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Recast Cover

A Recast Partnership?

Edited by Simon Serfaty

(CSIS Press, 2008)


"Simon Serfaty has long been at the cutting edge of thinking about the future of the Euro-Atlantic community. In A Recast Partnership? the essays he has compiled add up to a convincing and provoking argument that we are at another historical turning point.


One walks away convinced that if we don't understand the complex dynamics involved in redefining and relaunching the relationship, we will pay huge consequences globally as reduced players in our newly multipolar world."

- Fred Kempe, President & CEO, Atlantic Council of the United States


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Architects Cover

Architects of Delusion:

Europe, America and

the Iraq War

By Simon Serfaty

(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008)


"A masterful analysis of America and Europe: insightful, trenchant, brilliantly conceived, and elegantly written. Drawing his lessons from America's post-World War II engagement with allies in Europe, Simon Serfaty has captured with chilling precision the dilemmas and symmetries that will dominate America's and Europe's security concerns in this generation."

- General Wesley K. Clark

"Simon Serfaty shows why America has more to fear from a weak Europe than a strong Europe. This powerful account of leadership failure in four countries explains not only how Iraq split the West but what a new set of leaders must do to repair the damage."

- Joseph S. Nye, Jr., author of Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics


"Less a narrative about the Iraq diplomacy than an essay about the strategic cultures on both sides of the Atlantic, Architects of Delusion is marked by the author's palpable regret that neither European nor U.S. leaders put the premium on transatlantic (and intra-European) solidarity, which he believes is both necessary and possible.


Serfaty rejects the popular thesis that Europe and the United States are inevitably growing apart, but the sad tale he tells in this book will leave readers wondering whether the transatlantic alliance that existed before the Iraq war can really be restored."

- Philip H. Gordon, Foreign Affairs book review, May/June 2008.

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Vital Partnership
The Vital Partnership:
Power and Order
By Simon Serfaty
(Rowman & Littlefield, Released in Paperback, 2007)
Foreword by Brent Scowcroft

"At a time when Europeans and Americans are seeking to redefine their relationships, Simon Serfaty offers an eloquent defense of our long-standing alliance. For all our differences, he argues, Europe matters to America, and America to Europe, because overlapping interests and compatible values make each the other's partner of choice."

- Senator Richard G. Lugar


"This is a timely and forceful response to those who question whether we still need to strengthen our alliance with the states of Europe and their Union...A comprehensive and discerning book that stands out for its refreshingly balanced assessment of current and future trends in transatlantic relations."

- Sam Nunn, former senator from Georgia, cochairman and CEO, Nuclear Threat Initiative

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Volume 4, Number 2                       April 30, 2008

Five Years Later: Iraq's Strategic Legacy 

A Bad War Gone Worse
by Simon Serfaty
The Washington Quarterly
Spring 2008

As events have come to show, the consequences of mistaken preconceptions [that conditioned the war in Iraq] have been truly epochal. Beyond Iraq itself, the war's legacies have altered the United States and the world in ways that are not likely to be easily reversed...Even assuming the best for 2008, the range of unresolved issues and simmering conflicts--geopolitical, regional, and economic--that looms ahead is daunting...

The next administration will not have to wait long before it is called on to make decisions of enormous and potentially existential significance: not only to end the war in Iraq, but also to win a good war in Afghanistan that has gone bad, to avoid a preemptive war with Iran that could not end well, to bolster a failing state in Pakistan without falling into the interventionist quagmire of regime change, and to convince Palestinians and Israelis alike that a negotiated peace is within reach. On these and other issues, there may not be much ability to assert priorities: first things first, second things first, third things first, everything first--who can tell, when events appear to be in control in the face of adversaries that appear to be themselves out of control?


Yet, as was the case with the deafening public calls for "no more Vietnams" that nearly cost the United States and its allies victory in the Cold War, calls for "no more Iraqs" come from a nation wary of entangling commitments and from a world weary of U.S. power. The call will need to be heard not as a promise that there might be no more wars, for there will be, but as a commitment that the mistakes that were made in Iraq will not be repeated.

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Globaliser l'Alliance ?
by Simon Serfaty
politique étrangère
1:2008 (printemps)

"Une Alliance qui sortirait de l'Europe sortirait de l'histoire qui l'a vue naître, et déformerait la géographie qui lui a permis de s'affirmer ces cinquante dernières années."


L'idée d'une OTAN globale n'est guère nouvelle et a revêtu, au fil des temps, des sens divers. Sa mise en oeuvre signifierait aujourd'hui une dégradation des garanties de l'article 5, et un affaiblissement de l'Alliance en Europe. Il est sans doute plus urgent de stabiliser cette Alliance sur le Vieux Continent, en adaptant son concept stratégique, et en mettant sur pied, avec une Union européenne qui devrait elle-même revoir sa stratégie de sécurité, un véritable forum transatlantique.

politique étrangère is available at:
Misreading Berlin...in the Lead into the Iraq War
Excerpt of Simon Serfaty's Architects of Delusion
in the Winter/Spring 2008 issue of European Affairs

The unconditional German rejection of any idea of a war in Iraq came as a huge shock in Washington and London (and even in Paris). In fact, it should not have surprised anyone: the trend of post-cold war attitudes in Germany showed that opinion was coalescing around a reluctance to use military force. The roots of German behavior in this crisis is still too little understood-a situation that clouds the chances of restoring coherence among the key allies in tackling such challenges in future. The new leaders in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin will need to understand this "new" recent history before they can hope to succeed in reinstating any real unity and sense of purpose to the West.  

"Ten years from now, what will be the next great global currency?"
The International Economy
Spring 2008

"Although the unipolar movement is now over, the United States is bound to remain the most complete power in the world during the coming decade. In the context of an emerging multipolarity, this means that the U.S. dollar will remain the preponderant global currency, notwithstanding the gradual rise of both the euro and the Chinese yuan that may compete with, but not substitute for, the dollar in and beyond their respective areas of primary influence.


With regard to the euro, some informal Euro-Atlantic currency bloc may well emerge late into that timeframe, including more transparent rules of engagement between the Fed and the European Central Bank--at the expense of the sterling which, like the yen, will not have the will to abandon ties with the dollar as the global currency of choice, but will also lack national capacities needed to withstand the compelling monetary pull exerted by neighbors."

-- Simon Serfaty

Toward a Euro-Atlantic Security Strategy

Divided on a wide range of issues, the 32-members of the Euro-Atlantic community need more than ever to assert their shared security aims. Europe must not wait for America to take the lead. See Simon Serfaty's forthcoming article in the June 2008 edition of Europe's World.

Selected Recent Talks of the Brzezinski Chair
  • "The United States and Europe After Bush and Beyond Iraq," World Affairs Council of Northern California conference, Monterey, CA, May 2, 2008.
  • "A New and Evolving Balance Between the European Union, the United States, and Russia," U.S. State Department INR conference, Arlington, VA, April 25, 2008.
  • "A Multipolar World and Transatlantic Partnership," European Ideas Network seminar, Paris, France, March 5, 2008.
  • "A Recast Partnership? Toward a Euro-Atlantic Security Strategy," Transatlantic Policy Network roundtable, Washington, DC, February 29, 2008.