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NATO in U.S. policymaking and debate - an analysis: 'drawing the map' of the U.S. think; tank debate on NATO since 9/11

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Klinkforth, Kristina

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Corporate Editor Freie Universität Berlin, Osteuropa-Institut Abt. Politik
Abstract "In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, concerns about the future role of NATO have unleashed a substantial debate among U.S. foreign policy experts and think tank analysts. In performing a qualitative content analysis, this paper comprehends and analyzes the unfolding discussion about the role of NATO currently conducted in the United States. In the policy-making process, think tanks are assumed to perform a double function. They shape the contents of a policy-relevant issue by advancing distinctive policy recommendations, and simultaneously carve out areas for consensus-building prior to the decisionmaking process. Accordingly, the first step of the analysis comprehends their approach, against which the line of argument regarding NATO as well as the policy recommendations are outlined. The prevailing issues of burdensharing and NATO enlargement furthermore provide a guideline that leads through the analysis. In a second step, major differences and overlaps between the camps are identified in order to carve out trends that are likely to prevail in future NATO politics. In the ensuing debate about NATO, four camps can be distinguished: libertarian, neoconservative, conservative, and liberal. While these camps outline distinct policy options, especially conservatives and liberals share the common objective of maintaining NATO well into the future. However, despite this commonly pursued goal, both camps remain skeptical towards NATO as a multilateral security organization and rather adopt an 'instrumentalist' view of NATO that is likely to extend into the future. In focusing on the input provided by think tanks concerning a particular policy debate, rather than the outcome of specific policies, this analysis also addresses an insufficiently-researched area of foreign policymaking and identifies implications for follow-up studies." (author's abstract)
Keywords United States of America; NATO; security policy; defense policy; international cooperation; expert; foreign policy; political decision; political development; transatlantic relations; North America; think tank
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
City Berlin
Page/Pages 82 p.
Series Arbeitspapiere des Osteuropa-Instituts der Freien Universität Berlin, Arbeitsschwerpunkt Politik, 59
ISSN 1434-419X
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications