Post-Cold War Security and Defence in ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Europe

Authored by: Luca Ratti , Jeremy W. Lamoreaux

Handbook of Defence Politics

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9781857434439
eBook ISBN: 9780203804278
Adobe ISBN:


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In January 2003, then US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked about the level of European support for a possible US-led invasion of Iraq, specifically about the German and French opposition to such a move. Rumsfeld’s response? That the views of decision makers in such states were the opinion of an ‘old’ Europe, while the views of those governments who supported an invasion, including most Central and East European states, represented the perspective of a ‘new’ Europe. 1 This response, while proving quite divisive within Europe and across the Euro-Atlantic community, also served to broaden the debate surrounding European security. Indeed, the concepts of ‘new’ and ‘old’ Europe have come to indicate a supposed division within Europe over the future of European security structures.

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