Europeans and Americans have adopted great concern for the future of the Trans-Atlantic relationship. There are many issues that have both strengthened and weakened the health of the Trans-Atlantic relationship. European Union security and defense policies, in particular, have created some major implications for the future of this relationship. Solidarity in European action, since the September 11 terrorist attacks, is lacking; however, the EU and the United States have continued to work together so they can both benefit. Will this relationship last through the present crisis in Afghanistan. The focus of this paper will be on the reactions of EU security and defense and NATO members since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
European unity, since the terrorist strike on September 11, 2001, has been lacking. Tony Blair recently held a conference in Downing Street. "He alienated small countries, offended the Brussels bureaucracy and lent an element of farce to efforts to forge a common European strategy in the Afghan crisis (Barber 1)." President of France, Jacques Chirac, did the same thing a couple of week's prior. He held talks with Tony Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and left out quite a bite of European countries, but Europe still displays a "solid front in the US-led campaign against international terrorism (Barber 1).".
Weaknesses are appearing due to the Afghan crisis. A division of Europe is occurring. The stronger NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, members such as Britain, France, and Germany are eager to stand with the U.S. against world terrorism; while the weaker NATO members: Spain, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands are afraid of being "marginalized." These countries feel that they could be focused on due to some weaknesses that they represent. Spain and Italy brought about a more specific issue of their "resurgent" economies as their reasoning for less aggressive actions (Barber 2).