Constantin Hlihor

 Dragoş Năcuţă



After 13 years from the collapse of the security sisteme characterized by American-Soviet bipolarity, which had established the world order for fifty years the analysis of the decisions and actions of international political actors, offers new elements for a wider interpretation of transformations occurred in the geopolitical environment at a global level.

The political decisions in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, the terrorist attacks in the United States and the Iraq War represent the most important and relevant actions which will influence the future of the international geopolitical environment. Thus, if the anti American terrorist attaks triggerd a new start of the new global America΄s policy, acknowledged also as a explicative frame for the most of events and subsequent political decisions, the crisis generated by the American intention to attack Iraq and the war development, represent a complex phenomenon, with long term influences on the international policies of the states also present on the configuration process of a both European and global security system architecture.

In opposition with the political actions generated by the 11-th September attacks, that also triggered, as far as the international relations system, is concerned unanimity, approval, multilateral support, enhanced cooperation and legal support, the Iraq war created some political, diplomatic and economic series of contradictory reactions, as fellings of frustration, disapproval or even diplomatic conflicts and strategically regrouping.

Although it is very probably that the United States wanted to deal with the Iraqi regime at a certain time, the anti-American terrorist attacks had reveald the moment for thaht. On the 17 September 2001 the american president signed a document wich confirmed the American intention to fight against international terrorism. The panic and the horror unleashed by the attacks had the role to credit USA with trust and to offer the moral support or even justification for its all subsequent actions. America was looked at with sympathy and compassion and all the states and organizations offered their support, either symbolic or real to fight against this plague named terrorism. 

This support even took the form of bilateral and multilateral agreements on counterterrorism, similary to the one signed with Russia in May 2002, which reaffirmed “the previous arrangements expressed before the 21st of October 2001 had the role to fight against terrorism of all forms, and we honor the international coalition efforts against the terrorism beginning with the tragic events of the 11th September 2001.”[1] That was a legalization of an important institutional framework based on international agreements, between US and Russia (in this case), which solicited the international organizations΄ support – G8, European Union, OSCE, 6+2 Group, NATO-Russia Committee – to enhance bilateral, regional and multilateral efforts, actions that demanded low enforcement, intelligence, but also diplomatic, political and economic activities.

The international political system had never seen such unanimity in admitting and solving problems. The entire institutional arsenal, at a bilateral, regional and multilateral level, was in the hands of the community interest while the United States had the leading role in this retaliatory mission. The proportion and the significance of those acts, experimented just in the case of the United Nation Organization, were also invested with international authority, symbolical power and the liberty of action by the leading nation: USA. Obviously, other states that suffered from terrorist threat where ready to proceed with institutional adjustments meant to deal with this problem – this was also seen as an opportunity to enhance power and social control.

Without insisting on the american power and other authority configurations in 2002, we must specify that this enormous politically, institutionally, economic and symbolic investment, was left unfinished. What does this mean? The Afghanistan war nither ended by capturing the leaders of the “Al-Qaida”- network, nor by the annihilating or destroyng the terrorist groups, wich ment the removal of the Taliban regime form Afghanistan. Little on the contrary, it was pretty much, but still not enough. Some analysts considered that the stake in Afghan war was much more than fighting against terrorism.

The Iraq War and the Separation in Terms of Interests

Although there were some comments, about a possible American next target, after the Afghan war, early soundings of America΄s intention to destroy the Iraqi regime, generated the first disaaprovals of the international community. This is why the connection between the counterterrorism and the Iraqi regime could be found in the fight against the hostile international cooperation regimes, which also supported financially and logistically the terrorist groups. These were exactly the efforts made by the American and British diplomats to find and explain the link between Al-Qaida and the Iraqi regime. The connections were easily rejected, because the intelligence reports that made the analysis had never convinced the international community, already engaged in fight against the terrorism, of the necessity of this kind of actions, especially when the political, economical and strategic consequences far beyond their capacity of control.

