The study LTC Tibor Babos (Ph.D.) conducted helps minimize the differences, brings opposing points of view closer to one another and brings concepts closer to common denominators. Relying on his 6-year research, through identifying the definite complexities of European security, he defines the five most important pillars. He not only systematizes the complex interdependence of European security, he also rationalizes and simplifies their understanding. In light of this thought, I recommend Dr. Babos’ book to all of those who are involved in research on international contacts and political security in Europe.
Member of the Hungarian Parliament
As editor, my task was merely to streamline the words and phrases into more free-flowing English. Through this process, it was truly an honour for me to provide a small measure of assistance to Babos, the NATO Public Diplomacy Office, the NATO School, as well as the Hungarian Strategic and Defense Research Center. Clearly though, all credit goes to the author. The reasoning, logic, facts, and opinions are the product of many years of serious study. And the many interesting ideas and novel concepts are a product of the dedicated efforts and hard work of Tibor Babos.
This is a book of extraordinary magnitude; the breadth and depth of the presentation touch upon a multitude of academic disciplines. The overall value is that it constructs a frame of reference for the continued study of the vital and timely topic of European security.
before they take you by the throat."
1. What are the central pillars of today’s European security structure?
2. What is the number of minimal but absolutely necessary central relationships?
3. What are their contents?
The thesis of the study is the following premise: in order to understand European security, at least five central considerations, circumstances, processes and their correlation must be observed. This study claims European security today rests on the following five pillars:
- Historical characteristics, traditional heritage and actual characteristics of interest assertion by European powers
- Continuity, changes and new trends of global and European security challenges
- European security policy and defense capability evolution
- Transatlantic relationship dialectics
- European integration rules
Historical precedents and current international relations confirm cooperation is established on the basis of situational, vice formal or previously-arranged factors. Numerous post-Cold War events occurred resulting in revised international relations. The development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/ESDP is prominent. As the result of the San Malo summit, President Chirac and Prime Minister Blair made a joint recommendation for the CFSP defensive dimension and the establishment of ESDP. The escalating Gulf War II provided the second example in 2003 when another German-French coalition was established to oppose the Iraq policies of the US and UK. The Iraqi conflict indicates how national interests, but more importantly their changes are significant elements of national security policies and how alliances can be established or redefined by a totalitarian dictatorship maintaining differing geo-strategic, cultural and religious values, creating fundamental differences in international cooperation and ally formations in a relatively short time even in events outside of the European and Atlantic region. Spain is another example; at the commencement of the Iraqi military activities, it maintained a strong pro-US policy stance and contributed significant assets to military operations; however, after the 11 March terrorist attacks and subsequent election, it made fundamental changes in its foreign policies. As a mid-level European power, Spain’s example underscores how alliances are based not only on established, traditional characteristics, but are also affected by international political
This chapter contends that in regards to the formation of European security policy, the defining factor is national interests. The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Russia are the dominant players in European security policy. Their significant political, economic and military strengths allow them to have great influence with regional and international organizations and, directly or indirectly, on the shaping of international processes. Handling of regional armed conflicts, along with the expansion of international organizations are elements of the political, economic and military might of these states. The extent of international, economic and military conflicts of these power players directly impact neighboring regions and beyond. The 1929 New York stock market crash, Hitler’s military expansion, German reunification, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States significantly influenced the entire world.This chapter addresses the chronological cornerstones of European power center interests and continues with examining the characteristics and foreign policies of the major powers based on the aforementioned five pillars. The main elements of the analysis and evaluation are based on the following methodologies: historical and political traditions, the outcome of their traditionally imbedded characteristics, internal and external character, behavior of these power centers in terms of various historical events, and their relationship with international organizations.
