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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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Chapter 14: Just Do It: Bilateral and Minilateral Cooperation to Invigorate European Security

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Just Do It:Bilateral and Minilateral Cooperation to Invigorate European Security

Robin Allers and Rolf Tamnes

The Cold War was one-dimensional and centred around two military superpowers, with the Soviet Union as the main threat and the United States as the key security provider. Since then, the security environment facing Europe has become more diverse and unpredictable. NATO and the European Union, the main pillars of Euro-Atlantic security, have important roles to play in stabilising the Eurasian region and in engaging Russia. Since far away does not exist anymore, Europeans also have to contribute significantly to international military operations and civilian missions outside their own continent. Last but not least, NATO’s Article 5 remains the essence of the Alliance and crucial for its member states, not only to deter, dissuade and defend against conventional threats, but also to protect from newer and emerging threats and risks such as terrorism, missile and cyber attacks, as well as the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Neither NATO nor the EU, both with 28 member states, live up to expectations, however. Under the present conditions, they are both too heterogeneous and ineffective to halt the strategic decline of the West and to meet the manifold challenges to Western security, even more so since the United States no longer exerts strong leadership and discipline. Most commentators therefore offer a bleak picture of European defence and crisis management capabilities.

It is indeed easy to portray Europe’s security...

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