The Transatlantic Bargain - A Literary Review
by Mr. Mark Ducasse
What is the Transatlantic Bargain?
In decades past, the implied Transatlantic Bargain was West European willingness to build strong political, military and economic links with the United States and where appropriate, follow American leadership, in return for America’s substantial resources and political commitment to keep Europe free and secure. Put another way, the United States agreed to defend Europe while benefiting from exercising leadership over a political block of like-minded nations and strong economies. This bargain became outmoded in the decade after the Berlin Wall came down, as many nations were much less concerned about defending their territorial boundaries from Russian aggression – with significant challenge to it being the US –led invasion of Iraq, where there was a dramatic break between US and Europe interests. While the 2010 Strategic Concept has defined in practice what NATO’s role should be going forward, the Allies have not yet reestablished a political-level transatlantic bargain to sustain that role. The commitment implied is continued American commitment to Europe’s own defense and security, in exchange for European political, economic and military support of common transatlantic security globally.