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Atlanticism

Atlanticism

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Atlanticism is a philosophy of cooperation among Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

an and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n nations (specifically the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

) regarding political, economic, and defense
Defense (military)
Defense has several uses in the sphere of military application.Personal defense implies measures taken by individual soldiers in protecting themselves whether by use of protective materials such as armor, or field construction of trenches or a bunker, or by using weapons that prevent the enemy...

 issues, with the purpose to maintain the security of the participating countries, and to protect the values that unite them: "democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law." One who shares the idea of Atlanticism is known as an Atlantist or an Atlanticist; the name derives from the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 that separates the two continents — or, as sea-faring nations will say, the ocean that connects the two continents, and ultimately from NATO. Atlanticism is alien to continentalism
Continentalism
Continentalism refers to the agreements or policies that favor the regionalization and/or cooperation between nations within a continent. The term is used more often in the European and North American contexts, but the concept has been applied to other continents including Australia, Africa and...

 but not necessarily to Pacificism.

The North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council
North Atlantic Council is the most senior political governing body of NATO established by Article 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The NAC can be held at the Permanent Representative Level , or can be composed of member states' Ministers of State, Defense, or Heads of Government. The NAC has the...

 is the premier, governmental forum for discussion and decision-making in an Atlantic context. Well-known Atlanticists include former US Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, former British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

, Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, and Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

, Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981....

 and Javier Solana
Javier Solana
Francisco Javier Solana de Madariaga, KOGF is a Spanish physicist and Socialist politician. After serving in the Spanish government under Felipe González and Secretary General of NATO , he was appointed the European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary...

. NATO is an Atlanticist organization, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is an Atlanticist project. Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 is a region where Atlanticism is especially strong. Countries such as Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 are among those who profess a strong Atlanticist view.

Atlanticism has undergone significant changes in the 21st century in light of terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 and the Iraq war, the net effect being a renewed questioning of the idea itself and a new insight that the security of the respective countries may require alliance action outside the North Atlantic territory. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, NATO for the first time invoked Article 5
North Atlantic Treaty
The North Atlantic Treaty is the treaty that brought NATO into existence, signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. The original twelve nations that signed it and thus became the founding members of NATO were:...

, which states that any attack on a member state will be considered an attack against the entire group of members. Planes of NATO's multi-national AWACS
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 unit patrolled the U.S. skies and European countries deployed personnel and equipment. In 2006, the North Atlantic Council declared that NATO's key priority was to contribute to the peace and stability in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. By the end of 2006, the Atlantic organization had about 32,000 troops in Afghanistan (including 11,000 Americans under its command). However, the Iraq war caused fissures between certain Western European states and the US as well as Central and Eastern European states such as Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. Some countries which supported the Iraq war, such as Spain and Italy, saw their generally pro-Iraq war governments lose in recent elections. Tony Blair, however, was re-elected, notwithstanding his relationship with President Bush, and support for the Iraq war. The implication of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in secret CIA-run prisons
Black site
In military terminology, a black site is a location at which an unacknowledged black project is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction. It...

 from 2003 to 2005 (both countries denied the existence of such prisons) hurt the Atlanticist idea. More recently, Germany, and, in May, 2007, France, saw the election of Atlanticist-leaning leaders, notwithstanding widespread, continuing opposition to the war in Iraq. While political infighting within NATO between the United States and European Union have strained the organization since the struggle to suppress the Taliban, relations appear to be improving, especially in light of the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

 between Russia and Georgia.

See also

  • Transatlantic relations
    Transatlantic relations
    Transatlantic relations refers to the historic, cultural, political, economic and social relations between countries on both side of the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes specifically those between the United States, Canada and the countries in Europe, although other meanings are possible.There are a...

  • European Union – United States relations
  • Special Relationship
    Special relationship
    The Special Relationship is a phrase used to describe the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill...

  • Eurasianism
  • German Marshall Fund
    German Marshall Fund
    The German Marshall Fund of the United States is a nonpartisan American public policy and grantmaking institution dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between North America and Europe....

    , an atlanticist think tank.
  • NATO