The goal of this thesis is to predict future prospects for transatlantic relations by analyzing the major political disagreements between the US and Europe in the area of security and defense, from the beginning of the Cold War until today.A special focus is placed on the rift following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The research is based on existing literature on the topic as well as interviews with academics who have focused on it in their studies. The literature includes books, articles, reports, newspapers, journals, policy papers, and other similar written resources.
The conclusion is that the well being of transatlantic relations is undisputedly in the very best interests of both parties, at least today and for the next decades. It is fair to suggest that that fact will keep preventing the transatlantic alliance from falling apart in the foreseeable future, since Europe will remain the best ally of choice for the US, and vice versa. It would be self destructive for both parties to weaken these important ties, as well as harmful for international security as a whole. In a more distant future, it can be foreseen that the transatlantic alliance might even become more important, with the likely rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China, and the US's and Europe's relative decline in world influence. At that point the transatlantic allies might fully reunite in order to balance the new global powers.
Another possibility is that a multipolar world would emerge, with four or five global powers relatively independent from one another. Alliances in a multipolar system are in general flexible and constantly shifting. Consequently, the transatlantic alliance might become weaker in such kind of a system.
Vilborg Ása Guðjónsdóttir holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Iceland, studying at the University of Miami as an exchange student 2006-2007. She has her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Reykjavík University, Iceland. She is currently a Project Manager at the Institute of International Affairs and Centre for Small States Studies, at the University of Iceland.