As the American pressure on Iraq increased, many states had intensified their diplomatic actions to regroup around UN, considered by some of them the only international organization capable to stop, through unilateral actions, the deterioration of international relationships. Even though, UN and US threats, to comply with the United Nations resolutions, adressed to Iraqi regime had began in November 2001, states and organizations did not react until the United States tried to force UN to adopt a firm position. That’s how the 1441, 1447 and 1454 UN resolutions appeared, stipulating more firmly the international community requirements as far as the Iraqi regime.

Consequently the diplomatic conflict wich was concerned last until the end of the Iraq war started. The United States of America begun the attack of the Iraqi regime with its entire political, diplomatic and military force.

In March 2002, the number of Americans who appreciated the policy of G.W.Bush was very high (82 %). 88 % of Americans where approved the President΄s activity in the war against terrorism, although they were 10% fewer beginning with October 2001 and finally only 66% considered as adequate the way, that Presidency acted to prevent terrorism, also 72% of them supporting a military intervention to remove the Saddam regime.[2]

America had a strong internal support as well as allies abroad, even thuogh the support of the president decreased, as the diplomatic crises had extended. The Great Britain, Canada, Australia, countries form Europe, Asia, Latin America offered diplomatic or military support for a military intervention against Saddam regime. Eloquently is the case of the American query to exempt on the national territories of other states the American military personnel from the law trials during antiterrorist war; Romania was one of the European countries that offered that kind of protection to American soldiers, incurring critics from European Union partners. That represented an important American test to verify the sustainability of the project, as well as the new allies.

Moreover, American troops were already in the Gulf region and had their aircrafts patrolling above the excluding area in Northern and Southern Iraq, military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey and the Marine fleets were in the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean See.

Even though US officially declared the specific term of disarming the Iraqi regime (among other objectives[3]), analysts affirm that other interests reprersented the American motivations in this war[4]:

- To complete military operations that had begun in the first Gulf war and to provide regional security trough massive military presence;

- To diversify the oil supply of United States and to control the transport routes and terminals from Gulf area;

- To strategic reshape the Middle East in order to start the modernization of the muslim-Arab world, to integrate it in the democratic system and to install the regional prosperity;

- Implication of Americans in the eradication process in the center of the terrorist phenomenon.

- To rebalance the power lines in Middle East, to reduce the pressure on Israel, Turkey, to create the Palestinian State.

- To strengthen military support for America΄s interests in the Caspian region and also in communications lines and transport routes towards safe regions.

In this political-diplomatic conflict between USA, on one side, and France-Germany-Russia, on the other side, the US leading alliance was numerical inferior but strategically superior. The Defense Secretary Deputy, Paul Wolfowitz stated that USA had succeeded to form a “formidable alliance” that would support American policy concerning the Iraqi crises. The geostrategic significance and the power of their allies was the main argument of Americans.[5] The countries of Commonwealth, leaded by Great Britain, also assured military capabilities for U.S., if the situation required, but also the minimum legitimacy of his international actions. Without the force of Blair΄s political support, United States would have had a problem in justifying their actions.

From American perspective, the opposition of some occidental economic powers, wich were also reliable partners for America, didn’t represent an insurmountable obstacle. The single concern for Americans was not to prolong forever the expectation, given the fact that the dollar had started to lower on the financial markets, the price of the oil barrel continued to be high and the American economy would have been affected on long and medium term. Having the experience and the precedent of the war from Bosnia and Kosovo, when states from the Western Europe that now opposed to action, took part at it, the precedent of declaring the war without having the agreement of the NATO Security Council, served as a base of negotiation and legitimating the American action, if they ever needed it for removing (turning out) the political regime in Baghdad. The state that caused serious problems to Americans was Turkey, for consenting to the opening of a front in the north of Iraq, from the Turkish territory; the leadership from Ankara negotiated toughly the conditions for supporting this plan. Although they didn’t receive the necessary sums of money from the Turkish economy, the Turkish Allies raised serious problems to tue American army, delaying the start and the end of the war – 40 American transport ships loaded with military equipment and personnel had to go around the entire Arabian Peninsula in order to serve the U.S.Army.

