course. But this changed with the Lisbon Treaty entering into force because the PSC not only allows Member States to form such core groups, but it also abolishes the consensus principle. It takes only a qualified majority vote in the Council to establish such a PSC and afterwards, countries not taking part are deprived of any say on its actions. As the Lisbon Treaty states (Article 46,6): "For the purposes of this paragraph, unanimity shall be constituted by the votes of the representatives of the participating Member States only." Moreover, the participating states can solely decide whether new countries are allowed to take part in an already established PSC.120 According to Henry Bentégeat, Chief of Europe's Military Committee, even the decision to start a military operation could be delegated to a PSC, which – according to his view – has the "advantage" that it would only require the agreement of a few countries in order to go to war: "In particular, the possibility afforded by the new Treaty of establishing enhanced cooperation in the field of the common foreign and security policy, opens up great potential for EU operations. Just one third of the Member States will be needed to take a decision in the Council to launch an operation."121

Particularly troubling in this context is the fact that the Lisbon Treaty erects huge barriers for smaller countries to be able to participate in such a core military group. Article 46 states that only Member States "which fulfil the criteria and have made the commitments on military capabilities set out in the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation" are allowed to take part in a PSC. This refers to the Lisbon Treaty's Protocol 10 which specifies the entry criteria as follows: "The permanent structured cooperation […] shall be open to any Member State which undertakes, from the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, to:

(a) proceed more intensively to develop its defence capacities through the development of its national contributions and participation, where appropriate, in multinational forces, in the main European equipment programmes, and in the activity of the Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (European Defence Agency), and

(b) have the capacity to supply by 2010 at the latest, either at national level or as a component of multinational force groups." (Protocol 10, Article 1)

To put it bluntly: only those countries that are setting up Battle Groups and taking part in Europe's most ambitious (read: expensive) armaments projects and military missions, will be allowed to take part in a PSC and therefore to have a say over important parts of Europe's military and security policy. Currently, there are several proposals about how these criteria could be further clarified: "Pierre Lellouche, defence spokesman for UMP ([Sarkozy's] Union pour un Mouvement Populaire) explained that 'permanent structured cooperation' aims to create 'a hard core' of the six biggest EU countries - France, the UK, Spain, Germany, Poland and Italy - referred to as a 'Defence G6'. As a precondition for joining this hard core, Lellouche proposes that the participating Member States should: devote two per cent of their GDP to defence; establish a common procurement market for defence equipment; further develop the battle group concept (each comprising 10,000 troops); and launch major defence infrastructure projects, such as space and intelligence technology, and missile defence."122 Others argue for some sort of military Maastricht criteria: "With the implementation of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PSC), as foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty, to be established among a few able and willing EU members, the prospect of common defence expenditure standards will arise, and of fixing targets and conditions, similar to what has been done for the core eurozone states in the monetary field."123 So, countries unwilling – or unable - to pursue these policies could well end up being completely sidelined in most parts of European security policy. The central idea of the PSC was expressed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, when he proposed to use it as a means to create a "European military directorate", composed of France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Poland.124

There are a number of other areas in which the European Union is also undergoing an imperial makeover, as has been pointed out elsewhere in detail.125 So, European Commissioner José Manuael Barroso is right, when he says: "Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empire. We have the dimension of empire."126

4.2 Imperial Makeover II: NATO

Not unlike the European Union, a similar process of centralisation is in the making within NATO – or at least, it is high on the wish list of the most powerful countries. In order to "streamline" the decision-making mechanisms of the alliance, the two most important proposals – the "Naumann-Paper" and "Alliance Reborn" - for NATO's new Strategic Concept, scheduled for the end of 2010, similarly propose the following institutional innovations:

Abolishing NATO's consensus principle: Currently, every decision within NATO has to be taken by consensus. From time to time, this necessitates painful and time consuming negotiations with countries unwilling to support one war or another. Therefore, the Naumann-Paper demands "that NATO should abandon the consensus principle at all levels below the NATO Council, and introduce at the committee and working-group levels a majority voting rule."127 Similarly, "Alliance Reborn" argues: "While this is an important symbol of unity, especially when the NAC votes to deploy forces, the consensus rule also allows one nation to block the wishes of all others and also leads to lowest-common-denominator decisions. […] Qualified majority voting, or upholding a simple majority, have each been suggested as alternatives, especially in committees lower than the NAC."128 If adopted, the abolition of the consensus principle would make it extremely hard for smaller countries to have their voices heard in the future. At the Munich Security Conference in February 2010, German Defence Minister zu Guttenberg picked up this proposal by calling the consensus principle a "cultivated absurdity" and demanding its abolition.129

Abolishing the Caveats: At the moment, countries which decide to take part in a military mission still have the option to formulate caveats, which can prevent their troops from having to take part in specific aspects of an operation.130 As this constrains the war fighting capabilities of the alliance, another action the strategists "suggest in order to enhance NATO's capabilities is the abolition of the system of national caveats, as far as this is possible."131

Only who fights, plays: Another far-reaching proposal is that NATO countries which do not actually contribute to a combat mission should be deprived of a say in the decision-making. "It has always been left to individual nations to contribute what capabilities or forces they can. But nations that do not contribute forces should also not have a say in the conduct of military operations. We therefore propose […] that only those nations that contribute to a mission – that is, military forces in a military operation – should have the right to a say in the process of the operation."132

A New Burden Sharing: With respect to the financing of NATO's wars, currently the "costs lie where they fall" principle applies: those willing to fight have to pay for the costs largely on their own. As burden sharing is at the top of the agenda, it is now proposed that countries, not taking part in a specific NATO war, should nevertheless pay for it: "New procedures for funding NATO operations are urgently needed. The current cost-sharing system of 'costs lie where they fall' must be abandoned entirely. […] What is needed is a common cost-sharing formula, to which all allies contribute. We therefore recommend the creation of a commonly financed NATO operations budget."133

Taken together, this could well lead to the grotesque situation where a member state could have to pay for a war it does not want to support and in which it has absolutely no say regarding the actual fighting on the ground. As it is highly possible that some or all of these proposals will find their way into the new Strategic Concept, this will shift the decision-making power heavily in favour of the big NATO countries and turn the alliance into a strictly hierarchic and undemocratic organization.


