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2003-08-28 18:10:00
Embassy Brussels
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 BRUSSELS 004143 




E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/28/2013





E. ROME 3823

Classified By: USEU PolOff Van Reidhead; reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)

Summary and Comment

1. (C/NF) The draft European Security Strategy (ESS), which
will be discussed at the September 5-6 informal "Gymnich"
meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (ref. A), provides the U.S.
with an early opportunity to engage on this emerging EU
security doctrine. Born of the divisions over Iraq, the ESS
is an attempt to frame the EU debate about how the EU should
see security, in conscious if incomplete imitation of the
U.S. National Security Strategy. An important element is the
debate about when and under what conditions the EU might
resort to the use of force. The ESS also invites discussion
of the utility and effectiveness of multilateralism with
regard to international security affairs. Logically, the
discussion could require that EU leaders ask the question:
How much linkage should there be between the UNSC and an EU
use-of-force doctrine? In this respect, the ESS could
challenge the EU to examine closely its devotion to
multilateralism and the institutional status quo.

2. (C/NF) Comment: This is the very early stage in a
discussion that could play out over years. But even at this
early moment there is value in engagement, with an emphasis
on developing a shared strategic view. We recommend a quiet
dialogue with our friends in the EU (i.e. in the Council
Secretariat), the UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Poland. They

are closest to our views and can provide early warning of any
move in a problematic direction. At this point, our interest
should be avoiding a premature resolution of the ESS debate,
because a near-term resolution would almost certainly favor a
strong UNSC role in any EU use-of-force doctrine. End
Comment. End Summary.


Pushing the Envelope


3. (C/NF) The 15-page ESS (full text at ref. B; also
available online at
pdf/en/03/st10/st10881en03.pdf) defines the main threats to
European security as terrorism, WMD proliferation, and failed
states and organized crime. The ESS argues that as a global
actor, the EU should share responsibility for global
security, and should be ready and able to work with others,
especially the U.S., to combat the new threats. Key to this
readiness and ability is a credible use-of-force doctrine.
Our interlocutors have told us that one purpose of the ESS is
to push the EU toward a discussion of how far it is prepared
to go in considerations of the use of force. The discussion
will be controversial, because the draft implies the
possibility of resorting to the use of force without full
multilateral institutional support -- in other words, without
recourse to the UNSC. (Note: See ref. D for more background
on the ESS.)


First Steps


4. (C/NF) As EU High Rep. Solana and numerous senior EU and
member state interlocutors have made clear from the beginning
of the drafting process, the ESS is just the first step in
developing an EU consensus on the parameters of European
security. It will represent a set of broad consensual
assumptions and a flexible framework within which the EU can
try to construct security policy. Our interlocutors tell us
the paper had to be "broad and soft" in order to accommodate
the widely divergent views held by EU member states on how to
deal with the threats defined in the paper. It also had to
be detailed and comprehensive enough to lend it at least some
credibility. But the EU's larger goal was to create a set of
common principles to reduce the chances of another Iraq-like
split, not to create an operational doctrine for security and
defense. In that at least, the Council Secretariat believes
it has succeeded.


An EU "Lesson Learned" from Transatlantic
Differences Over Iraq


5. (C/NF) Interlocutors acknowledge that the effort to
produce a security strategy was sparked by the desire to
avoid a repetition of the corrosive internal divisions the EU
experienced over the use of force in Iraq. During the Iraq
crisis, the EU was torn apart, and marginalized itself. The
crisis was viewed as a debacle for the EU's fledgling Common
Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The pain -- and
humiliation -- of the EU's marginalization was felt keenly in
both Brussels and capitals. The U.S.-EU relationship
suffered as member states fought out their Iraq differences
in public. The current flurry of CFSP integration efforts is
the logical solution from an EU perspective. These efforts,
among which the ESS stands as a sort of guiding directive,
will continue as the EU seeks the ability to act with
consequence when faced with international crises.


But is it Credible?


6. (C/NF) But doing something about the new security threats
requires at some level consideration of the use of force.
The ESS posits the need for exactly that. If the EU is to
become the international force envisioned by the ESS, then it
must be able to legitimately use military force. This is a
difficult concept for many member states who strongly prefer
that the EU focus instead on issues such as "addressing the
root causes of conflict" and shoring up existing
international organizations and regimes. These are easier
for the EU to respond to because they rely heavily on
civilian instruments and "soft" power, and appeal above all
to Europe's sense of magnanimity, inclusive universalism, and
the importance of multilateralism. For many, the "hard"
power issue of legitimate military force cuts close to the
sovereign bone.

7. (C/NF) Moreover, considerations of the use of force
suggest the controversial possibility of the EU becoming a
security organization. In response to our query about that
possibility, Council Director-General and principal ESS
drafter Robert Cooper asserted that yes, the EU will become a
security organization in time. He argued that that
eventuality had been evident since the 1998 Franco-British
declaration at Saint Malo (the bargain whereby France agreed
to filter European security through NATO while the UK agreed
to support an EU security identity). But even Cooper
acknowledges that giving EU security policy "teeth" through
the development of a common EU policy on the use of force
will not be easy.


