This study surveys post World War II efforts to enhance practical cooperation among European countries in the provision and use of military forces. The author, a distinguished former defense official of the U.K., begins with the earliest proposals for cooperation in 1947 and provides a succinct summary of collective security efforts since then. The main focus of the study is the European Defense and Security Policy (EDSP) project launched by European Union heads of government at their Cologne meeting in June 1999. Quinlan reviews the major issues and future prospects regarding this important initiative, and argues for a collective European defense that will complement but not supersede the role of NATO.

Sir Michael Quinlan is a leading expert on international security. During his thirty-eight-year career in the British civil service, he worked extensively in NATO and on NATO issues. In 1988 he was appointed as the Permanent Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Defense, the ministry’s highest-ranking nonpolitical civilian. From 1992 to 1999 he was director of the Ditchley Foundation, a privately funded institution focusing on international public policy issues. In fall of 2000 he was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


1. Cold War History

2. The Road to St. Malo

3. The New European Defense Project

4. The Journey Ahead

5. Conclusion


“This book offers seasoned judgments by an authoritative British observer regarding a topic central to the future of both NATO and the European Union. It will make an important contribution to public understanding of the issues on both sides of the Atlantic.”—David S. Yost, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, author of NATO Transformed: The Alliance’s New Roles in International Security

“Quinlan’s interpretation takes pains to present all sides of the issue without editorial, highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses of current European defence planning.”—Alex Wieland, The European Journal