Possibilities for post-NATO transatlantic relations
As a former U.S. diplomat in Europe, John W. Holmes watched the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) fulfill its purpose with the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In The United States and Europe after the Cold War, he explores the possibilities for future transatlantic relations in light of NATO's ebbing usefulness. Finding that a basis still exists for an alliance between the United States and the European Union, Holmes sets forth a comprehensive plan for establishing an association as long-lasting and profitable as the one now drawing to a close.
Holmes contends that a partnership with the United States continues to be Europe's best defense against external threats, and he enumerates compelling economic reasons for transatlantic cooperation, including the countries' highly interdependent economies and their common fear of competition from East Asia. Identifying Western Europe as the most congenial, most valuable ally of the United States, Holmes describes an alliance as critical for the United States since, by itself, it cannot hope to dominate international relations forever.
Holmes advocates a solid foundation for the alliance, one that approaches a formal economic union. He lists key considerations for the construction of a new relationship, including the growing impatience of Americans and Europeans with substantial U.S. military contingents in Europe, the changing nature of intra-European relations, and the need for a distribution of power more equitable than that of NATO.
John W. Holmes is a former American diplomat who specializes in European affairs and was for several years responsible for U.S. relations with the European Community. He is editor of Maelstrom: The United States, Southern Europe, and the Challenges of the Mediterranean.