As far as the East European American allies, were concerned countries as Romania and Bulgaria, because of their categorical position on the American administration side, provoked the disaproval of France, President Chirac declaring that the candidates pro-American attitude will have consequences on the admission in the European Union. Romania and Bulgaria made public their opinions, from the very first moments of the crises and, although President Bush considered the allies that US reunites to be “a coalition of voluntary states”, an American Senator appreciated that it will be much more correct to speak about a “coalition of bribed states”.[6] Romania and Bulgaria have risked their diplomatic relation with other states and could be targets for terrorist attacks, stated Los Angeles Times in March 11, 2003. American administration declared at the beginning of the war that it will do its best to reward the political behavior of Romania and Bulgaria, President Bush sent Don Evans, Secretary of Commerce of United States, for thanking those countries and announcing a series of American investments and granting them the status of “functional market economy”. Even if other Eastern and Central European States supported American policy, countries as Hungary, Poland, Czechs, and the Baltic States were much more moderate in statements and actions. Romania and Bulgaria bet on an economical and political compensation in exchange for their support.

Regarding the relations with Russia, USA went up to threatening it with economical and geopolitical losses if Russia used its veto at the Security Council of UN to reject the US resolution to apply military actions against Iraq[7].

Some conclusions can be drawn from the above statements:

- Security Council could not obstruct USA actions;

- No other international actor could influence the American decision to attack Iraq;

- US negotiated economic and political interests only with reliable allies, excluding in their decision the sharing of economical benefits with important strategically partners such as Germany;

- US reaffirmed its hegemonic position on the international political arena in difficult geopolitical conditions. Furthermore, US threatened with retaliation the opposing countries;

- The international law system, including institutions created to ensure stability and prevention of wars, demonstrated that they were not adapted, at that moment, to this kind of political, diplomatic and military confrontation and that they still didn΄t have the capability to oppose US policies.

- This political and diplomatic conflict revealed the vulnerability of European and international institutions in front of an American challenge.

France, on the other side, led a much more heterogeneous coalition than US. Germany, Russia, China, India, Muslim countries and states from different continents along with France did not support an American intervention without UN Security Council approval. French role in this international action meant to limit the American position was obvious; France organized a diplomatic campaign of an international rally on all continents. 

Not only France supported the safeguard of the international relations system based on the law. “It is an attitude based on the international law and on the international community capacity to solve crises without making automatically use of military force”, declared the Spokesman of the French Government on March 13 2003.[8] In fact, France motivations are far more complex. France, like other European countries – Russia for instance – had their economic interests in the Persian Gulf region, interests already compromised by the American intervention. French companies had contracts in Iraq, within the Oil for Food Program, the same with the Russian companies that collaborated for 15 years with the Iraq in oil industry. Despite of the French-Iraqi economic cooperation, those elements could not represent the fundamental motivation for its opposition to American intervention. Being the threats with economic retaliation and loss of possible participation at post-war Iraq reconstruction, France should have had to moderate its political speech about war and start negotiating with America. It’s obviously that other geopolitical consideration laid at the basis of Paris΄ political decision. France sought the opportunity of creating a power balance capable to offer it the desired credibility and authority in the international system. As a single actor on the international stage, France ceased to play a significant role in the international relations since the end of the First World War but as an actor within the European Union, its importance is enhanced by the entire institutional mechanism that functions in Bruxelles. It is difficult to understand how Germany rallied to the French position despite its 50 years lasting strategic partnership with USA, within transatlantic relation, but it’s sure that Germany expectations are related to the common European political project based on institutionalism and cooperation that will function for a long time from now on. France lost much more in the economic field than if it had cooperated with the Americans but it hopes that the political and economic outcome that followed the confrontation will make the difference on long term. Since the end of the Cold War, French companies had major losses – in oil field and armament sales - in Middle East and it is possible that France intended to try to balance power relations through diplomatic efforts.