Obviously, whether things will materialize as predicted in this study is not certain. It depends on a number of factors. For example, is the United States really prepared to cede power to its European allies? Or are the recent signals merely empty promises? In fact, there is already discontent with how little has been actually been done despite the Obama Administration’s pledge to respect European interests: "The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin writes that President Obama, upon taking office, aroused 'great expectations' in terms of an intensified cooperation with Berlin and the EU. But in fact, there has been 'little more than a shift of accents'. Washington still merely concedes an instrumental role to 'multilateralism' - a codeword for the German-EU ambition to share world power with the USA."134

Yet, in light of Europe's (and especially Germany's) own decline, there are not many options available, other than to strengthen the alliance with the United States: "Some strategists are calling for caution in the transatlantic rivalry. If the USA loses its predominating role this could cause grave 'problems' for Germany. The warning refers to China's rapid rise, which appears to have been accelerated by the economic crisis. Economists see the possibility of Europe's abrupt decline and are predicting a global rivalry solely between the USA and China. In such a case, according to Berlin, Germany could at best have influence as the United States' junior partner."135 Furthermore, European leaders are obviously concerned that they could end up completely sidelined as a result of closer Sino-American cooperation (G2). For example, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini warned: "If we do not find a common foreign policy, there is the risk that Europe will become irrelevant. We will be bypassed by the G2 of America and China, which is to say the Pacific axis, and the Atlantic axis will be forgotten. We need political will and commitment, otherwise the people of Europe will be disappointed. People expect a great deal of us."136 So, in order to avoid such a fate, there is an enormous pressure on the Europeans to satisfy the American demand for more military support. Whether they will be able to put substantially more troops on the ground in light of their relatively war-averse electorate137, will be one of the most crucial issues deciding the future of the Transatlantic New Deal.

On the other hand, for the United States, the European Union by far remains the most preferable partner due to their largely overlapping interests, particularly as the confrontations with China have become sharper and sharper.138 Therefore, the incentives for a transatlantic rapprochement are very strong – for good or evil, the United States and the European Union desperately need each other in order to uphold their position on the international stage. Most recently, Obama's National Security Adviser, James Jones, once again emphasised the rationale for a Transatlantic New Deal at the Munich Security Conference in February 2010: "At this conference last year, Vice President Biden and I came here to represent an administration that had been in office less than three weeks. We reaffirmed President Obama's pledge of a new beginning in America's relations with Europe and the world. A new way of conducting foreign policy—not lecturing, but listening; not making decisions unilaterally, but consulting and coordinating with allies and partners. […] Reports of the demise of the Trans-Atlantic partnership have been greatly exaggerated - for decades. But our partnership endures for a simple reason - because it reflects our common values, our shared interests and is the foundation of our collective security and prosperity. Indeed, long gone are the days when Europe was a challenge to be managed by the United States. Rather, Europe today is our indispensable partner. [This] underscores what President Obama has called a 'fundamental truth' - that 'America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone' and that 'Europe cannot confront them without America.'"139

There are also questions remaining about the future of the emerging powers. Will Brazil and India develop into "poles" or will they be important "prizes" for each bloc in a New Cold War?140 The most relevant – and disputed – aspect in this context is the future of Russia. Indeed, there seems to be major disagreement – albeit almost the only one – between the assessment of the American and the German intelligence community. While "Global Trends 2025" treats Russia primarily as a potential rival, the Bundesnachrichtendienst sees the country as a potential "prize" which could be integrated into a Western bloc directed against China.141 But the German assessment seems to be highly doubtful because even those Russians, who are pleading for an alignment with the West, are arguing that this would necessitate respecting Russian interests to a much greater extent in the future than has been the case up to now.142

Yet, not only have the United States as well as the European Union for years pursued distinctly anti-Russian policies in virtually every area143, moreover, there are absolutely no signs that this will change in the foreseeable future: "In a remarkably candid interview recently, well-known Russia scholar Professor Stephen Cohen at New York University […] assesses that despite the Obama administration's call to 'reset' ties with Russia, the 'old thinking' prevails in Washington – 'that Russia is a defeated power, it's not a legitimate great power with equal rights to the US, that Russia should make concessions [...] that the US can go back on its promises because Russia is imperialistic and evil.'"144 The Russian proposal for a "Euro Atlantic Security Treaty", published in November 2009, is a case in point.145 Although - or better: because – the treaty would address Moscow's most pressing concerns regarding NATO's aggressive policies on the Eurasian continent, it was unmistakably rejected by the NATO-officials attending the Munich Security conference in February 2010: "For the most part, the speakers tried to tell Russia why its initiative is bad."146 This blatantly underlined the notion that NATO's leaders do not have the slightest intentions to grant Russia the least say over their policies.

