James Dobbins

Dublin Core


James Dobbins


National Security Council
NSC Cables
NSC Email


06/21/2000 - 01/18/2001




The material responsive to this FOIA request concerns Assistant Secretary of State James Dobbins’ involvement with matters relating to NATO and European security. In 1996, at the NATO ministerial meeting in Berlin, the participants determined that the Western European Union (WEU) would oversee the creation of a European section within NATO called the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI). The Berlin agreement gave WEU nations the ability to use NATO assets for military actions, particularly in areas where NATO as a whole did not wish to commit. The European Council eventually incorporated the WEU into the European Union (EU) in 1999. The April 1999 NATO summit in Washington, D.C., further supported ESDI, while the December 1999 European Counsel meeting in Helsinki set a military capability target for EU member nations, called the Headline Goal. This led to the formation of the European Security and Defense Policy, which outlined the ensuing partnership of the EU and NATO. Negotiations over this policy continued throughout the last year of the Clinton Administration. James Dobbins, who was Assistant Secretary of State for Europe from May 2000 to June 2001, represented the U.S. The “Berlin Plus” agreement of 2002 and the December 2003 European Security Strategy formalized ESDP. In 2007, the Treaty of Lisbon renamed ESDP as the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).

The records released in response to this FOIA consist of cables. One cable contains notes sent to Assistant Secretary Dobbins regarding a 10-day July 2000 seminar on policymaking in the EU. Transatlantic issues and ESDI were topics covered at this seminar. Another cable describes a September 2000 program for European foreign policy officials entitled “U.S. Foreign Policy Objectives.” During this program, the guests met with U.S. business and government officials, including Assistant Secretary Dobbins. A third cable consists of notes from a September 2000 Marshall Center program in Germany on crisis management and European security.


Clinton Presidential Records: NSC Cable, Email, and Records Management System


William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum


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