Irrelevant or Indispensable? ESDP, the ‘War on Terror' and the Fallout from Iraq

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In May 2003 the European Union declared its European Security and Defence Policy fully operational. Simultaneously the EU appeared terminally divided over the conflict in Iraq and transatlantic divisions were emerging over the conduct of the 'War on Terror'. Given the already contentious nature of ESDP, this paper explores whether post-September 11 developments will undermine the development of this policy. After analysing the status of ESDP the paper explores its utility in the post September 11 era and in light of the European Security Strategy. While, in European eyes, military force is not particularly applicable to the 'War on Terror', this paper will argue that there are a number of other ways in which an enhanced and redefined European military capacity can play a role in promoting stability and upholding international norms and values. Secondly, as security priorities change the internal and external security aspects of EU need to become more integrated. Ultimately, a clearly defined ESDP with the unwavering commitment of the member states will give the EU a constructive, effective and essential role within the new framework of security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2006


  • European security defense policy
  • European security strategy
  • Iraq
  • Transatlantic relations
  • War on terror


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