Even if France had a history of special relations with the Arab countries, it couldn’t do anything to prevent the American action toward getting control over this geostrategic area. Michele Alliot-Marie declared in an interview, granted to a Greek newspaper, that France opposes to “the preemptive wars” and it wants to create a “peaceful disarmament organization” in view of preventing international crises[9]. French officials consider that “the preemptive war concept is opposed to the collective security that is based on the respect of international legitimacy and authority of Security Council”. Underlining that even other countries could represent “a threat to peace”, countries such as North Korea, the French minister declared that “for this reason, France solicits the creation of an efficient organization for peaceful disarming, mechanism meant to offer guaranties to international community”.[10] This means that the French attempt to adapt the Western interests within world geostrategic area trough its institutionalism, is either incapacity to adapt means to new realities, either a non-realistic strategic option. The fact that there are no reliable institutions to deal with security in a specific part of the world and the fact that French, along with other states, cannot create these institutions, shows its weakness in international arena and that it cannot ask for supplementary rights. The discrepancy between French external political intentions and reality seems the same with the difference between the French external political project and the European project. As the former French Foreign Minister, Hubert Vedrine[11] explained in March 2002, France has made progress in adapting its institutional mechanism toward a fast evaluation of external political decisions because “we don’t want to influence neither the France expressions nor its capacity to negotiate”[12]. It is obviously that France policy is fully adapted to the European realities but concerning other geostrategic areas, France cannot provide or create more security or crises management. France position adopted in the case of Cote d’Ivoire is typically for France external policy: applying military procedures to solve a conflict, even if affects French interests, is taking place with the necessary delay to exhaust diplomatic actions.

France intention to use its veto and to stimulate other state to do so, arouse major critics from its allies who accused Paris supports for authoritarian regimes, allegations expressed considerations that France acted as an “enemy” and should be treated in consequence[13].

Even if France call for use of international in crises case and some of its intentions were honorable, there are few elements that raise questions about its motivations:

- respecting UN resolution and continuing with international inspections prolonged Iraqi people sufferance as much as solving fast the crises; French partisan position, as much as other powers, did only start the war and make speculations on America legitimacy of action; it is possible that unanimity with regard international pressures would have made possible full cooperation of Saddam, if not his peaceful removal;

- the French support for an authoritarian regime, with consequences on human rights and humanitarian catastrophes by using a legal practice that proved its inefficiency in several occasions – Bosnia, Kosovo – could offer justification for other oppressive regimes in other world regions. These raise a question that is it worth putting in balance people’s sufferance with the maintaining of juridical and institutional statu-quo?

- Considering UN the only “source of legitimacy” for an international action, limited at this moment, to actions and opportunities meant to urge the extension of democracy and the security of human rights in the world;

- France tendency toward strategic dominance is under its economic, politic and military capabilities – that was the reason of trying to gain advantages in a favorable geostrategic situation.

Thus, even if its intentions with regard of European Union and the creation of a European defense and security identity are commendable, those have to be put in balance with a more widely vision of solving crises without a military force capable to provide credible threats. It configures two perspectives regarding security projection in world: one is based on international law and enhancing cooperation within a unite Europe and the other one of based is force threat followed by cooperation. France will be part in the first camp.

Regarding Germany, anti-American policy of Gerhard Schroeder Government is something new in transatlantic relations. Despite inconceivable two years ago, Germany fallowed France diplomatic campaign without hesitations. Although the German press condemned sometimes Schroeder foreign policy, the German-American partnerships abandon could have consequences on long term even though US declared that that it is willing to “ignore” for the moment Berlins aggressiveness. The economic interdependence of German stockholders in multinational corporations makes difficult the Germany reprisal trough economic instruments. In fact, United States preoccupation for its partner is much more profound then this particularly diplomatic conflict. If European Union does not succeed in becoming an autonomous military power, the partnership will be renewed.

Concerning Russia, US threatened a couple of times that it was going to revenge any attempt of opposal in the Security Council, it declared that they would cease their cooperation in the energetic, strategic, military partnership and even clearing investments. An interesting fact is that, even though the American-Russian partnership was considering to based on the cooperation in the energy sector, esspecially the oil one, new studies revealed that the cooperation should be built in other fields like the nuclear one.[14] The focus on oil had eclipsed the fields where American interests could successfully cooperate with the Russian interests: the development of new technologies to produce nuclear energy and the nuclear waste management, field of tremendous benefit for both sides, as the Russian analysts, David and Nadejda Victor demonstrate. Even though American policy was not completely adequate in supporting of the American-Russian partnership, it is certain that they have special interests in developing it. If American investments did not succeed in supporting economic recovery and development of Russia, the cooperation in security matter prevails in front of other domains. According to an American official, at the end of war in Iraq, Russia “should be forgiven” – when France should be “punished” and Germany “ignored” – demonstrate the importance of this relation.