With this short sighted policy, the West is literally pushing Moscow into the emerging Sino-Russian axis which is currently taking shape. In a highly informative piece, Sergei Karaganow sums up the Russian view as follows: "It is quite obvious, at least to me, that the Euro-Atlantic civilization, which seemed to have finally won, in the new world is lagging somewhat behind China and other Asian countries which have turned out to be the true winners of the Cold War. […] Against the background of these changes, America's geopolitical positions and its claims to sole leadership have sharply deteriorated – thanks to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the economic crisis. These positions can and will be restored only partially. Faced with the impossibility of its advantageous and equal accession to the Euro-Atlantic space, Russia is drifting fast towards prioritizing cooperation with China – even if as a 'younger brother,' although a respected one. In addition, China quite pragmatically does not focus on differences in values, although these differences are great. The 'Asian choice' of today is not the same as the Eurasian choice of the past. It looks like a choice in favor of a rapidly rising civilization."147

Not unlike Russia, China also wants its voice to be heard and its interests to be respected, as was articulated by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the Munich Security Conference in February 2010: "Yang Jiechi's subtle and diplomatic language should mislead no one. In a nutshell, his message was: China will constructively cooperate on the major international security issues – provided that China's core interests are fully taken into account. On international security, there is no way to circumvene China."148 Kishore Mahbubani, a former Singaporean diplomat, poses the crucial question in this matter: "The rise of Asia therefore creates a real dilemma for Western states: Should they be guided by their material interests and cling to this power, or should they be guided by their values and begin to cede and share power?"149 Unfortunately, at the moment, all signs are that the West will try to uphold its supremacy, no matter what the costs, thereby making a New Cold War a self-fulfilling prophecy: "Now almost 55% of those questioned [in China] for Global Times, a state-run newspaper, agree that 'a cold war will break out between the US and China'. An independent survey of Chinese-language media for The Sunday Times has found army and navy officers predicting a military showdown and political leaders calling for China to sell more arms to America’s foes."150

Regarding these developments, there is indeed an urgent need for closer transatlantic cooperation, but not in the way it is currently envisioned. Instead, the European Union and the United States could avoid an era of "Global Rivalries" (Kees van der Pijl) by "working cooperatively together in defining a new economic and geopolitical agenda for the coming era - valuing fairness, greater social equality and mutual respect."151 Unfortunately, there seems to be little interest in doing so. Yet, we should not leave the question of war and peace to be decided by those Western militarists currently reigning in the United States and the European Union: "[It is an open question] whether there will be a confrontation between the transatlantic status-quo powers and the contenders from the semi periphery. The outcome of such a scenario will be decided over the next decades in the Western states through social struggles and elections."152 So large scale, peaceful protests in the European Union and the United States will be necessary, in order prevent the world from being sent up in flames by the New Cold Warriors on both sides of the Atlantic.


1 See for example Layne, Christopher: It's over. Over there: The Coming Crack-up in Transatlantic Relations, in: International Politics, May 2008, pp. 325-347; Kupchan, Charles A.: The End of the West, in: The Atlantic Monthly (November 2002); Calleo, David P.: Balancing America: Europe’s International Duties, in: Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, 1/2003, pp. 43-60.

2 Vasconcelos, Álvaro de: Introduction – Responding to the Obama moment: the EU and the US in a multipolar world, in: Vasconcelos, Álvaro de/Zaborowski, Marcin (eds.): The Obama Moment. European and American perspectives, Institute for Security Studies, Paris, November 2009, pp. 11-24, p. 11.

3 In fact, the relations between the United States and the European Union already improved during the second term of Bush’s presidency. This further underscores the claim that the changing distribution of power and not changing personalities is the main driver behind the transatlantic rapprochement: See for example Brose, Christian: The Making of George Obama, Foreign Policy, January/February 2009; Janning, Josef: Welcome Back, America? Die USA und Europa im Aufbruch, Bertelsmann Stiftung, spotlight europe, November 2008.

4 Hamilton, Daniel S./Burwell, Frances G. (lead authors): Shoulder to Shoulder: Forging a Strategic U.S.-EU Partnership (Atlantic Council of the United States/ Center for European Policy Studies/ Center for Strategic and International Studies/ Center for Transatlantic Relations/ Fundacion Alternativas/ Prague Security Studies Institute/Real Instituto Elcano/ Swedish Institute of International Affairs), December 2009, p. ii.

5 See for example Ferguson, Niall: The decade the world tilted east, Financial Times, 27.12.2009; Kishore Mahbubani: The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East, New York 2009; Zakaria, Fareed: The Rise of the Rest, Newsweek, 12.05.2008; Haass, Richard N.: The Age of Nonpolarity. What Will Follow US Dominance, in: Foreign Affairs, May/June 2008; Boris, Dieter/Schmalz, Stefan: Eine Krise des Übergangs: Machtverschiebungen in der Weltwirtschaft, in: Prokla, 4/2009, pp. 625-643; Steingart, Gabor: Weltkrieg um Wohlstand: Wie Macht und Reichtum neu verteilt werden, München 20082; Flemes, Daniel/Nolte, Detlef: Zukünftige globale Machtverschiebungen, Giga Focus 5/2008. See for an opposing view Delpech, Thérèse: The Decline of the West, New York Times, 21.12.2009.

6 National Intelligence Council: Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, November 2008.

7 Grevi, Giovanni: Scanning the future. American and European perspectives, ISS Policy Brief, December 2008; see also Grevi, Giovanni: The interpolar world: a new scenario, ISS Occasional Paper, June 2009.

8 Current Crisis Shows Uncanny Parallels to Great Depression, Der Spiegel, 29.04.2009, URL:,1518,621979,00.html (accessed 28.01.2010); see also Rinke, Andreas: Metamorphose der Geopolitik, in: Internationale Politik, Juni 2009, pp. 38-43.

9 For a truly comprehensive study, it would also be necessary to analyse the role of at least two more states, Brazil and India, but this unfortunately goes beyond the scope of this paper.

