Independent Task Force on the Future of Transatlantic Relations

Staff: Robert D. Blackwill, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy
September 1, 1997 - September 1, 1998

Throughout the Cold War, the United States and Western Europe were inextricably bound together in the Atlantic alliance by the need to deter Soviet aggression in Europe. However, a gap has begun to emerge between American and European perceptions of their respective vital interests. Can the United States and Europe protect their common interests only through cooperation, or is the depth of commonality overstated? This Task Force will expand upon previous efforts on the subject through a policy-driven, comprehensive dialogue between U.S. and European interlocutors dominated by the younger generation of policymakers, business people, and journalists. In a series of ten monthly meetings over the course of 1997-98, the Task Force will examine the various dimensions of transatlantic relations and their future direction. The Task Force will decide whether there are mutual Western interests and foreign policy challenges that, due to their interdependent nature, can be managed fruitfully only through U.S.-European collaboration and if so, how this collaboration can be sustained. The Task Force will release its answers to these questions in a published report in the summer of 1998.