Beyond American Hegemony
David P. Calleo, Beyond American Hegemony, The Future of the Western Alliance, New York: A Twentieth Century Fund Book, Basic Books, 1987. Translated in German as Die Zukunft der Westlichen Allianz, Stuttgart, Bonn Aktuell, 1989.
In its current form as an American protectorate, the Western Alliance no longer serves the interests of either the United States or our European allies and cannot survive.
In a sweeping historical analysis integrating of economic, military, and geopolitical factors, Calleo calls for a refashioned Atlantic Alliance. While arguing that America and Europe continue to need their alliance, he shows how America’s lopsided hegemony in NATO is unnecessary and counterproductive. Only a NATO led by the Europeans themselves can resolve the growing problems of extended nuclear deterrence, he maintains. And each side’s distinctive political interests in any case limit NATO’s utility as a forward base for American power. Moreover, Calleo shows how America’s continuing struggle to sustain an unneeded military hegemony in Europe frustrates efforts to put its fiscal house in order, with consequences that increasingly erode the postwar world order, including the Atlantic Alliance itself. Finally, he argues, the necessary elements for a European-run NATO already exist. Calleo anticipates the plural world to come and shows how the US can profit from it.
‘Mr. Calleo’s stimulating and intelligent new book is one that every series student of contemporary international affairs should read – and not just in this country, but also and more especially in Europe itself. For all the signs are that any post-Reagan Administration, whether Democratic or Republican, will feel compelled to take steps to alter the imbalances in the burdens being carried by the American and European “pillars” of the NATO arch. With a period of sea changes ahead, those who steer the ships of state are going to find “Beyond American Hegemony of more than merely academic interest.’
–Paul Kennedy, New York Times Book Review, November 1, 1987