Allies At War: America, Europe and the Crisis Over Iraq

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9780071441209: Allies At War: America, Europe and the Crisis Over Iraq

A thorough analysis of where U.S./European relations have gone wrong--and how to set them right

ALLIES AT WAR is the first and most comprehensive assessment of what went wrong between America and Europe during the crisis over Iraq and is based on extensive interviews with policymakers in the United States and Europe.

It puts the crisis over Iraq in historical context by examining US-Europe relations since World War II and shows how the alliance traditionally managed to overcome its many internal difficulties and crises. It describes how the deep strategic differences that emerged at the end of the Cold War and the disputes over the Balkans and the Middle East during the Clinton years already had some analysts questioning whether the Alliance could survive. It shows how the Bush administration’s unilateral diplomacy and world-view helped bring already simmering tensions to a boil, and describes in depth the events leading up to the Iraq crisis of 2003.

Gordon and Shapiro explain how powerful forces such rising American power and the September 11 terrorist attacks have made relations between America and Europe increasingly difficult. But the authors argue that the split over Iraq was not inevitable: it was the result of misguided decisions and unnecessary provocations on both sides. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that claims that the Iraq war signaled the effective end of the Atlantic Alliance, the authors warn that assuming the end of the Alliance could quickly become a self-fulfilling prophesy: leaving the United States isolated, resented, and responsible for bearing the burdens of maintaining international security largely alone.

In response to those who argue that the Atlantic Alliance is no longer viable or necessary, ALLIES AT WAR demonstrates that even after Iraq, the United States and Europe can work together, and indeed must if they wish to effectively address the most pressing problems of our age. The book makes concrete proposals for restoring transatlantic relations and updating the alliance to meet new challenges like global terrorism and the transformation of an unstable Middle East.

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From the Back Cover:

"Masterful ... a timely demonstration that a new transatlantic compact is both possible and necessary for our common security."

--Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

A Detailed Examination of What Has Gone Wrong in the Fragile U.S./Europe Alliance--and How to Make It Right

Praise for Allies at War:

"In Allies at War, Phil Gordon and Jeremy Shapiro do a masterful job dissecting the recent rift between the U.S. and Europe over Iraq.  More important, theirs is a timely demonstration that a new transatlantic compact is both possible and necessary for our common security."

--Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

"An invaluable and lucid account of the present transatlantic crisis; and a compelling plea for putting that crisis behind us."

--Robert Kagan, Author, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order

"A deservedly scathing indictment of an arrogantly unilateral policy and a sensible plea for an urgent strategic readjustment."

--Zbigniew Brzezinski, Former National Security Adviser

"Allies at War is a superb but unsettling account of how the most successful alliance in history almost came apart over Iraq.  The Americans and the Europeans have much to learn from this meticulously even-handed account of a crisis both sides badly mishandled."

--John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University

"This is a great book, likely to become the definitive account of this period."

--Charles Grant, Director, Center for European Reform

From the 1956 Suez Crisis to the disputes over US military intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, the history of the post-World War II American-European alliance is one of nearly continuous diplomatic crisis. Yet, no matter how deep the divisions or bitter the dispute, in the end, the allies always found ways to rise above their differences and preserve the integrity of an alliance which, by the late 1990s, had become the most successful in world history.

The diplomatic wrangling over the war in Iraq produced the worst transatlantic crisis in nearly fifty years, and for the first time leaders in both the United States and Europe are seriously questioning the viability and, indeed, even the value of the alliance. But is this latest crisis really so different from all those that came before it? Is it, as some contend, the culmination of an inevitable process of dissolution that began with the end of the Cold War and became clear after 9/11? Is the fragile American-European alliance and the world order it supports coming unraveled?

In Allies at War distinguished Brookings analysts Philip Gordon and Jeremy Shapiro provides answer to these and other critical questions about the current crisis in American-European relations and its implications for the future.

To help put the current crisis into context the authors trace the evolution of American-European relations since World War II. They describe how deep ideological differences that emerged at the end of the Cold War and disputes over the Balkans, Iran, and Iraq during the Clinton years already had some analysts questioning if the alliance would survive. They explain how the Bush administration's "cowboy diplomacy" helped bring already simmering tensions to a boil. And they provide a detailed, inside account of the events leading up to the Iraq crisis, describing how a series of disastrous diplomatic missteps turned a legitimate disagreement over how to deal with a rogue regime into a crisis that threatened the alliance's very existence.

Finally, in response to those who would say good riddance to an alliance that has given the West fifty years of unprecedented economic and political stability, the authors explain why continued US-European cooperation is essential to global security and prosperity. In an age of terrorism and globalization, they argue, no country or continent, no matter how strong, can stand alone. Allies at War offers concrete prescriptions for mending the rifts that have opened in our relationship and cementing an even stronger alliance--one strong enough to weather the challenges of a post-9/11 world.

About the Author:

Philip H. Gordon, Ph.D., is a senior fellow and Jeremy Shapiro, Ph.D., is an associate director and research fellow with the Brookings Institution. Dr. Gordon has written for prominent publications including the New York Times and appears regularly on CNN, ABC, and other broadcast outlets. Both live in Washington, DC.

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