Michael Brenner's insightful treatment of the U.S.-European security and defense relationship deserves a wide readership among politically interested Americans and Europeans, a readership going beyond official decision makers, who will find the study absorbing.
Readers will be rewarded with a sensitive, judicious account of the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), the "European pillar" of the Atlantic Alliance. In reality, however, the study is much broader than its title would indicate; its analysis of ESDI illuminates the basic issues of the overall transatlantic partnership. Two brief quotations illustrate Michael Brenner's sure understanding of this complex relationship: "The United States and Western Europe are global partners, will it or not, admit it or not. They could not be otherwise." "Help is what Washington wants -- when and how it decides that help is needed."
These two sentences capture the essence of the restless U.S. search for partners in world affairs, a search dating from the end phase of World War II to the present, intended to quiet recurrent domestic doubts about foreign involvements. As Brenner indicates, U.S. success in finding new partners has often been followed by strenuous efforts to subdue their deviations from U.S. advice.
The project for a European Defense and Security Identity is a polite and intentionally restrictive label for what remains of hopes that intensifying European integration would bring with it increasing cooperation among EU member states on defense and security policy and ultimately culminate in establishment of the European Union's own integrated armed forces. This remains the logical