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More Mosques => New Atlanticism?

Viola Herms Drath writes about some kind of new Atlanticism in The Washington Times (via James Joyner in Outside the Beltway):

The dawn of a New Alanticism comes as a welcome surprise. After years of benign neglect, European leaders who are energetic and emancipated Atlanticists in Germany, France and England are ready to shoulder new responsibilities outside their borders. Based on their appraisal of terrorist threats and the Middle East quagmire as immediate danger to world peace and Western civilization, these newly elected politicians are shifting political gears. Activated by the number of mosques rising on their soils, failing integration policies and the radicalization of young Muslims, leaders in the three major European nations promise, at long last, new geostrategic horizons benefiting partners on both sides of the Atlantic: a New Atlanticism - reviving the spirit of the West.

I am skeptical whether there will be that much more transatlantic cooperation and less disagreements on crucial security issues, but I like the author's use of the term "emancipated Atlanticists," which gives a realistic understanding of recent changes.

Though, I strongly disagree with Viola Herms Drath's assessment that that the increase in mosques has "activated" this spirit of Atlanticism in Germany, France and Britain. Perhaps the author hopes that (radical) Islam will serve as the new enemy that unites the West as the Soviet Union has done in the past. It's not gonna happen. A rising number of mosques in Europe will not convince any European government to send troops to Iraq or support air strikes on Iran or promise any other "new geostrategic horizons."

Europeans can learn a lot from Americans about how to integrate people with diverse backgrounds and religions, but that has nothing to do with Atlanticism.

Related Atlantic Review posts on the Eurabia myth: International Conference about the Collapse of Europe

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Kevin Sampson on :

"A rising number of mosques in Europe will not convince any European government to send troops to Iraq or support air strikes on Iran or promise any other "new geostrategic horizons." Quite true, but that's not all she said: "Activated by the number of mosques rising on their soils, failing integration policies and the radicalization of young Muslims, leaders in the three major European nations promise, at long last, new geostrategic horizons benefiting partners on both sides of the Atlantic" These are all domestic European concerns, so maybe the 'new geostrategic horizon' is a hell of lot closer to home than Iran or Iraq. And maybe this is all about making sure the cavalry is still on station just over that horizon.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

So you are saying that the US cavalry might one day have to sort out radicalized young Muslims in Europe? Sorry, pal, but John Wayne can't and won't do that.

Sue on :

I agree. The US will never fight another war in Europe. NATO is dying and US bases in Europe constitute a political liability that outweighs their stragetic convenience. They'll all be closed in twenty years.

David on :

Why do you give any legitimacy at all to the right-wing extremist daily Washington Times, which is owned by the cult leader Rev.Moon? Compounding the suspicion here is the author, who is married to the former East German spy, Albrecht Gero Muth - famous for bugging the residence of former Sec'y of State Madeleine Albright.

Kevin Sampson on :

I know it and you know it, but do the 'emancipated Atlanticists'? By the way, what are they emacipated from?

Pat Patterson on :

Ad hominem attack anyone?

joe on :

Hopefully this can be done a lot quicker than 20 years.

Quo Vadis on :

Sarkozy has been making some very aggressive noises about Iran. I don't know what's driving that, but I can't see that it would be driven by integration issues at home.

Jean on :

Guys - Europe doesn't have the troops to send anywhere. The situation is especially dire in Germany, where despite the largish number of troops on paper, the capacity only exists for deploying 7,000 to 10,000 soldiers abroad. And the situation will only worsen, as volunteers typically came from East Germany since the wall came down, but the East is rapidly running out of young men. War is a young man's game, and Europe doesn't have anywhere near enough. Thus, the reliance on 'soft power', - they don't really have hard power.

SC on :

Quite right, Joerg. In fact, the first test of that might well be in the event of another blowup in the Balkans. We tend to forget that not all is yet settled there. The next US President - whoever that is - would run a great political risk in advocating for further US military involvement just about anywhere in the world in the absence of some extreme provocation. A nice discussion of the likely constraints facing the next US President and Congresses can be found in "Grand Strategy for a Divided America" by Kupchan and Trubowitz in Foreign Affairs, July/August, 2007.

Sue on :

Certainly. Judging from how long it takes to close a base in the US, I'm giving a conservative figure. Of course, there won't be any local politicians in Europe fighting to keep them open, so we might be able to get out sooner.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

"Many senior defense officials are concerned that the plan to cut by nearly half the number of forces in Europe could make it difficult to support [b]American interests[/b] in the European theater." [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/761-Reductions-of-US-Troops-in-Europe-Could-Impede-US-Operations.html[/url]

ADMIN on :

Please note that by default the comments in this blog are threaded rather than linear, i.e. some of the latest responses to comments are not at the bottom, but in the middle of the thread right behind the comment they respond to. At the top of the comments section you have the option to change the view from threaded to linear (=chronological), which enables you to see the latest comments at the end of the thread.

joe on :

Actually things are moving right along. The SecDef has informed members of NATO that if they do not step up in Afghanstin then the US will remove it troops which support KFOR.