On the Russian side, President Putin΄s statement from March 17 2003 was edifying for its attitude during the diplomatic conflict and after even more important, for the entire group formed with France and Germany. “It is a first step toward a multipolar world”, declared Vladimir Putin, commenting in Paris, on February 10th, the France-German-Russia tripartite statement against the war.[15] The general intention of the Russian diplomacy is the creation of a international relation system which is not completely dominated by the winner of the Cold War, meaning the US, and that allows the other powers a maneuver range and the possibility to influence Washington’s external policies. The conditions being given, Ilia Fabricinikov, researcher at the Political Study Center – PIR, stated that an imposed war, won by the USA, would not correspond to Russian aspirations. Apart from personal opinions, Russia did not indanger its partnership with the USA, but earned the European partners respect, economic partners much more important than those across the Ocean.

Even if France,Germany and Russia did not have any geopolitical or geostrategic advantage, in the middle of Iraq΄s crises, these states have succeeded to rally on the common point and create the premise of a possible future counterpart to the American hegemony; it is not possible for the moment, but there are new opportunities for the three partners.

As far as NATO is concerned the Iraq΄s crises and its end brought again, in specialists attention, the role and the capacity of the Alliance to face the threats of the XXIth century. The debates related to military intervention outside (???) influence and legal area were followed by those concerning the readiness (???) of the Alliance to play a key role in the reinforcement of peace in Iraq but it seems that Germany has categorically opposed to that strategy. NATO decided its neutrality in this conflict, rejecting even the security guaranties for Turkey (a week after Germany decided to send in Turkey its AWACS aircraft). Besides, NATO has much more accurate objectives as the intensive integration of new members, of the candidates, as well as its decision making.

Related to the European Union, the diplomatic conflict and the Iraq war revealed the weakness of this European institution, the separation between states on this subject being given. The announced war against the Saddam regime divided the European Union, by creating to camps with irreconcilable positions; their different opinion conflict canceled year and year if efforts towards European security and defense project (???). The High Commissar for common foreign and security politics of EU, used to his mediator role in reconcile the disagreements, was forced at the end of February to recognize his failure: “That day, all was destroyed, because each part sustained totally different positions, without even trying to give consideration to a compromise solution”, declared an European diplomat.[16]

The European Summit held in Brussels on March 20 this year, adopted a common statement concerned Iraq, reaffirming the “fundamental role” of the United Nations in the international relations and gave promises for a humanitarian aid of EU and demanded protection of the territorial integrity of Iraq.[17] According to diplomatic sources, the official text, that was adopted much more rapidly, in an extremely divided context over Iraq΄s crises, was stating the necessity that the UN “continues to have a central role, during and after the actual crises”. On the other side, the document sustains the protection of “territorial integrity, sovereignty and political stability in Iraq”. It is obviously that the EU failed to produce the necessary consensus over a political common decision and that was happened because of the opposing interests involved in this conflict.

At this point the evolution events might lead to a series of conclusions concerning ulterior developments on the European and international stage:

- The diplomatic conflict between the two camps, the US and its opponents, was a powerfull conflict, that pursued the balance of power in the world and an attempt to break the American hegemony.

- France, Germany and Russia have not succeeded in creating a counterpart of the US security projection system; they have obtained just a symbolic advantage in the contingency of a Russian participation to institutional security mechanism in Europe and, probably, the promise of an enhanced economic cooperation on the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis.

- The Iraqi crises reconfirmed the hegemonic position of the United States within the international relations system.

- The diplomatic conflict between the two sides will continue after the end of the war, motivation strong enough to enable us to affirm that the conflict has much more profound motivations and that it is the result of different goals over the new world security at different levels.

