U.S.-Europe Relations

March 23, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 12
Is the historic trans-Atlantic alliance still relevant?
By Roland Flamini


President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron arrive at the White House Rose Garden (AFP/Getty Images/Mandel Ngan)
President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron arrive at the White House Rose Garden for a press conference on March 14, 2012. After discussing global economic woes and other shared problems, Obama said of America's alliance with Britain, “We stand together and we work together and we bleed together and we build together.” (AFP/Getty Images/Mandel Ngan)

Following World War II, the U.S. alliance with Western Europe stood as the cornerstone of American foreign policy in the face of Cold War threats from what was then the Soviet Union. Forged in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — the alliance's enduring defense pact — the partnership is rooted in the shared values of democracy, rule of law and free-market principles. But with the emergence of China and India as global economic powers, the Arab Spring revolutions and Iran's uncertain nuclear ambitions, the United States has shifted its political and security priorities to the Asia-Pacific region, leaving Europe worried that its historic ties with the United States are fraying. In May, President Obama will host two meetings of European leaders that could help define the trans-Atlantic alliance for years to come: a NATO summit in Chicago and a summit of the Group of 8 industrialized nations at Camp David, the presidential retreat.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Feb. 18, 2022  Fragile States
Apr. 23, 2021  U.S. Foreign Aid
Mar. 29, 2019  U.S. Foreign Policy in Transition
Apr. 14, 2017  Rethinking Foreign Aid
May 16, 2014  U.S. Global Engagement
Oct. 02, 2012  Rebuilding Haiti
Mar. 23, 2012  U.S.-Europe Relations
Jun. 17, 2011  Foreign Aid and National Security
Apr. 26, 2002  Foreign Aid After Sept. 11
Sep. 27, 1996  Reassessing Foreign Aid
Sep. 23, 1988  Foreign Aid: a Declining Commitment
Dec. 01, 1965  Development Aid for Poor Nations
Dec. 19, 1962  Foreign Aid Overhaul
Jun. 19, 1957  Population Growth and Foreign Aid
Dec. 12, 1956  Extension of Foreign Aid
Jan. 26, 1955  Aid to Asia
Feb. 04, 1953  Trade Policy and Foreign Aid
May 03, 1951  Future of Foreign Aid
Feb. 09, 1949  American Aid to Greece
Oct. 17, 1947  Conditions for American Aid
Jun. 11, 1947  Financial Aid to Foreign Countries
Aug. 06, 1940  American Relief of Famine in Europe
Feb. 16, 1940  Loans and Credits to Foreign Countries
Regional Political Affairs: Europe