10 Vasconcelos 2009, p. 14. As British Foreign Minister David Miliband pointed out: "European and North American interests - political, economic and military - are very closely aligned. […] This is the moment for us to renew the alliance. Because as global power becomes more diffuse we will need each other more. […] We need to invest in the alliance, and not just support from the sidelines. That means practising what we preach. It means taking the difficult decisions not just the easy ones. And it means being willing and able to combine hard and soft power in a credible way." See Miliband, David: Speech at the 45th Munich Security Conference, 07.02.2009, URL: (accessed 02.01.2010); see also Guttenberg, Karl Theodor zu: Die Zukunft der transatlantischen Beziehungen, in: Politische Studien, Heft 423, 60 Jg., Januar/Februar 2009, pp. 15-19; Rühle, Michael: Keine Alternative zur globalen Rolle der USA, Neue Züricher Zeitung, 24.02.2009.

11 The Washington NATO Project (Atlantic Council of the United States/Center for Strategic and International Studies/Center for Technology and National Security Policy/Center for Transatlantic Relations): Alliance Reborn: An Atlantic Compact for the 21st Century, February 2009, p. 8.

12 Gerrard, Quille: Global Power of Global Player? Framing CFSP and ESDP in 2019, in: Forward-Looking Policy Papers on "Europe 2009-2019", EXPO/B/PolDep/ST/2009_109, July 2009, pp. 13-20, p. 14.

13 Brzezinski, Zbigniew: Major foreign policy challenges for the next US president, in: International Affairs 85: 1 (2009), pp. 53-60, p. 54.

14 Stromseth, Jane/Wippman, David/Brooks, Rosa: Can Might make Rights? Building the Rule of Law after Military Interventions, New York 2006, p. 1f.

15 Robertson, George/Ashdown, Paddy: We must beef up the UN and the EU, The Times, 12.02.2008.

16 Pape, Robert A.: Empire Falls, in: The National Interest, January/February 2009; see also Layne, Christopher: The Waning of U.S. Hegemony – Myth or Reality?, in: International Security, Summer 2009, pp. 147-172; Khanna, Parag: Waving Goodbye to Hegemony, The New York Times Magazine, 27.01.2009; Orlov, Dmitry: Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects, Gabriola Island 2008. For some of the few opposing views, claiming that US supremacy will last well into the future see Brooks, Stephen/Wohlforth, William: World Out of Balance, Princeton 2008; Lieber, Robert J.: Falling Upwards: Declinism, The Box Set, in: World Affairs, Summer 2008; Joffe, Josef: Der Kassandra-Komplex, in: Internationale Politik, September/Oktober 2009, pp. 99-109.

17 Cohen, Roger: Remembering Germany, International Herald Tribune, 05.02.2009.

18 See Gowan, Richard/Brantner, Franziska: A Global Force for Human Rights?, ECFR Policy Paper, September 2008; Grevie 2009.

19 Kagan, Robert: The Return Of History And The End Of Dreams, London 2009, p. 86.

20 National Intelligence Council 2008, p. iv.

21 Altman, Roger C.: The great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West, in: Foreign Affairs, January/February 2009.

22 Foroohar, Rana: Power Up, Newsweek, 30.03.2009.

23 Liebig, Michael: The 2010 Munich Security Conference: China Enters the Scene, solon-line, 12.02.2010, URL: (accessed 15.02.2010).

24 See Wagner, Jürgen: Gas-OPEC und Afrikanische Nabucco. Der Neue Kalte (Gas-)Krieg zwischen EU und Russland geht in die nächste Runde, in: AUSDRUCK – Das IMI-Magazin (Februar 2009), pp. 17-23.

25 Drezner, Daniel: Bad Debts. Assessing China’s Influence in Great Power Politics, in: International Security, Fall 2009, pp. 7-45, p. 7.

26 BRIC summit may focus on reducing dollar dependence, China Daily, 16.06.2009.

27 Con, Tony: Clausewitz in Wonderland, in: Policy Review, September 2006, URL: (accessed 15.02.2010). On the growing military tensions between the United States and China see Rozoff, Rick: U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow,, 20.01.2010.

28 Wijk,Rob de: The consequences for Europe of the global crisis, in: Europe's World, Autumn 2009.

29 See Busse, Nikolaus: Entmachtung des Westens: die neue Ordnung der Welt, Berlin 2009; Lucas, Edward: The New Cold War: How the Kremlin Menaces Both Russia and the West, Basingstoke 2008; Gat, Azar: The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers, in: Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007. The director of the highly influential European Council on Foreign Relations obviously also shares this view: "Francis Fukuyama’s famous thesis was not that power struggles or even wars would end (in fact, he thought they would continue), but that the great ideological battles of the 20th century would end with ‘the universalisation of western liberal-democracy’. However, although the differences between major powers are less stark today than during the Cold War, the big story in international relations seems to be history’s dramatic return." See Leonard, Mark: Divided world: the struggle for primacy in 2020, Centre for European Reform, Policy Brief, January 2007, p. 2.

30 Ikenberry, John/Slaughter, Anne-Marie: Forging a World of Liberty under Law, The Princeton Project on National Security, Final Report, September 2006, p. 29f.

31 The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America, August 2009, p. 3.

32 Obama, Barack: Renewing American Leadership, in: Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007. See also Michael McFaul, Obama's most important adviser on Russian affairs: "But how a country defines 'strategic interest' depends on its regime; democracies have one set of definitions, autocracies another. The bad news emanating from Russia just over the past month proves that Moscow's increasingly autocratic leadership will clash often with Washington in world affairs." See Goldgeier, James/McFaul, Michael: Russia's No Democracy. So What?, Washington Post, 09.04.2006.

