Transatlantic crisis management remains less effective than the sum of its parts. Response efforts launched by Washington, NATO and the EU still reflect agendas that aim primarily to advance the respective interests of each security provider, rather than tackle needs on the ground. Western security organizations have struggled to escape silo effects and merge their separate efforts into a coherent whole. The issue has been in evidence not only when they have deployed abroad, but even when they have aimed to assert Western comity in the wake of disasters that struck North America or Europe: the ability of “the West” to provide security globally is hardly credible when its constituent parts cannot even translate their presumed solidarity into effective mutual help. Tactical disagreements compound the issue; in particular, the US and Europe still rely upon doctrines that ascribe divergent roles to the military and civilian components of crisis response. In addition, the two sides of the Atlantic repeatedly have undermined their unity of purpose as they have striven to defend supposed geopolitical spheres of influence against one another’s encroachment. Certainly, some of the more familiar impediments to US-European cooperation have been removed. Most notably, Washington in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan has understood that the “unipolar era” instead had turned into a fleeting “unipolar moment” – and that US interests were not threatened by a surfeit, but a dearth of credible security providers worldwide. As a result, America has lowered its guard against E/CSDP. Indeed, the US not only has applauded EU missions, but has contributed to their deployment with increasing enthusiasm: crossing a series of theological red lines in a mere few years, from Kosovo to Somalia. Yet, new obstacles to transatlantic cooperation have arisen as old impediments have faded – or indeed because the latter were receding. Most importantly, once the US came around to calling for the EU’s strategic assertion, the Union struggled to take up the gauntlet. Washington’s change of heart challenged EU member states to move beyond the familiar confines of transatlantic theological debates, and prove that the Union could be a competent security provider. Yet the removal of doctrinal smokescreens has shed a cruel light on the chasm that separates CSDP’s

ambitions from its actual capabilities. Even in the civilian field, Europe, in spite of its notional support for “comprehensive approaches,” has struggled to deploy assets commensurate with its ambitions. The new circumstances also have put Europe’s strategic fault-lines in stark relief. In other words, the EU’s theology has replaced Washington’s as the main obstacle that confronts the emergence of an effective transatlantic security policy. The cost of Western hesitations or outright failure has not been borne primarily by either Europe or America: but by the victims of crises themselves. In the 1990s, Bosnia had provided tragic evidence of Europe’s strategic fecklessness, and America’s irresolution. By 2004, the same country again highlighted the limitations of Western efforts. This time, it underlined the fact that NATO-EU cooperation in crisis response was guided and constrained by institutional agendas rather than realities on the ground. The transition from NATO’s Stabilization Force (SFOR) to the EU’s “EUFOR Althea” in Bosnia-Herzegovina suggested as much.1 As early as December 2002, a European Council meeting in Copenhagen volunteered the Union’s offer to “lead a military operation in Bosnia following SFOR,”2 though the Alliance had not asked for it. The timing of the announcement was by no means a reflection of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina: rather, it stemmed from the fact that by late 2002 the imminent conclusion of Berlin Plus negotiations paved the way for EU deployments in the Balkans – whether or not they were in fact necessary. In addition, the Union had come to believe that NATO would soon put an end to SFOR, as the Alliance was taking up an increasingly heavy burden in Afghanistan. In other words, the Union proposed to go into Bosnia simply because “it was there.”3