"Many European members of NATO also expressed anger at
what they saw as U.S. arrogance and unilateralism with regard to war with
Yugoslavia over Kosovo."
DISAGREEMENTS between the United States and its European allies on
several key issues, particularly Washington's proposal to build a national
missile defence system, are threatening the future of Nato, a report said
yesterday. Past strains in the alliance had been "manageable" because
of the willingness of all members to operate "on the basis of mutual
trust", the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies said
in its annual Strategic Survey.
The US proposal for a limited missile defence system to protect
against potential attacks from rogue states such as North Korea, however, was
neither understood nor welcomed by European nations, the institute said. Europe
was also "irritated" by the reluctance of the United States to give a
clear signal of approval for its plans to develop the European Security and
Defence Identity, which would lead to a European rapid reaction force of about
"Many European members of Nato also expressed anger at what
they saw as US arrogance and unilateralism with regard to war with Yugoslavia
over Kosovo," the report said.
The institute added: "The danger for the coming years is that
the bridge of communication seems to have broken down and, unless some way is
found to reconstruct it, the loss of trust could have a profound impact on the
The biggest illustration that the United States and Europe were
"marching to different drummers" was the argument over the American
project to construct a national missile defence (NMD) system which would mean
modifying the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
"The US has had little success in convincing its European
critics that its plans for NMD deployment are needed, sensible or useful . . .
[and] many Europeans do not believe the system will ever work as intended,"
the report said.
The report added: "There are few in Europe who believe the
so-called rogue states are led by men so irrational they would threaten the US
with weapons of mass destruction carried on ballistic missiles, even if they
were able to do so."