33 Gates, Robert: A Balanced Strategy. Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age, in: Foreign Affairs, January/February 2009.

34 For example, a study which had been prepared for the European Council. Its findings had been presented to the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Security and Defence as well as to the Council Presidency: James Rogers/Luis Simón: The Status and Location of the Military Installations of the Member States of the European Union and their Potential Role for the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), Policy Department External Policies, Briefing Paper, February 2009.

35 Moratinos, Miguel: Speech at the 46th Munich Security Conference, 06.02.2010, URL: (accessed 06.02.2010).

36 European Security & Information Forum: Final Report, December 2009, URL: (accessed 18.12.2009), p. 126.

37 Ries, Thomas: The globalising security environment and the EU, in: Vasconcelos, Álvaro de (ed.): What ambitions for European defence in 2020?, Institute for Security Studies, Paris 20092, pp. 61-74, p. 69.

38 See Grant, Charles: How should Europe respond to China's strident rise?, CER Bulletin, February/March 2010.

39 Kagan 2009, p. 4.

40 Koalitionsvertrag „Wachstum. Bildung. Zusammenhalt." zwischen CDU, CSU und FDP für die 17. Legislaturperiode, p. 118 (own translation).

41 See for example Lindley-French, Julian: Enhancing Stabilization and Reconstruction operations. A Report of the Global Dialogue between the European Union and the United States, Center for Strategic and International Studies, January 2009; Shapiro, Jeremy/Witney, Nick: Towards a post-American Europe: A Power Audit of EU-US Relations, ECFR Report, October 2009; Toje, Asle: The EU, NATO and European Defence – A slow train coming, ISS Occasional Paper, December 2008.

42 Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO, Transatlantic Forum, Berlin, July 1, 2009, URL: (accessed 20.01.2010).

43 Scheffer, Jaap de Hoop: Speech at the 45th Munich Security Conference, 07.02.2009, URL: (accessed 25.01.2010).

44 Although the Europeans haven't – yet – delivered military support to the enormous extend, the United States wishes, this has more to do with the huge scepticism within their own population than with an unwillingness to support the United States.

45 Lindley-French 2009, p. 8.

46 European Parliament resolution of 19 February 2009 on the role of NATO in the security architecture of the EU (2008/2197(INI)), para. 34; see also The Washington NATO Project 2009, p. 37: "If they [the Europeans] want Washington to support ESDP, they must produce real capabilities and assume real peacekeeping responsibilities, as they have for instance in Bosnia. […] If the U.S. wants European support for U.S. initiatives, it must be willing to allow allies to develop the capacity to offer that support, even if at times they employ that capacity autonomously."

47 Joseph Biden: Speech at the 45th Munich Security Conference, 07.02.2009, URL: (25.01.2010).

48 Ibid.

49 See for example Rilling, Rainer: Risse im Empire, Berlin 2008, p. 81.

50 Change of command at Allied Command Transformation, NATO News, 09.09.2009.

51 See Scahill, Jeremy: All Troops Out By 2011?, Alternet, 28.02.2009.

52 Council Conclusions on the ESDP, 10./11.11.2008. Up to that point, the training took place in European countries.

53 Vgl. Korski, Daniel/Gowan, Richard: Now the EU should get serious in Iraq, in: Europe's World, Autumn 2009; Vaisse, Justin/Gräfe, Sebastian: What Europe Can Do for Iraq: A Blueprint for Action, Brookings Institution, 23.04.2009; Burke, Edward: The Case for a New European Engagement in Iraq, FRIDE Working Paper, January 2009.

54 Final communiqué of The Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Foreign Ministers, NATO Press release, 03.12.2008.

55 Strasbourg/Kehl Summit Declaration, para. 11.

56 Riecke, Henning: Mehr Einsatz in Afghanistan, in: Internationale Politik, Januar 2009, pp. 39-44, p. 42.

57 Korski, Daniel: Shaping Europe's Afghan surge, ECFR Policy Brief, March 2009, p. 1.

58 Stubb, Alexander: In search of smart power, in: Vasconcelos 2009, pp. 131-141, p. 138.

59 On the poverty caused by neoliberal globalisation see Nel, Philip: The Return of Inequality, in: Third World Quarterly, No. 4/2006, pp. 689-706; Stiglitz, Joseph: Die Schatten der Globalisierung, Berlin 2002; Goldberg, Jörg: Globalisierung und Armut, in: Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 7/2004, S. 884-886; and Chang, Ha-Joon: Kicking Away the Ladder: The "Real" History of Free Trade, Foreign Policy in Focus, Special Report, December 2003. On the growing resistance against neoliberalism see for example Pieterse, Nederveen: Globalization or empire, New York 2004, p.14.

60 For example, EU-Commissioner José Manuel Barroso unmistakably preaches the gospel of neoliberalism in his "Political guidelines for the next Commission" of September 2009, p. 30: "Openness is critical to Europe's future competitiveness. […] Reaching a deal in the Doha round remains the priority. But FTAs and trade arrangements will also have to be pursued. Trade negotiations have to be at the service of EU interest. […] We need to join up the different strands of our external policy much better to use our 'soft power' leverage to deliver solid results for EU businesses and for citizens. The European interest has to be promoted in a coherent and determined way."

61 The concept of the failed state is highly problematic, as it is not adequately defined and used as a one-size-fits-all description for every country presumably being in "need" for an external intervention. See Call, Charles: The Fallacy of the „Failed State“, in: Third World Quarterly, No. 8, 2008, pp. 1491-1507.

62 Barnett, Thomas P.M./Gaffney, Henry H.: Globalization Gets a Bodyguard, in: U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, November 2001, pp. 50–53.

