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The War on Terrorism in light of transatlantic struggle for influence

ABSTRACT

The world is too big and too diverse to have only one center of power. Today Washington, an economic and military powerhouse, stands tall above others. However, the second Rome, a long-time dream of Moscow, has emerged indeed and it is fortunately the closest ally – historically, politically, and culturally – of the first. It is

Brussels. Europe deserves to be recognized by the United States as the world power because equality cannot be measured. Acknowledgment by the stronger side does the trick. And Europe is ready to be Europe again in terms of prestige, influence, inspiration, and source of power. History is made by individuals thus it is entirely up to the transatlantic statesmen to find a satisfactory to both sides compromise, a way to move forward together as a healthy entity.

The war on terrorism has only begun. It will be a long struggle that only the most determined will win in the end. Because this war, just as any other, can be won. Despite the controversy and mystery of 9/11 of how and why so inhumane an atrocity could have happened, the Atlantic allies united in efforts in the war against Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001. Despite almost opposite assessments of how an Iraq invasion in March 2003 would affect the war on terrorism, it can be argued that both Americans and Europeans were right, and both were wrong as well. Despite the lack of trust that has poisoned the transatlantic relations one can only hope that a joint effort of the most successful alliance in history will remain intact so that the “West” can secure the final triumph. It must be, nonetheless, a humble victory turning today’s enemies into tomorrow’s friends as in the case with Germany and Japan after World War II.

That terrorism is here is undeniable. That people behind the vicious attacks are clever, determined and ruthless is even more undeniable. They are thirsty for blood and want to spread fear using media and internet. The actual joint response is a must to ensure the success of getting rid of that minority that stands behind terrorism. Because it is only a minority yet indisputably loud and fearless. Majority that values peace, democracy, tolerance and all the freedoms must be even louder and more valiant. Let them know that we are here as well and we are not afraid!

It is on the Eurasian subcontinent that world conflicts – and Euro-American clash of interests as well – are occurring today with the emphasis on the Middle East and East Asia regions. China’s growing political, economic and military ambitions, with a possible Taiwanese clash that can trigger a much wider conflict, and the Russian president’s rhetoric and conduct in domestic and foreign policies – Mr. Putin’s return to Soviet-style centralization of power and his meddling in the former Soviet republics, especially Ukraine – prove that Francis Fukuyama was wrong: history never ends. Therefore the current war on terrorism must be comprehended in a much wider context. Therefore it is in the EU interest to practice a pro-Atlantic foreign policy as long as it can foresee it. It is in US interest to do the same. Because only together do they form an unmatched bloc of political, economic and military leadership. Only together are they the core o global stability. The sooner both powers accept it, the better because there is much to be done by transatlantic partners.

Damian Malek

The full MA dissertation: “The war on terrorism in light of transatlantic struggle for influence” (Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. September 2004).

For a copy of the full dissertation, please contact the author at: damian.malek@gmail.com

OODA Analyst

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