Some analysts consider that this political and diplomatic conflict, which burst out in the Iraqi crises, has deeper roots. This phenomenon could be explained through a series of geopolitical projects with civilizing vocation which coordinates the international actors’ policies. The two political parties, US with its allies and France-Germany-Russia axis and its supporters propose different patterns of evolution in the international relation system.

Gerard Dussouy analised these security patterns of the political future of the world through the perspective of three geopolitical scenarios.[18] Also he considers that, on the basis of a dialectics homogenization/ heterogeneity process, might had to occur 3 patterns in the new world order:

1.The planetary pattern concerning the perspective of the world and the global communication;

2.The hegemonic homogenization pattern;

3.Antagonist heterogeneous pattern or disorder.[19]

Thus, according to his theory, the first pattern represents the dominant perspective in the world and both security projects, that we mentioned are included in this perspective. His supporters’ state that it deals with harmonious order of world business based on a universaly spread democracy, despite cultural specificity, the generalization of mass consumption and trade. The modernization, the uniformity of the societies generates a community, that guaranties universal peace and in which communication plays an important role in the “annihilation of will power and of violence in interstate relations, eliminating the irrational attitudes of political leaders.”

Opposed to this convergence of change and communication forces is the resurection of laical or clerical nationalisms, the demographic curve outburst viewed as a sign of cultural burst. Also, contradictory tendencies appear in the concerning western culture and the acculturation process can raise questions about its cultural identity. The American pattern has more chances to undergo as an integration project of “a double social and moral dimension“– seen as an equivalent of democracy, human rights and free market. In this pattern, the difference between the US and EU will be considerable and concessions as well as counterparts supported by the democratic ideal throws questions at the system΄s conversion towards democracy. Cultural dialog will mean just accommodation and the “neutral languages” acquisition, such as English, produce cultural conservation. The most important assumption is that it is less likely that western values would be capable to assimilate all cultures without being itself influenced. Cooperation in the security field assures the future spread of democracy throughout history meaning that the hegemonic interventions do not solved the crises. The paradox is that as the dialog and institutional negotiations enhance, security is far from being reached. Communication on the other hand creates a feeling much stronger then the economy. Despite the American hegemony and its proclivity to mediatizate its culture, humanity remains split in mental patterns[20]. Even though America controles, at a global level, most of the political and economic messages, we cannot speak about a global public opinion. Promoting the democracy in the detriment of a much stronger national environment is the contemporary paradigm. Even though the UN configures a new manner of international relations, this institution cannot represent the future of an alliance with a universal vocation. The globalization and the correlative trends of economic regionalization have accelerated the negotiation proceses and so the transparency in international relations.

The “heterogeneously homogenization” and the “disorder” patterns raise much more contradictory problems and don’t produce order principles. These patterns state that the self-determination right triggers imperialist nostalgias. Also state dismantling raised questions about equity in international relations. The hegemonic homogenization pattern is considered to be a cautious manner to go back to interdependency or integration paradigm because it expresses an inadequate process of a stable power structure which has the tendency to uniform national and social entities through the same laws.

We think that three aspects compete to its accomplishment:

- Through globalization, the burst of welfare through a new form of transnational capitalism – “the new economy[21]” assisted by the communication regulatory function;

- The demographic equilibrium and the integration of the population;

- Actors ideological conformation which suggest 2 scenarios: pax Americana or pax democratica.

Moreover, NATO’s expansion is considered to be the fulfillment of an American internal foreign policy and of a strategic objective in Europe, without complying with the European requests[20] just like the globalization collects resources and direct them to the American economy. The international organizations reform by sharing the roles and responsibilities is not, at least for the moment, an American priority because it could undermine the US position in the world. And without the US, such a reform is impossible.

The antagonist heterogeneity or disorder is based on binomial optimism/pessimism related with the future potential of international relations system. The recurrence of a series of phenomena such as the “feudal”[23] way to go back to firms autonomy or the recurrence to the territorial or cultural reshape is explained as a double phenomenon of saturation and proliferation that threatens the world with disorder.

