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What if President Obama Asks for German Combat Troops?

Andrew Hammel of German Joys says that US calls for German troops for southern Afghanistan have primarily a symbolic meaning.

American presidents need to be seen to be trying to get more European troops: "American politicians always need some kind of symbolic issue with European partners to maintain the idea that there is some distance between the American and European political orders." These policy disputes do not effect other transatlantic cooperation. Even an increase in Euro-bashing in the conservative blogosphere will not have significant political consequences, says Andrew Hammel in this video interview:

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MICROGOD on :

RAAAAAAAAAHHHH !!! jfc, good joke will he also ask france?

Marie Claude on :

can't set on the TV in Spain without hearing "el presidente Sarkozy... this and this..." mouarf !

rushlevin on :

I don't think so. abc news: Sources Say Sarkozy Finds Obama's Iran Policy ‘Arrogant,’ ‘Utterly Immature’ soon the media and dems will trash sarkozy. look what they did to Joe the plumber just because he asked a question.

MICROGOD on :

i think obama needs colin powell to improve relations with yurp [let colin explain it to them - wasn't that the running gag in the white house before the iraq war?]

Don S on :

I don't agree with Joerg and Andrew. Oh, I agree that the coming European rejection of Obama's troop request won't lead to an immediate rupture of US - European relations, but "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". This is an issue heavily laden with symbolism on both sides of the Atlantic, and not merely for Republicans. Many Democrats are utterly convinced that the widening fissure between Europe and the US is entirely due to George Bush, and I think when Germany and the rest of Europe fobs off Obama with a polite rejection or a purely symbolic response a lot of Democrats will lose some illusions about Europe very quickly. Particularly if (as seems increasingly likely) Europe is at the same time demanding heavy (and expensive) US intervention in salvaging the world trade system in 'periphery' countries in the world economic system; that is Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. European banks are far more exposed to these risks than their US counterparts and stand to be the biggest gainers in a US-led rescue a la 1997. Thus far Germany and perhaps others have stalwartly refused to fund pan-european rescue funding, but looking forward I predict a rising chorus that the US 'do it's fair share' (meaning far more than it's fair share) of the rescue. Indeed the chorus has already begun with a demand by [url=http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0eb42d82-a53b-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html]George Soros[/url] that the US mount a bailout of his balliwick: [url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/3260052/Europe-on-the-brink-of-currency-crisis-meltdown.html]A piece documenting currency crisises hitting Eastern Europe and Latin America and the exposure of European Banks[/url] (extremely high). Finally, a [url=http://andrewhammel.typepad.com/german_joys/2008/10/crisis-in-the-east.html]link to Andrew Hammel's blog German Joys[url] discussing this problem.

Don S on :

Opps, screwed up that last link and failed to finish the argument. Finally, a [url=http://andrewhammel.typepad.com/german_joys/2008/10/crisis-in-the-east.html]link to Andrew Hammel's blog German Joys[/url] discussing this problem. The problem is, of course, that Europe will be in the position of arguing that the US must act to Europe's benefit while meanwhile rejecting the proposition that Europe must act to the benefit of the US. The dichotomy of that position will not be lost on those across the Atlantic, even the Democrats. The hell of it is that Soros may actually be correct, that the US must act decisively to save the periphery countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Iceland, and even Russia - even though others stand to gain far more than the US will, and even though most of those doing the asking are the same countries who have NOT been helping out Uncle Sam in his hour of need this past decade!

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