Don S on :

I think if the writer had avoided the comment about the mosques there was the germ of an idea here. As it was the piece ended upp looking somewhat Steynish - which is a shame. If this phrasw "Activated by the number of mosques rising on their soils, failing integration policies and the radicalization of young Muslims, leaders in the three major European nations....." had instead begun with "Activated by increased numbers of first and second-generation Muslim immigration, failing ...", would it have been more acceptable, Joerg?

Don S on :

But the 'emancipated Atlanticists' could make a difference in the choices which European countries are making. I think one very clear lesson of the past 20 years is that if Europe doesn't develop the capability to intervene in global "hot spots" they will be obliged to sit by and watch the Americans do it - or not. Experience shows that Europe justifiably dislikes either action or inaction. The US doesn't enjoy European inaction. What one wishes to seen done correctly one must be prepared to do oneself - or at least take a major role in. To do that Europe needs to develop a military capability and the ability to project force. Hopefully (almost certainly) not in the American fashion but in another manner better suited to European goals and principals. Inaction is not principled - it is flaccidity converted to a policy.Perhaps the 'emancipated Atlanticists' understand this?

Joerg on :

Sure. I am guilty as hell (Is that a phrase?) of picking something stupid and making a big fuss about it. It is much easier to pick something stupid to criticize than write a more elaborate critique. Though the article's analysis is not so good. There is a lot of wishful thinking. The author does not seem to understand Europe that much. Though, I lack the time to explain myself more elaborately. I think you can guess, why I consider her opening naive. And I think you might agree with my skepticism and pessimism rather than with her, when she says: "After years of benign neglect, European leaders who are energetic and emancipated Atlanticists in Germany, France and England are ready to shoulder new responsibilities outside their borders."

Joerg on :

I doubt it. I don't see any leadership from them in military projects.

Joerg on :

"What one wishes to seen done correctly one must be prepared to do oneself - or at least take a major role in. To do that Europe needs to develop a military capability and the ability to project force." Europe can't do military interventions better than the US. That's why Europe does not even try it. Europe does not spend enough on defense. And even if the EU would spend as much on defense as the US does, it is not enough. The US policy in Iraq is not very inspiring.

Don S on :

'John Wayne' doesn't want to, Joerg. Not after the thanks he got the last time he tried to sort out something in Europe. The sheriff tried to stick old Rooster in the clink after he sorted out the sheriff's little problem - that's how I interpret the wording of the European-written ICC treaty. They say no good deed goes unpunished, and the ICC is proof of that adage....

Jean on :

Don S The only form of action that Europe will rouse itself for is hobbling the US. If you understood evolutionary theory you would understand why, and why European countries are having such a hard time integrating minorities. At this point, I'm completely fed up w/ Germany - had to sit at a dinner where German generals declared the Iraq War lost, and then smirked about it. This from a country that pays $5 million per German hostage, money which is then used to buy weaponry to kill US soldiers and Iraqis! Nope - it's over. The US owes those countries that stood with us, but the Germans have been free-riding for too long. Oh, and they've now developed a rifle that can penetrate kevlar from really long distances! So all US armor is now useless - thanks Germany! Feh - let them seek an alliance with Russia.

Don S on :

Doesn't necessarily have to be military - at least in the John Wayne 'Green Berets' sense. I think there is an enormous need for effective peacekeepers, for example. Peacekeepers who will not allow the bandits to ovverun them and take their weapons and ammunition, but hold discipline and defend themselves as needs must. Another thing Europe could use is a fleet of transport aircraft. During the Asian tsunami crisis a significant point of friction between Germany and the US was the fact the US fleet was unavailable for use in ferrying German supplies to the stricken area because they were all taken up with ferrying American supplies or otherwise engaged. Seems to me that means that Germany (or Europe, more like) needs an alternative to US government-owned aircraft. That can be a fleet of dedicated aircraft owned by EU governments or possibly it could take the form of a contract giving first option on such a fleet from the commercial sector. Having capability means making certain one has the means available to accomplish the mission - as certain as possible anyway. Germany didn't do this then - and from what I heard in the press many Germans laid the blame on George Bush. Because he apparently had a duty to take US planes out of service flying relief supplies to stricken Asia, unload them and fly them to Germany - so the German governmet could use the planes to fly GERMAN supplies to striken Asia! With a necessary delay in those supplies arrival for some hours, of course. We'll see. I'm a scepric myself about the 'new Atlanticists'. Sarkozky seems to be the main example of the genre, but Merkel trod that path before him - but all her talk of 2005-2006 has not been converted into much tangible action to date, has it?

Kevin Sampson on :

"Of course, there won't be any local politicians in Europe fighting to keep them open, so we might be able to get out sooner." I'm afraid you're wrong there. Every time we have announced a new round of base closings in Europe there have been a chorus wails from local politicians, and citizens too, bemoaning the loss of civilian jobs that went with it.

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