America and Europe after 9/11 and Iraq: The Great Divide (Praeger Security International)

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The effect of this strategic divide is twofold.

A look back at the 9/11 terror attacks

Firstly, citing Longhurst and Zaborowski ,. If this lack of new thinking about the role of military force as a valid instrument persists in Europe, it will hinder the emergence of effective European security strategies. More importantly, however, it will hinder the construction of a stronger EU-US security dialogue. Also, European countries can offer military and technological expertise which has helped The Pentagon in pursuing terrorists internally and across borders, as well as in peacekeeping operations.

As The Economist 20 September noted,. The EU offers an attractive socio-political and economic model, based on the promotion of liberal-democratic values and principles, such as those embodied in art. As a result, Washington has increasingly looked to Brussels as the main source of moral standards, in the light of the consideration that these could confer legitimacy to US-led military operations, but especially to US-led GWOT.

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European promotion of typically Western values, such as democracy and human rights, has thus proved to be consistent with American main objective; the ideological and military war against radical Islamic terrorism. Finally, EU cooperation is central to American drive to reform international institutions because EU countries are greatly represented in international fora.

What is more, the Union has a significant voting power in many international institutions. The pre-eminence of this commercial relationship makes the EU the main American interlocutor in the World Trade Organization WTO , and as main players in the organization, the EU and the US could together change the norms and shape the policy directions of the body. All these considerations help to explain why Europe remains strategically important to Washington, though in a radically different way than it did during the Cold War.

The stabilization of the continent was hence central to the American plan to stem the spread of Communism. Notwithstanding the evidence suggesting that the United States has become less committed to European security per se and increasingly interested in the Middle East and the Pacific, in fact, Europe remains strategically important within American foreign and security policy; it is the main American ally in the GWOT, a great source of normative power and a key economic-political partner. A new transatlantic bargain, combining American hard power might and EU normative power primacy, does not seem so Utopian.

Alcaro, R. In: Alcaro, R. Roma: Edizioni Nuova Cultura, pp. Archick, K. Calderoni, V. Transatlantic Security Symposium Conference Report. Cantalapiedra, D. London; New York: Routledge, pp. Connery, R. Douglas, F.

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London: I. Westport: Praeger Security International. Published on 20 th Semptember, Eichengreen, B. Economic Policy [Online], , pp.

United States foreign policy in the Middle East - Wikipedia

Issued in Brussels by the European Council, on 12 nd December Kessler, G. The Washington Post , 19 January Krahmann, E. In Krahmann, E. New York: Palgrame MacMillan, pp. Longhurst, K. In: Longhurst, K. London: Routledge, pp. These factors help explain estimates that only 60 to 70 percent of guided weapons destroyed their targets in the Kosovo war and predictions that only 75 to 80 percent would do so in the Iraq war.

The Real Biases of American Journalism

Among notable accidental bombings in recent wars that were likely due to faulty intelligence, system malfunction, or human error were: Contingent errors -- blunders and mistakes -- play a major role in standard explanations of collateral damage and civilian casualties. But this exaggerates the precision of current weapons and depreciates their destructive power.

Apart from contingent errors and malfunctions, the inaccuracy inherent in current systems, the destructive power they possess, and the chaotic dynamics of war itself are sufficient to make it likely that substantial collateral damage and civilian casualties will occur. These attributes -- and not errors and malfunctions -- are what weigh most heavily on the civilian victims of war.

Guided-weapons constituted about 68 percent of the total air-delivered munitions used in Iraq. Among these weapons CEPs ranged between 3 and 15 meters, with the mean being approximately 8 meters or 25 feet. This is sufficiently inaccurate to guarantee that a significant percentage of weapons aimed at the center of a building will land in the street -- or in the building next door. Regarding cluster bombs: these can be delivered by guided or unguided means; either way, when they arrive at their destination, they act as relatively-indiscriminate "area weapons," spreading hundreds of submunitions over a acre swath of land.