Toward a Use of Force Doctrine?


8. (C/NF) As ESS discussions move forward the EU will
inevitably be forced to address a number of difficult
questions, with important implications for transatlantic
relations: How far is the EU prepared to go in articulating a
use-of-force doctrine? Will EU leaders adopt a flexible
doctrine that leaves options on the table and promises force
credibility? Or will they define legitimate use of force in
such a way as to constrain or limit the EU's participation
except in very narrow circumstances? How strictly will the
EU separate humanitarian and military assets when responding
to complex humanitarian emergencies (ref. C)? Will members
want to spend more time defining when force cannot be used
than in defining a policy that addresses the core issues --
i.e. how to deal with countries that do not play by the
rules? Specifically, will EU leaders require recourse to the
UNSC? Or will they perhaps be willing to take multilateral
cover under a broader, more flexible body of international
law? The answers to these questions will be of critical
importance to U.S. interests, and will determine both the
extent and pace of EU evolution as a security organization --
a development with important implications for NATO.


Next Steps


9. (C/NF) Robert Cooper tells us that the EU has taken the
use of force question as far as it can for now, and will
devote its near-term efforts to further defining the
strategy's less controversial aspects. Toward that end, the
EU is planning to discuss the ESS at different venues
throughout the fall. Between the informal Gymnich
ministerial on September 5-6 (where the discussion will be
limited mostly to reaching agreement on the path ahead) and
the December EU Summit (where a revised strategy will be
presented to leaders), the EU will convene three small ESS
workshops. The first of these will take place September 17
in Rome, under the aegis of the Aspen Institute. The
workshops are intended to further the ESS discussion by
bringing together representatives from all 25 current and
future EU member states, plus think tank and academia experts
(ref. E). (Note: Cooper tells us that U.S. academics and
think tanks would be welcome to attend the workshops if their
expertise were relevant.) ESS discussions will also take
place at the PSC and COREPER levels during the run-up to the
December Summit. Cooper anticipates completing the new ESS
draft by mid-November.


Comment: Opportunities for the U.S.


10. (C/NF) Beyond the "First Pillar" issues of economic and
social affairs, the EU has not yet reached a stable consensus
on what it is and how sovereignty will be shared among
Brussels and national capitals. This creates both
frustration and opportunity: frustration because
understanding and predicting EU behavior is very difficult,
but an opportunity because this open-ended state of affairs
invites dialogue. We cannot yet tell how member states will
line up on the issue of using force, and we don't see the
debate ending anytime soon. But we see three groups lining
up for the long march ahead: First, there will be member
states who balk at the notion of using force under any
circumstances. These relatively few states -- among whom
Germany may be emerging as a leader -- will have to be either
accommodated or circumvented. Second will be the larger
group who are not opposed to the use of force per se, but who
will only want to consider it in the context of a UNSC
resolution. Finally, there are countries such as the UK --
and perhaps France -- which have already shown a willingness
to bypass the UNSC when it is in their interest to do so. If
the EU is to develop a positive security identity these
countries should be engaged to ensure that they protect the
EU's right to act independently of the UNSC.

11. (C/NF) In the case of France, however, we fear that
engaging too soon and too directly could be
counterproductive. The current French administration may
feel compelled to support a strong UNSC role in European
security policy, even if it contradicts certain French
interests, in an attempt to constrain U.S. power and
influence. Emboldened by its own recent rhetoric about the
need to check American power, France might be willing to
constrain itself, through an EU strategic link with the UNSC,
in order to constrain the U.S. Any such linkage would limit
the ability of our European allies within the EU to act in
concert with us. For now, we should let others -- notably
the UK -- engage France on the need to protect member state
and EU autonomy with regard to the UNSC.

12. (C/NF) In this context, we believe U.S. interests lie in
supporting those member states and institutional elements who
favor legitimating force under a broader body of
international law, and under new forms of multilateral
initiatives. Now is the time to quietly engage our friends
in the EU on our views of the ESS and any potential for an EU
use-of-force doctrine. The UK, Italy (which holds the EU
Presidency), the Council Secretariat, Denmark, Spain and
Poland are all good access points. All are sympathetic to
U.S. views and are able to influence the debate, some
considerably. Our goal should be to prevent any premature
resolution of the ESS and use of force debates. The
political climate in Europe is such that any near-term
resolution would come down in favor of a stronger UNSC role
in international security. Therefore, our goal should be to
ensure that the debate continues. And we should take
advantage of the process to discuss our views of the ESS and
the potential for an EU use-of-force doctrine during upcoming
UN and security consultations. We might also use the topic
as a thread that we can weave through relevant regional
troika consultations. Our interlocutors, including Robert
Cooper, have said on numerous occasions that the EU would
welcome such dialogue -- "anytime, anywhere," as Cooper put
it. We should accept the offer. End Comment.