BBC Radio 4's Analysis: Frontiers Too Far?, was broadcast on Thursday, 23 November, 2006 at 20:30 BST.
A French tank from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Oct 2006
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On the eve of the NATO summit in Riga next week, Analysis asks how Europe is going to guarantee its security. The Alliance meets amid tension and anxiety on three fronts:
The combined NATO operations in Afghanistan have tested all those European armies which have participated, casualties have been higher than expected and resistance greater; and complaints about resources loud, long and widespread.
Meanwhile, the intensity of the Iraqi insurgency has caused concern at the highest levels of the military in the US and the UK and calls for a strategic re-think have intensified.
Last summer's abortive Israeli engagement with Hizbollah in Lebanon has left Germany, France and Italy, as the principal backers of UNIFIL, in a very exposed position amidst a highly volatile situation in the Middle East
These military facts are combining with two irreconcilable American trends. On the one hand, Washington wants NATO to become larger, seeking a 'global partnership' with other nations.
Yet, on the other, the implications of the US Congressional elections could be a new lurch toward isolationism.
So European leaders are asking: what approach should now be taken to ensure the Continent's security?
In this week's edition of Analysis, Quentin Peel asks: where are the frontiers of European security and does the EU have the tools and the will to police them? What are the threats it has to meet? How, in particular, will it confront issues of peace-making and state-building which are so numerous on Europe's borders? And how does Europe do more without the United States?
Presenter: Quentin Peel
Producer: Simon Coates
Editor: Nicola Meyrick