Persian Gulf Security--Improving Allied Military Contributions

Persian Gulf Security--Improving Allied Military Contributions

Persian Gulf Security--Improving Allied Military Contributions

Persian Gulf Security--Improving Allied Military Contributions

Synopsis

This book addresses several key questions: Will America's European allies be able to muster the political will and military capabilities to project significant military force to help defend the Persian Gulf? How much military force can our European allie

Excerpt

The United States remains the guarantor of Western security interests outside Europe, and European governments are quite comfortable with this arrangement. However, Europe's dependence on the United States for dealing with threats to common interests beyond its borders cannot be sustained indefinitely. Indeed, the Senate debate over nato enlargement offers ample evidence that pressures are mounting on Europe to playa more prominent role in defending common Western security interests.

There are political and military imperatives for Europe to shoulder greater security responsibilities outside its borders. When the United States must use military force far from its shores to defend common Western security interests, the political imperatives for doing so in a coalition with its allies will in most cases outweigh any considerations of military expediency. Under certain circumstances, moreover, a substantial allied military contribution would improve prospects for military success. Without such a contribution, a danger exists that U.S. political and public support for nato, including further enlargement, will erode in lockstep with U.S. engagement in Europe.

The challenge that the United States confronts is therefore twofold: first, to ensure that allied governments are prepared to carry out missions that go beyond peacekeeping operations in and around Europe; and second, to ensure that allied military contributions are effective in dealing with the external threats that the Alliance is most likely to face in the future. This is especially the case in the Persian Gulf-a region in which Europe remains totally dependent on U.S.

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