Europe and the connecting region’s security is still characterized by comprehensive historical changes, dynamic reconstruction, marketing and political competition, economic, political and military integration, regionalization, localization and nationalization. The world order established at the end of World War II started to lose its dynamics during the changes taking place in the late 1980s. These new global power centers started to form in North America, Europe and Asia. The American and European economic potential played a major role in this process. Paradoxically, the disappearance of three primary security factors (the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) failed to make the West more secure or less vulnerable, and overall security was not enhanced. A few questions arose: what was the reason? How did global security consolidate after the Cold War? And what are the new risk factors to affect Europe’s future?
This chapter’s goals are to briefly identify the motivation for priorities, study the global security challenges and relevant international processes that characterize and influence our daily lives. The topics of this chapter are security challenges, risk factors, their revisions, and how they fundamentally influence permanent values. Their basic importance justifies a continuous examination. We will develop the effects of risk factors in two sub-chapters, from generic toward specific, followed by global and European security dimensions, concluding with a comparison of the two.
European integration and the qualitative and quantitative military developments to defend it brought about continental security policy adjustments and these affect EU-US, EU-NATO and EU-Russia relationships. They also influence the EU role in global politics. This chapter’s goal is to show that the more combined European approach to economic, financial, cultural, and military force will have a significant impact on European security. The European Union’s common foreign and domestic policy, integrating the EU security and defense policy and the inclusive defensive functions not only strengthen the EU but also secure a long-term global future for the Union. The most recent step in that direction was the establishment of the European Security and Defense Union and the subsequent attempt to include this in the EU constitution. The sub-chapters address the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), ESDP and European Security and Defense Union (ESDU) development chronologies, enhancement stages and alternatives. Their establishment supports continental defensive capabilities – and despite their initial phase – already have respectable global prestige, influence and project additional capabilities for the Union.
- Can the EU and US foreign policies turn away from competition and more toward cooperation?
- What are the common economic and trade goals, which contribute to stronger transatlantic security?
- What other individual alternatives exist?
- Is the “divisible but not independent” concept feasible in transatlantic relationship, more specifically, can the Alliance’s European pillar and the Union’s ESDP strengthen simultaneously?
- After the events of September 11, March 11, and the second Gulf War, can we justifiably claim more common interests unite than divide Europe and the US?
- Do Brussels and Washington share the view that stable transatlantic ties are invaluable and necessary to maintain global security?
Since the Union’s most important external partner is the US, the dialectics and quality of the transatlantic cooperation fundamentally define today’s European security. Beyond the historical, cultural, economic, trade and security ties, the EU-US relationship is also a defining one because these are the world’s two strongest political and economic power centers. For this reason, the effects of the relationship and the misunderstandings are not limited to Europe and America, but have wide-ranging ramifications in world security. In view of the aforementioned issues, the thesis of this chapter is that the three most important elements of the transatlantic relationship are:
- ESDP development and the generated rules
- US foreign policy and as a subset its Europe-oriented policies
- ESDP-NATO confrontations
Reviewing these three elements it becomes evident that the European integration aided the expansion of the “unified” European power center modifies the long-standing status quo and receives different interpretation in the US and Europe. In view of these issues and looking at the EU expansions, enhancement of the common European security, defense policy and US foreign policy, we can safely state the existence of a number of ambiguous issues and visualize the unpredictable alternatives and contradictions for the future as well.
Today’s European disintegration processes occur in a Europe free from artificial borders with the EU and NATO as the basic dimensions. Considering the former is a Europe-specific economic, social, political and security union and the latter is more of a political, security and military organization encompassing the Northern hemisphere, the nucleus of the two – based on their nature – cannot be united. Naturally, since political, economic and social areas dominate over security and defense, in the European integration process, EU membership is the primary goal. The Union’s primacy is also supported by the way its development processes, the supra- and super-national advancement phase’s implementation not only changes EU-member’s legal status in NATO but simultaneously establishes new value systems and security circumstances on the continent. In other words, the Alliance’s future depends more on the EU than vice versa. From the Union’s standpoint, NATO remains important but is degraded to a subordinate role while it confronts the Union on numerous functional areas. In the midst of these circumstances, “EU-function” is a fundamental concept.