And, although their delivery may be guided, they remain distinctly imprecise in the time dimension: five to 10 percent of their constituent bomblets fail to detonate, thus inadvertently but predictably becoming land mines that lie in wait for future victims. Even given perfect intelligence and accuracy, most guided weapons in the to pound range are sufficiently powerful to routinely cause some degree of collateral damage.

This, because they carry hundreds of pounds of enhanced high-explosives wrapped in hundreds of pounds of steel -- an obvious point, but one that has been too often occluded or overlooked. A 2, pound bomb typically contains pounds of tritonal, a TNT derivative that is about 20 percent more powerful than TNT. By comparison, the bomb that destroyed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on 19 April , comprised approximately 5, pounds of ammonia nitrate mixed with fuel oil -- the equivalent of nearly 4, pounds of TNT.

The portable devices used by suicide bombers typically weigh between 10 and 35 pounds; these can carry a punch equivalent to 40 pounds of TNT if a plastic explosive C-4 is used. Most everything will be severely damaged, injured, destroyed, or killed within 20 meters of a pound bomb blast and 35 meters of a lb. This lethal radius can be partly mitigated by detonation inside a large, compartmentalized building -- however, as a Rand study points out: "While structures surely have some shielding effect, building collapse and spalling are secondary yet major causes of injury.

The probability of incapacitating injury to unprotected troops within meters of a pound bomb blast in the open is 83 percent; for those between and meters it is 55 percent. Safe distances for unprotected troops are approximately 1, meters for pound bombs and meters for pound ones. Even protected troops are not entirely safe within meters of a 2,pound bomb or meters of a pound bomb.

John Stufflebeem of the Joint Staff rightly described the pound JDAM as a "devastating weapon", adding that, "As a pilot, when I would drop a 2,pound weapon, I wanted at least 4, feet of separation from that weapon when it went off. The brute destructive power of these weapons is not ancillary to the recent success of precision attack, but central to it. A critical threshold in the development of US capabilities was passed when the CEP for the delivery of bombs in the to pound class fell significantly below the destructive radius of these weapons.

go here At that point, weapon delivery became sufficiently precise to ensure that targets would usually be encompassed by the destructive footprint of these weapons, which extends over an area of between one-quarter and one full acre. The power of these weapons is especially important in facilitating greater reliance on GPS-guided weapons. These weapons are cheaper than the laser-guided variety and far more flexible, allowing broader and more consistent use.


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But they are less precise on average. In this context, the terminal effects of big bombs serve to close the precision gap; they compensate for the lesser precision offered by GPS guidance. The coalition employed 28, air-delivered bombs and missiles during the Iraq war. In addition, it employed Tomahawk cruise missiles and numerous other missiles and shells that were surface-fired. The following table denotes the unitary air-delivered bombs by weight. The percentage of each of these that was guided is noted in brackets. Cluster bombs are represented as a separate category regardless of weight.

All other air-delivered bombs and missiles as well as Tomahawks constitute the "other" category. In terms of equivalent TNT, the aggregate destructive power of these weapons was approximately 6 kilotons. Probably less than 4, of these weapons were used inside the limits of major cities and towns, judging from the distribution of targets that the coalition pursued. However, the other areas in which the war was fought were not, for the most part, sparsely populated.

Much of the war outside Baghdad was fought in areas with an average population density comparable to that of the US states of Pennsylvania and Ohio: people per square mile. In the embattled zones around Karbala, Al Hillah, and An Nasiriyah, the population density was higher -- perhaps per square mile.


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  • The ease with which public discourse has adopted the language and frame of "precision warfare" is surprising. As noted above, just a few years ago military professionals would not have described most of the guided weapons used in the Iraq war as "precision" instruments, reserving this adjective instead for systems with a CEP of 3 meters or less. Common, civilian usage of the term "precision" is even more restrictive.