The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq

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Faculty library of law and criminology Open print view. Mon 23 Sep Ingang koepelzaal gesloten Original title: Alleanza inevitabile. Publisher: New York : Palgrave Macmillan, Description: XI, p. Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references p. Dewey: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, APA: Parsi, V.

The inevitable alliance : Europe and the United States beyond Iraq. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. A57 b I a Set language NL EN.

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Contact Live chat offline E-mail: libservice ugent. The same is true for those giants in the south of the world that have embarked upon the road toward democracy and liberty: from India to the new South Africa to Brazil.

As long as America is the only one to take on this responsibility, any discussion about greater multilateralism risks being a purely rhetorical exercise. Here it is up to Europe to step forward by virtue of its wealth and its history. Only if we know how to be a reliable and credible partner in this task and if the amount of security that we can guarantee to the international system increases significantly, will we be able to hope to secure more weight in the decision-making processes—including those to do with war and peace.

This is the only alternative both to an exasperated American unilateralism and to the unsustainable legalistic pretence of the equality of all states. In its own rough and apparently temporary way, that wall, erected in one night in —almost like a malicious mushroom which sprouted on the wounds of Europe,—in a single, far more joyful, even if just as incredible, evening, collapses.

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And its collapse marks the beginning of the end of Soviet rule over the peoples of central-eastern Europe. In a short space of time, all the Communist regimes that from to had been established by Moscow in the areas occupied during the Second World War are to fall one after the other, for the most part without bloodshed. State Department. But the doctrine has little appeal for non-Muslims, and it is hard to believe that the movement will take on any universal significance. Of course, it was a fracture so sharp and jagged with nuclear missiles as to eclipse all the others, starting with the problem between the northern and southern hemispheres.

But now its decline has let other quite differently opposed forces come out of the shadows, besides everything else conceptually far more complicated to identify, analyze, and categorize. Indeed, as this book demonstrates, the fact that that fracture was completely within the Western world guaranteed at least three consequences. In the first place it re-established all the other most disparate and plural dividing-lines that were crossing the planet in its various peripheries.

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Naturally, this does not mean that Europe has become insignificant, but it does point to the fact that it has lost its once central position in US eyes. To this extent, the pro-European moment has passed. Sadly, it must be recognized that it has been a history made up of wars from the Gulf to the Caucasus, from the Middle East, to Afghanistan, to Iraq, to the myriad African disasters that come to pass with hardly a mention. It is a history, let us not forget, that saw war and extermination hit the center of Europe for almost a decade in former Yugoslavia.

Fukuyama was right when he warned that the end of the cold war represented something quite deep and definitive, not attributable to yet another stage in the fight for dominance between rival powers, which dragged on for almost fifty years. It is true that with the end of communism and the crumbling of the USSR, history did end in a certain sense: an era was concluded that had begun in with the peace in Westphalia and the end of religious wars in Europe.

This system was founded on the sovereignty of a multiplicity of states and no longer on an imperial universalistic design, and we can trace back to that moment the notion that an order based on the acceptance of plurality is possible. Contemporaneously, that same date also marks the start in politics of the triumph of modernity over pre-modernity: it is the starting point for the separation of politics and religion, church and state that is to characterize quite significantly the political adventure to be embarked upon by the West in the centuries to come. It will allow us to formulate a conception of political modernity interpreted as progressive laicization.

As the decade slips by from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the collapse of the Twin Towers and then to the last Iraqi war, we have an increasingly disturbing and unprecedented sensation, which is less and less exorcisable within the classical models of modern Western thought. It is a risk that from the complexity of the world a single individual immediately ascends. Even if the different phases of the war against Islamic terrorism should prove to be greater and swifter successes that might have been imagined, from the military point of view, what leaves us perplexed is the feeling that the United States is fighting without a suitable strategy.

The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future. At bottom, it would seem that different administrations in Washington have been long convinced that the weakening of the rival superpower in the substantial absence of a credible global challenger requires nothing other that the extension throughout the planet of United States hegemony already pertinent to the West and sizeable chunks of east Asia , quite apart from the fact that the operational rules and the pillars on which that hegemony was founded are useful and effective even outside the Western political community.

Balance, alliances and peaces, hegemony, institutions, and cooperation have always had Europe and its new, stronger offshoots as a reference point. When we have had to tackle rivals or hostilities hailing from countries outside our European culture, in truth our only response has been war. It is from this conceptual gap that we must start, in order to make sure not that war is excluded from the world this would be mere dangerous utopia but rather that it becomes again a possible political choice and not a necessity for survival, the continuation of politics with other means and not its abdication.

So, confronted with this war, the Iraqi campaign risks being only the third round after the war in Afghanistan and September 11 , it is well nigh useless to assign dogmatic explanations that date back to Westphalia, in which the principle of sovereignty was sanctioned internationally, that should have put an end to the bloody season of religious wars.