63 National Intelligence Council 2008, p. vii; iv.

64 This view is also present within the German intelligence community. See Rinke 2009, p. 43. See also the anonymous quote on a high-level meeting by a member of the think tank community: "I believe we will witness an increasingly tough competition about who sets the rules of politics in the 21st century and what should be the founding principles for the rules of international politics. The OECD world, which had more or less a monopoly in this game in the past, will be challenged in particular by authoritarian regimes that have enough economic, financial and thus also political power to go their own way." Kortweg, Rem/Podkolinski, Richard: New Horizons. Finding a path away from NATO’s de-solidarisation, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, March 2009, p. 25.

65 This is viewed as a direct threat to US interests. See for example Naim, Moses: Rogue Aid, in: Foreign Policy, March/April 2007.

66 УТВЕРЖДЕНА Указом Президента Российской Федерации от 12 мая 2009 г. № 537. Unofficial translation on (accessed 20.01.2010).

67 Karaganov, Sergei: A New Epoch of Confrontation, in: Russia in Global Affairs, Nr. 4, October-December 2007.

68 The term is adaped from Retort: Blood for Oil?, London Review of Books, April 2005.

69 Roberts, Susan/Secor, Anna/Sparke, Matthew: Neoliberal Geopolitics, in: Antipode, Vol. 35, No. 5 (2003), pp. 886-897, p. 887.

70 Collier, Paul: Breaking the conflict trap (World Bank Policy Research Report), 2003, p. 53. See also Congressional Budget Office: Enhancing US Security Through Foreign Aid, Washington, DC, April 1994, p. 5. UN Millennium Project: Investing in Development, New York 2005, p. 8; Nafziger, Wayne: Development, inequality, and war in Africa, in: The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, No. 1/2006, pp. 13-19; Rice, Susan E./Graff, Corinne, Lewis, Janet: Poverty and Civil War: What Policymakers Need to Know, Brookings Working Paper, December 2006.

71 Korski, Daniel/Gowan, Richard: Can the EU rebuild failing states? ECFR Policy Paper, October 2009, p. 39; see also Fergusson, Niall: The Axis of Upheaval, in: Foreign Policy, March/April 2009.

72 2008 Army Posture Statement: Strategic Context, URL: (accessed 26.01.2010).

73 Keller, Patrick: Barack Obama’s foreign policy. What can NATO expect from the next U.S. President?, NATO Defense College, Research Paper No. 43 (November 2008), p. 4.

74 Ries 2009, p. 57.

75 Zanotti, Laura: Taming Chaos: A Foucouldian View of UN Peacekeeping, Democracy and Normalization, in: International Peacekeeping, June 2006, pp. 150-167, p. 150.

76 Barbara, Julien: Rethinking neo-liberal state building, in: Development in Practice, June 2008, pp. 307-318, p. 308; on neoliberal nation building see also Richmond, Oliver P./Franks, Jason: Liberal peace transitions: between statebuilding and peacebuilding, Edinburgh 2009; Chandler, David (ed): Statebuilding and Intervention: Policies, Practices and Paradigms, London 2009; Newman, Edward/Paris, Roland/Richmond, Oliver P. (eds.): New Perspectives on Liberal Peacebuilding, Tokyo 2009; Paris, Robert/Sisk, Timothy D. (eds.): The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations, London 2009; Pugh, Michael/Cooper, Neil/Turner, Mandy (eds.): Whose peace? critical perspectives on the political economy of peacebuilding, Basingstoke 2008; Castillo, Graciana del: Rebuilding war-torn states: the challenge of post-conflict economic reconstruction, Oxford 2008; Lacher, Wolfram: Iraq: Exception to, or Epitome of Contemporary Post-Conflict Reconstruction?, in: International Peacekeeping, April 2007, pp. 237-250, p. 241; Chandler, David: Empire in Denial: The Politics of State-building, London 2006.

77 Herring, Eric: Neoliberalism versus Peacebuilding in Iraq, in: Pugh et. al. 2008, pp. 47-64, p. 47. For the distinctly colonial way, Peacebuilding is conducted, see also Paris, Ronald: International Peacekeeping and the "mission civilastrice", in: Review of International Studies 28/2002, pp. 637-656. For an overview of how neoliberal structural adjustment has been imposed under direct Western occupation, see Wagner, Jürgen: Neue Kriege und Neoliberaler Kolonialismus: Systemadministration im Zeitalter des totalen Marktes, in: ÖSFK (Hg.): Söldner, Schurken, Seepiraten. Von der Privatisierung der Sicherheit und dem Chaos der "neuen" Kriege, Berlin/Wien 2010, pp. 180-200 .

78 Hamilton, Daniel/Foster, Nikolas: The Obama administration and Europe, in: Vasconcelos 2009, pp. 39-57, p. 47.

79 Preble, Christopher /Logan, Justin: Failed States and Flawed Logic: The Case against a Standing Nation-Building Office, CATO Policy Analysis no. 560, January 11, 2006, p. 18.

80 Defense Science Board: 2004 Summer Study on Transition To and From Hostilities. Supporting Papers, Washington 2005, p. 53: "For countries where U.S. interests are very important and the risk of U.S. intervention is high (termed here as "ripe and important"), the president or National Security Council (NSC) would direct the initiation of a robust planning process—to resolve issues without use of military forces, or, if the United States intervenes, for the stabilization and reconstruction (S&R) period."

81 The other relevant option currently being promoted is "Security Sector Reform", which essentially boils down to – for example in Afghanistan – to enable "friendly" regimes to do the job largely on their own by massively building up their police and military forces. Thereby, the Western powers hope to avoid direct occupation as often as possible.

