US transatlantic leadership after Iraq

J. Paquin, P. Beauregard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores whether the United States has been able to exert transatlantic leadership since its head-on diplomatic collision with several European capitals over the 2003 Iraq war. Considering that the decision to invade Iraq was made by the Bush administration, this article also explores whether there has been consistency between the Bush and Obama administrations over transatlantic leadership. To answer these questions, this article reports on a computer-assisted content analysis of the 415 official statements issued by the core transatlantic allies, namely the United States, France, and Britain, in response to four major crises that have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in the post-Iraq era. This analysis provides qualitative and quantitative evidence leading to four main conclusions. Firstly, US leadership has endured in the post-Iraq era. Secondly, in most cases, France and Britain have aligned their diplomatic positions with those of the United States. Thirdly, the analysis confirms that there is a special Anglo-American relationship. Fourthly and lastly, there has been consistency between the Bush and Obama administrations, with the exception of the US response to the Libyan crisis, which suggests the emergence of a US ‘leading from behind’ transatlantic strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-530
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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