Too Far Ahead? The US Bid for Military Superiority and Its Implications for European Allies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Since the early 1990s, the US has made an unprecedented effort to keep — and actually increase — the military superiority gained during the Cold War. Buzzwords like “Revolution in Military Affairs” and “Defence Transformation” have marked the American defence policy at the turn of the century. To put it bluntly, this commitment was epitomized over the years by constantly high defence budgets, but most importantly by a procurement policy markedly inclined towards innovation and an ongoing attempt at doctrinal adaptation. On the other hand, America’s European partners have been mostly reluctant to follow the US example: not only they have kept their budgets to a minimum, but (with a few exceptions) they have also shown little interest in innovations. As a result, the power asymmetry between the two shores of the Atlantic has grown to the point of endangering the effectiveness of the Transatlantic alliance. The aim of this chapter is threefold: firstly, to illustrate the US defence policy in the past 25 years; secondly, to ponder how NATO has been affected by this; thirdly, to discuss the problems this state of affairs entails for the US and its allies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUS Foreign Policy in a Challenging World Building Order on Shifting Foundations
EditorsM Clementi, M Dian, B. Pisciotta
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Defence policy
  • Technology gap
  • Transatlantic Relations
  • United States


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