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The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

The Eurocrisis is severe, but no reason to wet your pants -- or to mention the war, is it? As did The Times editor-at-large Anatole Kaletsky, in an op-ed for his paper by the headline: "Germany has declared war on the eurozone"

If Clausewitz is right that "war is the continuation of policy by other means", then Germany is again at war with Europe -- in the sense that German policy is trying to achieve the characteristic objectives of war: the redrawing of international boundaries and the subjugation of foreign peoples.

Holy guacamole! The Australian has republished his op-ed with free access to everyone visiting via Google. So search for the headline "Europe is at economic war, and Germany is winning". (HT Christian)

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The reports of Europe's death are greatly exaggerated

"The Slow Death of Europe" is the headline of Walter Laqueur's commentary in The National Interest:

Some five years ago in a book entitled The Last Days of Europe I dealt with Europe's decline-and was criticized for my pessimism. And yet I now feel uneasy facing the apocalyptic utterances of yesterday's Euro-enthusiasts. For even if Europe's decline is irreversible, there is no reason that it should become a collapse. At a time of deep, multiple crises in Europe it is too easy to ridicule the delusions of yesteryear.

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Europe Does Not Need American Protection Anymore

NATO does very good work every day, but it is "a bit of an anachronism." 9/11 has accelerated the divergence of European and American geostrategic interests. Europe does not need American protection anymore, with the exception of the nuclear guarantee, says Nick Witney, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

He gave an excellent and forthright speech at the Heinrich Boell Foundation's Annual Foreign Policy Conference on the transatlantic security architecture and European defense efforts.

I very much agree with his description of European mainstream perceptions of and positions on security. At a time when so many US journalists and pundits are questioning the relevance of NATO and express their increasing disappointment with the Europeans, I would like to recommend the ten minute video below to better understand why most European countries are not spending more on defense and do not send more troops to US led wars.

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The Pacific Century

Stop complaining about Europe. Rather focus on Asia. That's the advice from Richard Haas (David), president of the US Council on Foreign Relations, in response to Secretary Gates' speech.

Asia is increasingly the center of gravity of the world economy; the historic question is whether this dynamism can be managed peacefully. The major powers of Europe - Germany, France and Great Britain - have reconciled, and the regional arrangements there are broad and deep. In Asia, however, China, Japan, India, Vietnam, the two Koreas, Indonesia and others eye one another warily. Regional pacts and arrangements, especially in the political and security realms, are thin. Political and economic competition is unavoidable; military conflict cannot be ruled out. Europeans will play a modest role, at best, in influencing these developments.

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"NATO is Like A Boyfriend/Girlfriend That Won't Commit"

While most US commentators seem to support Secretary Gates criticism of NATO's European members, many also express an understanding of Europe's position and call upon US policy makers to draw the appropriate conclusions rather than to keep asking Europeans to increase their defense spending.

Perhaps they should read the book "He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys" by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, because most Europeans these days are just not that into fighting wars outside of Europe.

Michael Cohen compares NATO to A Boyfriend/Girlfriend That Won't Commit:

So you ever know those couples where one of the two really wants to get married, settle down and have kids and the other one just refuses to commit and is evasive about the future of the relationship . . . I think this is a good descriptor of the US-NATO alliance today. (...)

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How US Girls Can Find Hot Men in Europe

As a blog dedicated to transatlantic relations, I guess we are obligated to promote this book: The Single Girl's Guide to Meeting European Men Amazon.com, Amazon.de: "This book offers single girls forty proven tips for meeting and interacting with European men - in a frank, energetic voice that twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings alike will love. Katherine Chloe Cahoon then guides readers through the hottest man-meeting spots in Europe country by country - including phone numbers and addresses of the establishments where single girls have the best chances of meeting Europe's hottest males."

Here is one of the many favorable (and totally serious) reviews on Amazon.com:

So good I might switch teams! I'm a guy. I had absolutely no interest in this book, but my wife did. After she read it, she told me it was the greatest piece of 21st century literature. Naturally, I dismissed the notion of a manual to pick up men actually being a worthwhile read, but she insisted, so I gave it a shot. Imagine my surprise when I went to get a drink and saw that I had been reading for 9 hours straight! It was such a compelling page-turner that I somehow unwittingly finished the whole book and convinced myself to start over twice! Never in the course of human history has so much been owed by so many to one author. There are, as advertised, great tips for getting yourself in with some Euro spice, but they feel like an extra gift included with the deftly woven narrative. I only regret that I fell so in love with this book that now I, too, want to fly to Berlin and try to land one of the beautiful young men so well-described in these pages. My wife regrets it, too, but you won't! Read this book today!

The author seems to be serious and has produced a large number of videos to promote the book.

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Transatlantic Time of the Year

Get ready for two busy days: The NATO summit starts tomorrow, followed by the NATO-Russia summit, followed by the EU-US summit.

President Obama started the charm offensive by naming Chancellor Merkel one of fifteen recipients of the 2010 Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor." Moreover, he published an Op-Ed in the NY Times: Europe and America, Aligned for the Future

And Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argues in Politico: Critics write obits, but NATO focuses on new threats

Do you think NATO will succeed in revitalizing itself?

Is Lisbon going to open a new chapter in NATO-Russian relations?

Are you optimistic regarding improved EU-US cooperation? Or do you expect nothing more than photo-ops?

Let us know.

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Reunification: Germany Succeeds in Icy Negotiations

Germany has been criticized for a self-centered foreign and economic policy lately: Afghanistan, economic stimulus, Greece. Germany's commitment to the transatlantic alliance and European integration is called into question. I wonder how much of this is influenced by German reunification 20 years ago. We achieved our main goal (the jackpot) back then and need allies less since. Besides, our friends in the West were not very supportive of our main foreign policy goal, if the Spiegel's summary of the road to unification is to believed.

President Bush is described as "rather indifferent to the question of unification" and erecting "the highest hurdle when he stated that the United States would only agree to reunification if the new Germany were brought into the NATO fold."

British diplomats wondered whether this was a trick aimed at postponing German reunification for years to come. Nevertheless, Kohl agreed to Bush's proposal. He was concerned that if Germany became neutral, NATO would collapse. Without the North Atlantic pact, Kohl worried, the Americans would disappear from Europe, and nuclear powers France and Great Britain would then form a tighter alliance. It was an outcome no chancellor could possibly wish for. But if Kohl agreed to NATO membership, Bush would stand by his word -- and American influence in Europe would increase. The only problem was convincing Gorbachev to accept both reunification and NATO membership. His troops were still stationed in East Germany, which was still a member or the Warsaw Pact, and Gorbachev was still convinced that a leftist political party emerging from the SED could save the GDR.

Why did Gorbachev agree so quickly? According to Spiegel he was so busy with the Soviet Union's domestic troubles that he did not care that much about Germany. (Another reason was that he was a moralist and did not want to be seen as an extortionist by putting more demands on Germany.)  Though, opposition to reunification grew in the West in 1989 and 1990:

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