We could forget that those were, in fact, above all, as Carl Schmitt says, civil religious wars, while the knife-edge along which we are dangerously running is that of a war between religions. We could forget, above all, that the birth of the international political system almost coincides temporally with the end of the Ottoman threat in Europe. From the second half of the seventeenth century, the slow Turkish withdrawal from Europe begins, a movement parallel to the rapid assertion of international society in the European states. European expansion throughout the world takes place at first in the form of colonialism, and then in the form of decolonization, which leaves the Western world in a position of absolute supremacy.

It is just as useless to evoke Westphalia today, when the threat arrives mainly from nonstate players, like the terrorist network led by Osama Bin Laden. There are, in fact, two unprecedented distinctive characteristics in the contemporary international political system.

The first, and also the most obvious, is that ours is a unipolar system, as regards the distribution of power: in other words, we only have one powerful state, and that is the United States. In America, when considering who could be a possible challenger to its power in the medium—long term, China immediately comes to mind. Right or wrong as it may be, there is a real obsession in the United States about the fact that, sooner or later, China will challenge America over the problem of Taiwan or Korea or demand a greater role in Asia.

Overseas, there are those who, like Robert Gilpin, fear that such a danger will rise to traumatic dimensions and warn of the risk to world stability that the creation of exclusive economic zones might entail. Today, that order is changing in many ways. They make a close analogy with what happened to the Roman Empire with the Western and Eastern partition. They have been especially important in defining the terms of intercivilizational dialogue from an Islamic perspective.

This not only has far greater consequences but is also far less reassuring than the pluridimensional structure designed by Joseph Nye. And attraction often leads to acquiescence or imitation. China is in fact a state. The European Union is still a very uncertain entity and is certainly unique: it is more than a mere organization of states, but it is not yet a federation nor is it a confederation.

It does not have a real foreign policy and as regards common security, it has not advocated the whole sovereignty of its member states. Certainly, however, the EU is of a territorial public nature. Al Qaeda, which has been adopted as the icon of new globalized fundamentalist terrorism,26 is not a state, a public individual, neither has a currency or any of the attributes of sovereignty, nor is a legal entity like a multinational e.

Starting from these considerations, the crucial question that we must inexorably pose is this: has the international political system entered a phase of accentuated discontinuity as regards its operational rules, behavioral procedures of its main players, the nature of these players, and the type of threats? The ways in which it collapsed permit us to look at the years to in a completely different light. That whole period coincided with the bipolar order, characterized both by many years of peace at its core and by an extenuating conflict on the outskirts, fought with iron and fire, but won without a single shot being fired in its main arena, Europe, which was the only place that the decisive match could be played.

It was a general conflict of widespread dimensions, from which emerged what analysts, theoreticians, and players in the international political scene had widely claimed to be impossible: a new unipolar order dominated by the United States, and more that ten years after the start of this era no global challenger has as yet appeared. Now, however, America seems to be paying a high price for having reached this result without having to resort to arms against the Soviet Union, its systemic adversary.

Just because of the fact that the cold war was a major war, a great war fought, however, for the most part without military intervention, it seemed sterile, incapable of giving life to a real constitutive peace. So, yet again, as always happens and must acrimoniously be admitted, only a victory gained bloodily on the battlefield is able to transform the power of the dominator to legitimated authority.

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No local or regional war, no matter how important and maybe even won on the battlefield an objective which still has to be reached in the case of the last war in Iraq , can replace this lack of legitimacy. Discussions over the imperial nature of post—cold war America have been ongoing for over a decade.

It is that the neo-imperialist hegemony of the United States was by no means anything new in the post—cold war times.

Such a strategy, elaborated in the s with the war still in progress, proposed a rather ambitious immediate objective: to prevent the European powers, which in slightly more than twenty years had dragged the world into two devastating conflicts, from repeating the very same mistake. If the objective was already in itself ambitious, the strategy to carry it out was even more so.

Excerpt: The US–South Korea Alliance

In short, if the attempt to pursue peace by means of the balance between the great powers had led to war, this represented a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. So it was necessary to move from a peace of balance to a hegemonic peace of which the United States would be the originators and guarantors. The consequence of a similar approach in economic terms implied the participation of ex-rivals in an open economic system, in which those economies were made interdependent on each other and also structurally linked to the American economy.

In the event of prolonged periods of economic crisis, this would prevent the different national systems being able to opt for protectionist strategies, rightly considered concausa of military political conflicts. The initial project did not yet include Japan and China at that time not communist , and at the same time it was not conceived from an anti-Soviet viewpoint.

The cutting of relations with Moscow due to the acquired awareness of the aggressive and tyrannic nature of the communist regime, joined to the inclusion of Japan, took over starting from and led to the second pillar of the American grand strategy in the cold war: curbing communism.

The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq
The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq
The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq
The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq
The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq
The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq
The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States Beyond Iraq

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