In spite of numerous debates in the EU concerning a Common Foreign and Security Policy, NATO effectiveness depends on greatly on US military power. However, this does not prevent the Atlantic alliance from experiencing strains. Since the creation of NATO, European countries opted for abdicating some of the sovereign control over their own security, asking the United States to remain in Europe and be the defender of the free world. The choice to become dependent on the US's ability to deter Soviet aggression implied the acceptance of a political subordination. When European and US interest no longer coincided, tensions erupted between the allies. The European security issue offers a privileged standpoint to analyze the development of trans-Atlantic relations. This presentation will focus on "turning points" in the relationship in order to understand the overall development of the concept of trans-Atlantic security.
Marilena Gala is professor of History of International Relations at the University of Florence (Italy) where she teaches also at the Scuola di Guerra Aerea.
She received her Ph. D. in Diplomatic History from the University of Florence and has been working on arms control, trans-Atlantic relations and European security issues. She is the author of a book on the Limited Test Ban treaty of 1963 (Il Paradosso nucleare: il Limited Test Ban Treaty del 1963 come primo passo verso la distensione, Firenze, Polistampa, 2002) as well a number of articles in scholarly journals. Currently a WWICS Public Policy Scholar, she is developing a research project focused on the first Reagan administration and the changes its security and foreign policies produced on the relations between the United States and Western Europe.