At the end of an article on New Europe, James Joyner adds some optimism on US relations with "Old Europe." He thinks they "will return to what they have been for the postwar period: a mature engagement between peers that will ebb and flow as the situation warrants."
I don't think Western Europe and the United States were peers during the Cold War. And we are still not peers, which is the cause for many current frictions. Europeans, especially Germans, very much want the US to consider them as peers, but government and public opinion are not yet ready to share the burden in foreign and defense policy. And the US might not be prepared to treat Europeans as equals either.
German Prof Gunter Hellmann just published an excellent short essay on the history of the federal republic's desire for "equal status" at AICGS: "A Status-Conscious Germany between Adolescence and Retirement"
James finishes with "Such a relationship can withstand sharp disagreements, angry words, and hurt feelings. Resentments and rifts will occasionally arise but they will be temporary. Our shared values and interests, however, are permanent." What do you think?
There are shared interests, but they are much narrower than they used to be. Shared values? Sorry, not this decade.
For all the talk of Obama 'throwing Eastern Europe under the bus', the fact is that most of Continental Europe threw the US under the bus in the most blatant and visible way after 9/11. The 'beautiful theory' of NATO has been slain by the brutal fact that most of the alliance only participate under the condition that no significant sacrifice should be required of them.
If a core value of the US is standing by it's allies I believe the past 15 years has shown up just how few values we share.
NATO will stand until the next crisis, perhaps until the crisis after that. Like hurricanes crisises have a way of destroying structures which were not fundamentally repaired after the last storm. NATO has been damaged and not repaired, the next storm will damage it further. Sooner or later a crisis will come and scatter it over the landscape.
"If a core value of the US is standing by it's allies I believe the past 15 years has shown up just how few values we share"
bof, do you think that any US president can throw under the bus that Roosevelt, Churchill and Monnet
started ? the atlantic alliance is mostly based on economical sharings.
What values ? being a serf ? and blindly following what had decided the Master ? in the occurence into a nightmare, cuz, where are the progresses in Irak ?