The phenomenon’s proportion is related to two principles: sensitivity and vulnerability. “Within a atomizing logics of capitalism, the modern western concept on the world, shocked them because of its impotence to built a new world order”.[24] This skepticism manifests itself at two levels: a theoretical one and a practical one. The ideologic incapacity to shape the international environment is a drift of values. From the practical point of view, the absence of a shared and admitted global conception prevent us from believing in the creation of a normal society. The frontier denial becomes another saturation source. The globalization of the work market creates big companies new “transnational feudalism”[25] considered as a capitalism counter reform. The social perspectives saturation risk to accelerate along with the rising heterogeneity of populations and the intensified migratory fluxes; those think along with other phenomena creates profound and frustrating contradictions. Attitudes and behaviors which derive from such ideological discrepancies shape the international political environment related to the outbreak and the development of the crises.

State policies regarding relevant action toward redefining security environment in Europe, and not only, reflects one or more tendencies within the three patterns. If for the United States the globalization and hegemonic homogenization fits just well, the contrary tendencies within the second pattern, combined with elements within the disorder and globalization scenarios define the entire European decisional arsenal regarding its future.

The United States policy is in the favor of maintaining actual hegemony given the fact that it permits the pursuing of its national interests without being punished. The US lead the most significant security alliance in Europe and its power allows ---- taking major decisions sometimes just by itself. The NATO enlargement was an American decision and not a European one, backed just by the Germans who wanted a territorial protection from its former enemy Russia. Gradually, the American attention was directed to the Middle East area and the center of Eurasia[26], to rich oil areas; there the United States tries to create a security system that will allow its safe exploitation.[27]

The American security strategy is based on the extent role of regional security alliances such as NATO.[28] The well-known American analyst, Zbigniew Brzezinski considered that America has an additional 4 major characteristics of its power, attributes that we can consider also strategic priorities:

1.Economic regional cooperation (APC, NAFTA) and through international specialized organizations such as World Bank, IMF, WTO;

2.Proceedings which stress consensus based decisions even if they are dominated by US;

3.The preference for democratic relations between the most important alliance members;

4.A judiciary and constitutional world elementary structure.[29]

Obviously some characteristics of the American foreign policy, as Brzezinki later admitted, are no longer representing its interests, as the decision to renounce to the juridical international support for its actions in the Iraq crises demonstrate.

America promotes its own global security project because it is considered that a world without their power is much less secure and with much less prosperity. Brzezinski states that the US should have three major political objectives after the Cold War: avoiding the anarchy, blocking the rise of another rival concerning power and prolonging its supremacy.[30] The recent events occurred on the international stage can confirm the American international policy trend. By seeking and stimulating strategic partnerships in Europe, Middle East and in the Far East, US tries to built new security systems that permit the achievement of its objectives. USA would want to see their allies – especially from the NATO – engaged in actions outside its legal influence area and, also, that Europe could handle its own security problems without eliminating, of course, the transatlantic relation within the European security architecture. In order to promote these strategic goals at global level, America relies on its allies or “geopolitical players” as well as on “ its geopolitical pivots”[31] and takes care of their protection and welfare. Countries such as Germany, Turkey and Japan will always be supported for their geostrategic significance and for their capability to activate on the international stage.

The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have showed the geostrategic and geopolitical importance of Eurasia for America. The US, the only world superpower, started the conquest of the “heartland”. American troops are for the first time in history in the heart of the Eurasian continent with the clear intention to build a security system that will allow them to stay as long as it is necessary. The US have many strategic priorities in the most relevant areas of the world:

- The construction of a lasting relation with China, seen as the regional power;[32]

- The pacifying of the so called “Eurasia Balkans”;

- The European integration and its consolidation;

- An adequate relation with Russia and drawing it in a series of regional and global security projects.

Those projects proove that America is determined to influence in the future, the security of the global policy and the result of those efforts will produce a new world security architecture. The United States have the power and the political will to project and shape the future of the world but that does not mean that its policies will not be influenced by other international players. But the course of action belongs to the US.

On the other side, the European project led by France and Germany, within the European Union, whose divergent interests with US don’t limit to the access and control of important geopolitic areas, aim at the creation of a stable and secure economic and political area.

