Leadership: August 27, 2002

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Philosophically, the US and Europe no longer occupy continents on the same planet. Having been devastated by two major wars and having lived under the threat of a war that might have literally destroyed the continent, the Europeans built the European Union based on the theories of negotiation, compromise, and cooperation. Everyone respects everyone else's views, no matter how anathema to their own policy. Europe now exists more or less peacefully in a self-contained world it built for itself, a world in which there is only one region (Europe) and a few theoretical constructs that constitute foreign trading partners. The US, on the other hand, won the Cold War and acts globally in a world that is increasingly fragmented and which increasingly resents the US (or anyone else) trying to exercise control. The US (at least under Bush) thinks in terms of using military force as an acceptable diplomatic tool, and using it first if the situation seems more likely to be solved that way in the final analysis.--Stephen V Cole


 


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