This paper explores the European Union’s (EU) security relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States (US) through the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). Skeptics have decried the rise of CSDP as a new security pillar, arguing that it is an attempt to balance against NATO and the US. I argue that this criticism is false. A comparison of two CSDP military operations, European Union Force Chad/CAR (EUFOR Tchad/RCA) and European Union Force Althea (EUFOR Althea), shows that operational success is heavily dependent on the EU’s ability to use NATO assets through the Berlin Plus agreement. While EU security integration has progressed, it continues to suffer from a significant capabilities gap; without access to NATO capabilities, CSDP military operations face many challenges. I conclude that CSDP is not threatening the transatlantic relationship because the EU remains a limited hard power actor in promoting and securing international security



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