Counterterrorism Coalitions

How Should the United States Engage Europe?

by Nora Bensahel

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This research brief describes work documented in The Counterterror Coalitions: Cooperation with Europe, NATO, and the European Union (MR-1746-AF).

Excerpt: After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States asked European countries to provide military assistance, intelligence, and law enforcement cooperation in the war against terrorism. The United States secured much of this assistance through partnerships with individual states rather than through multilateral organizations such as NATO and the European Union (EU). Multilateral organizations are perceived as being less effective than individual countries because they require the unanimous consent of their members before they can act. However, as NATO and the EU increase their memberships and political influence, the United States may benefit from working with them on certain types of counterterrorism initiatives.

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