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Common or Divided Security?

German and Norwegian Perspectives on Euro-Atlantic Security

Edited By Robin Allers, Carlo Masala and Rolf Tamnes

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, Euro-Atlantic security is under pressure. Faced with major geopolitical shifts, instability at its frontiers and financial crisis at home, the European nations and their American Allies will have to rethink how to design common security. Failure to animate the European Union (EU) and to reinvigorate the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) as efficient tools for peace and security might lead the West back to the spectre of divided security, to fragmentation and renationalisation. This book addresses the main challenges to Western security from the perspective of two European Allies: Germany and Norway.
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Editors’ preface

Editors’ preface


This book is being written at a time when Euro-Atlantic cooperation is about to enter unchartered waters. The financial crisis and the ensuing austerity measures have affected the security relations between Europe and the United States profoundly. The Arab Spring of 2011 has shifted from optimism to instability and new harrowing conflicts. In Libya, Mali and Syria the international community’s Responsibility to Protect was put to the test and left it powerless to cope with knock-on effects such as civil war, the spread of terrorism, vastly increased numbers of refugees, and the insecurity surrounding trade and investments. Russia’s flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and annexation of Crimea in 2014 provoked a crisis that brought back fears of east-west confrontation. At the same time, the Asian great powers are intensifying their presence in international politics, and new rivalries might easily lead to disputes. The long-term goal of US policy in the volatile Asian Pacific is to re-balance power relations and to impose an increased American presence in the region.

The US ambition to re-balance and its unwillingness to take a leading role in conflict management in traditional conflict regions have led to a new debate over transatlantic burden-sharing. Today, the Europeans are neither militarily strong enough nor politically cohesive enough to utilise their resources effectively. The lack of political coherence and interoperability, it might be argued, prevent Europe from playing an active role in the new international order, alongside the Asian great powers, Russia and the United States. What...

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