There are strong indications that not least from an EU perspective the implications were to some extent devastating and to some extent beneficial. How is this possible?
– clearly 9/11 dealt a serious blow to those in the EU who saw security as a purely intergovernmental issue to be dealt with in the context of the military part of the European Security and defence policy. The European Council immediately ordered an across-the-board inventory of all possible contributions to counterterrorism. The fact that perhaps even the main attention was given to Justice and home affairs also led to the strong growth of that sector of cooperation in the EU in the following decade. A few years later the focus on radicalisation also illustrated the links to development policy.
- the devastating effect was by no means inevitable, it was a result of deliberate choices by the first George W Bush Administration to focus on a quick military victory in Iraq followed by a decade of reckless radicalisation not least of the Sunni population in Iraq.
This in turn led also EU leaders to forget what had been an important discourse before 9/11 namely conflict prevention. This is one of the findings of a serious evaluation made of conflict prevention policies in the last decades.