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The Iraq Crisis and the Future of the Western Alliance: An American view


  • Marc Trachtenberg


In the wake of the Iraq war, there has been a tendency by both the Americans and the Europeans to overlook the difficulties facing the transatlantic relationship that resulted from the Iraq crisis. This approach to dealing with some of the basic issues that emerged during this time is not a healthy one, and these issues must be discussed openly and seriously. This chapter addresses four important matters related to the Iraq crisis: the question of deterrence, whether or not weapons inspections should have been further pursued, pre-emption and its relation to international law, and the crisis that existed within the transatlantic alliance. While both sides have attempted to address these issues, they are in reality much more complex than initial assessments have indicated. The predicaments posed by the Iraq war for the transatlantic alliance are unlike those that the alliance faced during the Cold War, and Europeans must think carefully about what kind of alliance they foresee with the United States in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Trachtenberg, 2004. "The Iraq Crisis and the Future of the Western Alliance: An American view," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 27, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0143

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    NATO; international relations;

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