Courtesy Reuters


One of the most striking consequences of the Bush administration's foreign policy tenure has been the collapse of the Atlantic alliance. Long considered America's most important alliance and a benchmark by which a president's foreign policy skill is measured, the U.S.-European relationship has been shaken to its foundations over a series of disputes that culminated in the U.S.-led war in Iraq. To be sure, there have been rows across the Atlantic before: American opposition to the seizure of the Suez Canal by French, British, and Israeli troops in the 1950s; France's withdrawal from NATO's integrated military command in the 1960s; the battle over Euromissiles in the early 1980s; and the deep acrimony over how to stop war in the Balkans a decade ago. Still, the current rift has been unprecedented in its scope, intensity, and, at times, pettiness.

Several factors make the recent collapse in transatlantic

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

  • Ronald D. Asmus is a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Opening NATO's Door: How the Alliance Remade Itself for a New Era and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 1997 to 2000.
  • More By Ronald D. Asmus