But Europe is in a much complex situation then the Unites States are. Its non-unitary cultural characteristics and the necessary time for its institutional edifice reflects in its problems but this does not mean that they will not succeed in this project. Europe still has problems with the defining and the functioning of its institutions and that reflects in the promotion of its international projects. Much more stable than other geographical areas, the European Union is an important player end hopes to become much more powerful than it is now. The European project of building new security architecture is based on a legitimate and feasible international juridical system but raises serious doubts, how much time it will lost about and about the mechanism capacity to work in conditions of rapid change and of multiplying challenges of today΄s world. But time will decide which project is the most adapted one for the challenges of the future.

It’s hard to assert that the European Union is more democratic than the USA but the European integration project is one of most innovating cohabitating systems known to human kind and its decision mechanisms are a great example for the political communities of the present.

The difference between pan-European development pattern, as referring to the liberal-institutionalist perspective of Europe, and the American communitarian perspective could be decisive in the foreign policy in which the rapidity of the American decision process could not be matched by the complex and heavy European mechanism. If the dispute for resources and markets has begun than the US started with multiple advantages: it is the only superpower, no other competitor can reach its military and technologic capabilities, the international relation system don’t permit to sanction its international political behavior and the economy and the states are more adapted than ever to competition.

The asymmetric confrontation on different levels favors hegemonic homogenization but does not eliminate opposing tendencies and if the United States will have a moment of weakness, the European Union and other players will certainly take advantage of it. Those two political projects with civilizing vocation, the American and the European, will confront in future and will influence the political future of humanity.



[1] White House Press Release, May 24, 2002.
[2] Poll Finds Support for Bush, War on Terrorism Isn’t Fading – Gary Langer, ABC News,,
[3] Donald Rumsfeld declarations about American objectives in Iraq, 22 March 2003, Mediafax.
[4] Economist Nicolas Bavarez, L’Expansion, February 2003; Erich Marquardt, US Government Objectives in Iraq, Power and Interest News Report, 21 March 2003.
[5] Mediafax, 11 March 2003.
[6] Los Angeles times, 11 March 2003.
[7] Alexander Vershbow, American ambassador Moscow warned, in an interview, that Russia could suffer economic and geopolitical losses if will use its veto in UN Security Council to reject US resolution that authorize military action against Iraq, Mediafax, 11 March 2003.
[8] Mediafax, 13 March 2003.
[9] French Defense Ministry interview, Michele Alliot-Marie in greek Elefterotypia newspaper, quoted by Mediafax, 14 March 2003.
[10] Idem.
[11] „Cohabitation, Europe: comment se fabrique la politique etrangère?” In Politique Etrangere, 4/2002.
[12] Idem, p. 864.
[13] Statement of the president of International relations Affaires Subcommittee within the Representing Chamber, republican Douglas Bereuter, quoted by Mediafax, 17martie 2003.
[14] „Axis of Oil?”, David G. Victor and Nadejda M. Victor, Froreign Affaires, March/April 2003.
[15] Mediafax, 17 March 2003.
[16] France Presse comment, quoted by Mediafax, 16 March 2003.
[17] Mediafax, 20 martie 2003.
[18] Gerard Dussouy, Quelle géopolitique au XXI siècle, Éditions Complexe, 2001.
[19] Idem, p. 290.
Idem, p. 294.
[20] Idem, p. 294.
[21] Apud, Alan Greenspan, President of Federal Reserve, p. 301.
[22] Apud, Pascal Boniface, p. 305.
[23] Idem, p. 308.
[24] Idem, p. 310.
[25] Idem, p. 311.
[26] NATO and the Caspian Security: a Mission Too Far?, Richard Sokolski, Tanya Charlick-Poley, Rand.
[27] A New Persian Gulf Security System, Andrew Rathmell, Theodore Karasik, and David Gompert, Rand 2003.
[28] The Grand Chessboard, Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1997, romanian edition, Univers Enciclopedic, 1999.
[29] Idem, p. 40-41.
[30] Idem, p. 236.
[31] Idem, p. 30.
[32] Idem, p. 214.
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