Allies in Crisis

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Meeting Global Challenges to Western Security

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Since its creation more than four decades ago, the Atlantic Alliance has been American foreign policy’s greatest success story, effectively containing Soviet expansionism in Europe.  However, many of the most serious challenges to NATO security and solidarity have arisen outside of Europe, in crises ranging from Korea to the Persian Gulf and from Cuba to Vietnam.  This is the first book to explore in depth how the NATO allies have coped with these “out-of-area” conflicts.
Conventional wisdom holds that NATO has handled such crises badly or not alt all.  Elizabeth D. Sherwood challenges this view, arguing that the allies have effectively managed out-of-area problems by preventing them from eroding the core alliance commitment.  The members have intentionally avoided overburdening NATO’s collective agenda and provoking disagreements that would undermine alliance security within Europe.  Their practice of informal consultation and ad hoc coordination about out-of-area crises constitutes one of the unrecognized strengths of the Atlantic partnership. 
Based on extensive archival research and interviews with key policymakers, this work fills a major gap in the literature on NATO.  Illuminating the broader dynamics of alliance politics through its series of lively case studies, the book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Western crisis management in the Third World and offers valuable guidelines for the future.
“Sherwood’s study is a unique effort to treat the problems that the allies have faced in parts of the world not covered by the Atlantic treaty.  Such a book ought to be in the library of anyone interested in either U.S.-European relations since the 1940s or in Third World developments.” –Anton DePorte, former director of research on Western Europe in the U.S. Department of State
“A clear, crisp, comprehensive and original account of the way in which the U.S. and its chief European allies have dealt with crises in parts of the world not covered by the NATO allies.” –Stanley Hoffmann, Chairman, Center for European Studies, Harvard University

"Sherwood’s study is a unique effort to treat the problems that the allies have faced in parts of the world not covered by the Atlantic treaty. Such a book ought to be in the library of anyone interested in either U. S.European relations since the 1940s or in Third World developments."—Anton DePorte, former director of research on Western Europe in the U. S. Department of State

"A clear, crisp, comprehensive and original account of the way in which the U. S. and its chief European allies have dealt with crises in parts of the world not covered by the NATO allies."—Stanley Hoffmann, Chairman, Center for European Studies, Harvard University

"Elizabeth D. Sherwood’s book provides a well-written, well-researched, well-organized and broadranging analysis of the limits of the Atlantic Alliance’s cohesion in the face of military challenges outside of the NATO area. Allies in Crisis will become required reading not only for students of international affairs, but also for those interested in acquiring the background necessary to understand where NATO may go in a time of rapid change."—Franois Heisbourg, Director, International Institute for State Studies, London

"Elizabeth Sherwood’s book couldn’t be a more timely and valuable guide for policymakers. With the Cold War receding and the role of NATO undergoing serious reevaluation, Sherwood provides practitioners with an indispensable roadmap for navigating future Alliance relations."—Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

"This fascinating book tells the hitherto untold story of how the Western Allies have coped over the last forty years with threats to their vital interests in the Third World. As NATO faces a rapidly changing international system, it will have to resort increasingly to the habit of informal coordination that Elizabeth Sherwood vividly highlights. The valuable lessons from the past make this book a must read!"—Graham T. Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard University

"[A] fine history."—Gregory F. Treverton, Foreign Affairs

"Elizabeth Sherwood makes admirable use of the archivist material available which amply supports her contention that ’consulting, cajoling, imploring, arguing, threatening, and sulking are all the stuff of alliance politics’. . . . This is a book both timely and instructive."—Colin Gordon, Political Studies

"Sherwood explores the . . . issue of what support, if any, member nations can expect from other member nations in areas not formally covered by NATO treaty obligations. This concern, termed out-of-area cooperation, provides the central focus of this well-written, well-organized and historically informative book."—Military Review

"The book offers a cohesive picture of what has been one of the consistent problems confronting NATO."—Joyce P. Kaufman, American Political Science Review

"Could not be more timely or appropriate. . . . Sherwood’s study is the best, most complete study of these out-of-area issues from the founding of NATO up to the 1990-1991 crisis over Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait."—Hugh M. Arnold, Political Science Quarterly

"A well-documented contribution to the understanding of an enterprise that has lasted forty years."—William Safran, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

"[A] welcome contribution to the study of NATO out-of-area disputes, an issue that is certain to grow in significance. . . . Well-researched, coherently organized, and interestingly written. . . . Well worth reading."—Jonathan T. Dworken, Mediterranean Quarterly

"Sherwood disputes the belief that NATO has unsuccessfully cope with what the author considers to be its greatest challenges—those coming from `out-of-area’ conflicts, e.g., the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf conflict. Citing a carefully chosen series of case studies, the book attempts to clarify the reader’s understanding of Western crisis management in the third world and looks at the relationship between global developments and alliance security by focusing on the foreign and defence policies of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France."—Disarmament: A periodic review by the United Nations

Placed on shortlist for 1990 Lionel Gelber Prize
ISBN: 9780300239034
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
272 pages, x