Thesis Title

Defending Europe, Exposing Europe: The Extended American Deterrent And Its Undoing

Date of Graduation

Spring 2001


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Ulrike Schumacher

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


Ever since the establishment of American Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1946 and the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949, the United States has extended its deterrent capability over Western Europe. This extended deterrent was designed to safeguard the vulnerably exposed Western European region from the seemingly expansionist tendencies of the USSR. Throughout the Cold War period NATO adopted different deterrent strategies at different times, each of which are analyzed in terms of the capability and credibility of the deterrent provided. After the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact in 1991, NATO adopted new roles and identified new threats that it is currently seeking to deter by way of an adapted strategy. The suitability and likely success of this strategy is evaluated, as well as the impact of the Alliance's new roles on extended deterrence. The European Union (EU) has engaged in a process of defense integration under its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The aims of, and motivations for, European defense integration are examined, as well as the levels of integration envisaged. Within NATO this process has been recognized and endorsed as the creation of a European Defense and Security Identity (ESDI). However, the potential for future overlap and disharmony between the EU and NATO is clear, and so the possible practical problems that the CFSP might pose for the Alliance are assessed.


© Timothy Williams