82 Quoted in Paul Wolfowitz: Thinking About the Imperatives of Defense Transformation, Heritage Lectures, 30.04.2004.

83 Capabilities Development in Support of EU Rapid Response, "The Battlegroups Concept", FR/DE/UK Food for Thought Paper, URL: (accessed 20.01.2010).

84 "They should be flexible enough to promptly undertake operations in distant crises areas (i.e. failing states), under, but not exclusively, a UN mandate, and to conduct combat missions in an extremely hostile environment (mountains, desert, jungle, etc). As such, they should prepare the ground for larger, more traditional peacekeeping forces, ideally provided by the UN or the Member States." See The EU Battlegroups, DGExPo/B/PolDep/Note/2006_ 145, 12 September 2006, URL: (accessed 20.01.2010).

85 The Rapid Deployable Corps,, URL: (accessed 20.01.2010).

86 Interview General Ray Henault, Chairman of the Military Committee, in: NATO Review, Spring 2007.

87 See Ringsmose, Jens: Taking Stock of NATO’s Response Force, NATO Defence College, Research Paper, January 2010.

88 Quoted in Barone, Michael: Thomas Barnett's Blueprint for Action, 15.11.2005, URL: (accessed 15.02.2008).

89 European Defence Agency: An Initial Long-Term Visionfor European Defence Capability and Capacity Needs, Endorsed by the Steering Board on 3 October 2006, p. 6.

90 Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Remarks at Georgetown School of Foreign Service, January 18, 2006, URL: (20.10.2010).

91 See Krasner, Stephen D.: Sharing Sovereignty: New Institutions for Collapsed and Failing States, in: International Security, Fall 2004, pp. 85–120, p. 85. On the New Colonialism see Wilde, Ralph: International Territorial Administration: How Trusteeship and the Civilizing Mission Never Went Away, Oxford 2008.

92 On the role and influence of Robert Cooper see Foley, Frank: Between Force and Legitimacy: the Worldview of Robert Cooper, EUI-RSCAS Working Paper 2007/09.

93 Cooper, Robert: The Post-Modern State, in: Leonard, Mark (ed.): Re-Ordering the World, London 2002, pp. 11-20.

94 Naumann, Klaus et al.: Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership, 21 January 2008, URL: (accessed 28.01.2010), p. 131.

95 European Security Strategy: A Secure Europe in a Better World, December 2003, p. 11f.

96 Department of Defense: Directive Number 3000.05, 28. November 2005.

97 Kaplan, Fred: Do As I Say, Not As I DoD: Will the Pentagon ever value nation-building as much as war-fighting?, Slate, 02.12.2005.

98 See Report to Congress on the Implementation of DoD Directive 3000.05: Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations, Washington, 1. April 2007.

99 Vaïsse, Justin: Transformational Diplomacy. Chaillot Paper 103, June 2007, p. 66.

100 Lindley-French 2009, p. 4. For a critical view see Harris, Jerry: US imperialism after Iraq, in: Race & Class, No. 1 (2008), pp. 37-58.

101 US Army Field Manual, Insurgency FM 3-24 (December 2006).

102 Bacevich, Andrew J.: The Petraeus Doctrine, The Atlantic, October 2008. See also Zelik, Raul: Aufstandsbekämpfung und Besatzungskrieg: Die Entwicklung asymmetrischer Kriegführung durch den Westen, in: Peripherie, Nr. 116/2009, pp. 425-477.

103 Department of Defense: Directive 3000.07, 01.12.2008, p. 2.

104 Brune, Sophie-Charlotte: Der Reformhaushalt des Pentagon. Prioritäten der Militär- und Rüstungspolitik unter Präsident Obama. SWP-Aktuell, Mai 2009.

105 Department of Defense: Directive Number 3000.05, September 16, 2009.

106 Thomas P. Barnett, The new DOD SysAdmin directive, URL: (accessed 20.01.2010).

107 EPLO Statement on Civilian-Military Integration in European Security and Defence Policy, URL: (20.01.2010).

108 Ashton, Catherine: Speech at the 46th Munich Security Conference, 06.02.2010, URL: (18.02.2010).

109 See Milkoreit, Manjana: Die zivile Dimension der Sicherheit ernst nehmen: die NATO als die Organisation für den Wiederaufbau nach einem Konflikt, in: NATO Review (Herbst 2007); Bertram, Christoph: Abschied vom Krieg, in: NATO Review (Frühjahr 2006); Dobbins, James: Die Rolle der NATO beim Aufbau von Staatswesen, in: NATO Review (Sommer 2005).

110 The Washington Project 2009, p. ix; see also Binnendijk, Hans/Kugler, Richard: Needed - A NATO Stabilization and Reconstruction Force, Defense Horizons No. 45 (September 2004).

111 For example, then German Defence Minister Franz-Josef Jung stated in early 2009: "The comprehensive approach, our concept of networked security, must become a core element of the new Strategic Concept." See

Jung, Franz-Josef: Speech at the 45th Munich Security Conference, 08.02.2009.

112 Valasek, Tomas/Korski, Daniel: Closer NATO-EU Ties: Ideas for the Strategic Concept, Center for Transatlantic Relations, December 2009, URL: (accessed 18.02.2010).

113 Noetzel, Timo/Zapfe, Martin: Aufstandsbekämpfung als Auftrag: Instrumente und Planungsstrukturen für den ISAF-Einsatz , SWP-Studie 2008/S 13, May 2008, p. 24 (own translation).

114 Ibid.

115 For a very comprehensive overview see Rilling 2008.

116 Münkler, Herfried: Empires: The Logic of World Domination from Ancient Rome to the United States, Cambridge 2007, p. 5.

