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Europe in Iraq? Only On Its Own Terms

I asked a sampling of European analysts what Europe could do to help stabilize Iraq. Most of the 14 respondents from ten European countries note the high stakes for the continent and its limited capabilities to contribute to stabilization efforts.

Still, the answers do show a new willingness to contribute, but only on European terms. Many respondents suggest that Europe should pursue different policies than the US or make support dependent on more involvement in the decision-making process.

First and foremost, European analysts do not support deploying troops under US command. However, some suggest a quid pro quo where Europe provides military resources and training if given a real stake in an international effort.

Second, several respondents recommend that France mediate discussions among internal factions in Iraq. Efforts could focus on dialogue with groups that the US refuses to talk to and shall be aimed at reinvigorating Iraqi nationalism.

Third, a diplomatic offensive involving and pressuring Iran and Syria is seen as essential, but experts also point to Turkey. Maintaining peace in Kurdistan could be encouraged through EU membership negotiations.

I have written the survey conclusion for my day job at Atlantic Community: Europe Should Help Iraq, But Not Follow US Lead. It is the second part of our survey.

The first part was published at Europeans Want America to Stay in Iraq. And the third part, dealing with repercussions for Europe should the US withdraw, will follow next week.


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Don S on :

One thing I think Europeans should always keep in mind is that every policy they set has the potential to be used by the US - for better or worse. Therefore they should keep the Golden Rule in mind when dealing with the US - "Do unto others as you would have them deal with you". The last European crisis was Kosovo. The Europeans attempted to resolve it but ultimately prevailed upon the US to come on and solve it because they could not do it themselves. There will be another Kosovo - nothing is more certain. Europe will wish the US to help, that is also almost certain. But what if the US opts out (as most of Europe has done in Iraq)? There is only one European country who even has the beginning of an argument on this point - and the UK is unlikely to wish to intervene in any crisis not in it's backyard after the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. So.......

Anonymous on :

"The last European crisis was Kosovo. The Europeans attempted to resolve it but ultimately prevailed upon the US to come on and solve it because they could not do it themselves." I could never believe this. Are you sure that countries like Britain, France or Germany wouldn´t have been able to interfere? Maybe the respective governments did not really want to..

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