Leadership: December 5, 2002

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: The Euro-American Divide- The US is about as fed up with Europe as the Europeans are with the US. (In most cases, the British can be regarded more as a foreign policy adjunct of the US than as a European nation. Canada is more closely aligned with Europe.) The US notes that the Europeans have an abysmal track record on recent issues. They said they could fix the Bosnia mess through diplomacy (wrong) and then without US help (wrong again). They said that the Russians would never accept the enlargement of NATO to include virtually the entire Warsaw Pact and the Baltic nations (wrong). The said the Russians would never accept a US missile defense program (wrong) and that the entire structure of arms control would collapse if the US pulled out of the ABM treaty (wrong). They insisted that the Kyoto Protocol was a good and worthwhile treaty to protect the environment; in point of fact it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with restricting US industry (as Europe has already restricted itself) while allowing third world industries to expand exponentially to fill the resulting production gap.

The Europeans said that the European Union's new "common security policy" would increase NATO readiness, but it did not. The Europeans were the ones who said that Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech would destroy diplomacy and risk war; in fact it destroyed decades of appeasement and containment and the USSR in the bargain. The Europeans have consistently treated the Americans as blundering and uncultured provincials with too much power (military and economic) and not nearly enough restraint (translation: willingness to do what is good for Europe). Any conversation among European politicians invariably gets around to the idea that the US military establishment must be cut drastically to prevent the Americans from using it so profligately. The Europeans, who have the most aggressive agricultural subsidy and protection program in the world condemn the US for the latest Farm Bill. The Europeans, who took over the US business holdings in Cuba without compensation to the US companies that built them, have consistently demanded that the US end its embargo and import Cuba products (made by European-controlled concerns). Europe is far less interested in freedom than it is in building a continent-wide socialist utopia. 

The latest European campaign has been to stop the US from invading Iraq. It is not hard to see their objections. If the US proceeds to do so, it will have made Europe and the United Nations increasingly irrelevant. The Europeans have spent decades appeasing the Moslems and Arabs in order to protect their oil supply, and to see the US establish a new pro-US government in Iraq (supported by the permanent garrison of troops that used to reside in Europe) terrifies them as this could undo decades of their policy of self-interest.

While the East Coast media continue to support the European positions on many issues, the US State Department has begun to support the US position over the European one, a major shift of their post-WWII position. The shift came during the Bosnia Campaign and was cemented during the Kosovo War, when two things became apparent: First that military force can stabilize a region in conflict and yield future rewards (in trade) for the countries that provided the forces, and second that the Europeans are hopelessly irrelevant to modern war, both due to obsolete technology (e.g., the lack of smart bombs; fighters barely able to conduct air superiority missions and useless in ground attack) and lack of will. Only the British can seriously participate in modern technological war alongside the US. (Admittedly, many European nations can provide small special forces units, but these can only be delivered to and supported on the battlefield by US technology.)--Stephen V Cole

 


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