117 Zielonka, Jan: Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union, New York 2006.

118 Leonard 2007, p. 36f.

119 For example, that's why Poland was so heavily opposed to the Consitutional Treaty and subsequently to its successor, the Lisbon Treaty. Only with massive pressure, could the country be "convinced" to subscribe to its marginalization.

120 See Schneider, Jörg: Die Neufassung der Art. 28a und 28e EUV durch den Vertrag von Lissabon und ihre Auswirkung auf den deutschen Verteidigungshaushalt, Wissenschaftlicher Dienst des Bundestages, WD 11 - 333/07, p. 4.

121 Bentégeat, Henri: What aspirations for European defence?, in: Vasconcelos 2009, pp. 97-106, p. 98.

122 Dagand, Sophie: The impact of the Lisbon Treaty on CFSP and ESDP, in: European Security Review, No. 37, March 2008, pp. 5-9, p. 8.

123 Silvestri, Stefano: The gradual path to a European defence identity, in: Vasconcelos 2009, pp. 75-84, p. 83. The most detailed "benchmarks" have been formulated by the former chief of the European Defence Agency. See Witney, Nick: Re-energising Europe’s Security and Defence Policy, ECRF Policy Paper, July 2008.

124 Howorth, Jolyon: The Future of European Security, EXPO/B/SEDE/2008/16, March 2008.

125 For an analysis of the other dimensions of the European Empire see Wagner, Jürgen: Brüssel, das neue Rom? Ostexpansion, Nachbarschaftspolitik und das Empire Europa, Studien zur Militarisierung EUropas 36/2008, URL: (20.01.2010).

126 Barroso hails the European 'empire', The Telegraph, 11.07.2007.

127 Naumann et al. 2008, p. 125.

128 The Washington NATO Project 2009, p. 43.

129 Guttenberg plädiert für große Reform der Nato, Welt Online, 07.02.2010.

130 For example, one very important caveat is that Germany forbids its troops to take part in the heavy fightings in the south of Afghanistan.

131 Naumann et al. 2008, p. 126. In "Alliance Reborn", the abolishment of the caveats is not openly demanded, but they are frequently mentioned as a heavy problem (on pp. 14, 47, and 50).

132 Naumann et al. 2008, p. 125. See also The Washington NATO Project 2009, p. 43: " Another important reform worth considering is allowing nations to opt out of participating in an operation (even after joining consensus in the NAC to approve an operation). In such a case, the opt-out nation […] would not participate in decision-making on how that operation is executed."

133 Naumann et al. 2008, p. 128. See also The Washington NATO Project 2009, p. 45f.: "The 'costs lie where they fall' principle, which places the costs of participating in Alliance operations on the nations actually taking part, has been under attack for many years. Still, that principle is largely followed, making it not only onerous to take part in deployments, but providing nations an excuse not to participate because they cannot afford to. The financial crisis makes it imperative for NATO to develop a new approach to funding operations and common equipment."

134 Fear of Demotion (II),, 29.01.2010 citing Thimm, Johannes: Ein Jahr Außenpolitik unter Obama. Rückkehr zum Multilateralismus? SWP-Arbeitspapier, Januar 2010.

135 Ibid.

136 Joint European army of tomorrow: a new perspective, RIA Novosti, 17.11.2009. For an in-depth and more cautious analysis see NO Rush into Marriage: China’s Response to the G2, ECFR China Analyses 22/2009.

137 This is particularly obvious regarding the war in Afghanistan: 55% in France, 66% in Great Britain, and 69% in Germany are against the war and their countries contributions to it. See Der gute Willen im Westen lässt nach, Neue Züricher Zeitung, 13.09.2009.

138 See Sheridan, Michael: China’s hawks demand cold war on the US, The Sunday Times, 07.02.2010.

139 Jones, James: Speech at the 46th Munich Security Conference, 06.02.2010, URL: (accessed 10.02.2010).

140 For a proponent of the latter position see Khanna, Parag: The second world: empires and influence in the new global order, London 2008.

141 See Rinke 2009.

142 See for example Inozemtsev, Vladislav: The Post-Crisis World: Searching for a New Framework, in: Russia in Global Affairs, July/September 2009, pp. 150-160, p. 157f. See also Kotkin, Stephen: The Unbalanced Triangle. What Chinese-Russian Relations Mean for the United States, in: Foreign/Affairs, September/October 2009: "In the end, there can be no resetting of U.S.-Russian relations without a transcending of NATO and the establishment of a new security architecture in Europe. And without such a genuine reset, China will retain the upper hand, not only in its bilateral relationship with Russia but also in the strategic triangle comprising China, Russia, and the United States."

143 Rahr, Alexander: Putin nach Putin – das kapitalistische Russland am Beginn einer neuen Weltordnung, Tübingen 2008, S. 10f.

144 Bhadrakumar, M.K.: Sino-Russian baby comes of age, Asia Times Online, 13.06.2009.

145 See European Security Treaty, November 29, 2009 (unofficial translation), URL: (accessed 08.02.2010)

146 Munich: West and non-West speaking about secure partnership, RIA Novosti, 08.02.2010.

147 Karaganov, Sergei: Russia in Euro-Atlantic Space, solon-line, 11.12.2009, URL: (accessed 08.02.2010)

148 Liebig 2010.

149 Mahbubani 2009, p. 103.

150 Sheridan 2010.

151 Newman, Otto/Zoysa, Richard de: Crisis and resurgence: redefining the United States and European Union relationship in the face of global challenges, in: Twenty-First Century Society, November 2009, pp. 297-318.

152 Boris/Schmalz 2009, p. 641f. (own translation).

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