The War on Terror: Implications For the Future of U.S. Relations With France and Germany

Date of Graduation

Summer 2004


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Over the last thirty years, the United States has seen a rise in terrorist acts against its citizens, both at home and abroad. Throughout this time, laws were enacted and other measures were taken to thwart terrorist acts before they took place. Then, in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States declared a Global War on Terror (GWOT). In the wake of this event, Europe pledged its support to the United States in the GWOT and several European states have lived up to this guarantee by apprehending terrorists, halting terrorist financing, and fighting alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places around the world. European states have assured their support for the War on Terror not only because of their relationships with the United States as allies, but also because they have been the target of terrorist activities and have a vested interest in ending terrorism. Yet recently several European states have revoked their support for U.S. actions in the GWOT, particularly in Iraq. Why, given their experience with terrorism, have France and Germany turned against the United States in this War on Terror and how will this affect future relations with these countries? To answer this question, this paper wll review the recent history (1970s-present) of international terrorist incidents in France and Germany and explore how these incidents affected national security policies in these states. It will look at the ways in which France and Germany have assisted the United States in the GWOT, as well as the ways in which they have hindered progress in this war. An analysis of the attitudes of the French and German governments toward the United States and its national security policies will provide an outlook for potential future relations between these three countries.


alliances, national security, security interests, terrorism, transatlantic relationships

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Thomas S. Tholen