Thursday, May 20, 2004
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I'm off to mend the transatlantic relationship again!
No blogging for the next 48 hours -- I'll be at the University of Toronto for a roundtable conference on "International Security and the Transatlantic Divide." Yours truly is a discussant for Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, the author of Alliance at Risk: The United States and Europe Since September 11.
I promise to resist any and all urges to mention any contacts I've had with Said Ibrahim.
UPDATE: Home now. The conference was actually very illuminating -- more about it later this week.
And, Dan, here I was thinking, purely from following your blog, that your idea of mending transatlantic relations would bring you not so much to Toronto but to places like this:
You disappoint me.posted by: Bubba on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
Be on the lookout for any worthwhile Canadian initiatives, Dan.posted by: Zathras on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
I hope that Dan Drezner is blunt regarding the parasitic Old European nations. These folks deserve our unhesitating contempt. They may even despise the United States and Israel more than the Islamic nihilists. They have mooched long enough. It’s time for them to do their fair share.posted by: David Thomson on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
David Thomson, it is exactly wingnuts like you that have made us here in "Old Europe" despise you neocons.
We feel sadness for the people of the USA who are being led by a bunch of Nazi thugs.posted by: Cloned Poster on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
“David Thomson, it is exactly wingnuts like you that have made us here in "Old Europe" despise you neocons.
We feel sadness for the people of the USA who are being led by a bunch of Nazi thugs.”
This is most interesting. The United States is run by Nazi thugs? I don’t think I need to add anything else. There’s little doubt that you speak for many Old Europeans. You people are truly contemptible.
Have a good time at the conference Dan, I hope its interesting for you. If they come up with any good solutions you will tell us, right?posted by: sam on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
Other than watching hockey, Dan, what's the point for going to this conference?
Could you tell us what the Alliance provides the US in the way of material, INCREMENTAL benefits outside of Europe--that is, benefits that we would not receive if we were to let the Alliance gradually die?
We certainly don't need a military alliance to cooperate with the Europeans on sharing of police and intelligence info, or cross-border tracking of money laundering, or judicial cooperation. The Europeans are providing these things to us already in spades, and there is utterly no sign that their hatred of Bush has diminished their willingess to cooperate with their US counterparts in these areas. Nor does the alliance help us overcome our political disputes.
What is the MILITARY benefit to us of NATO, other than a few random technical niches like DUtch (?) minesweepers and such, I see no willingness and capability from the Europeans to send forces out of area-- not just token forces like the French in Afghanistan or the Poles and Spaniards in Iraq, but significant deployments that ease the burden on an overstretched US military.
Albright's cliche-- NATO must go out of area or go out of business-- is especially pertinent in a world that ceased to be euro-centric 13 years ago.
All of the major challenges to this country-- security, economic, political, even cultural-- today originate in the nations of Asia, ie the near and far east. The point is not that Europe is irrelevant but that the Europeans have almost no military or intelligence assets, and next-to-zero real influence, in the regions that directly and crucially affect our interests in this century.
What could the Europeans possibly do to help us with the Korean impasse? With Pakistan? How are they helping matters between Israel and the Palestinians? Are they really helping to improve the security situation vis-avis Iran? In many ways, the ex-colonial European continental powers are not even allies in the middle east. In opposing our effort to topple Saddam, France was aiming to preserve its best client, and almost its sole remaining source of influence, in the region.
So if the European military partners either cannot or will not contribute any significant assets to our efforts in the near and far east, what's the point?
The axis of history now runs from Damascus to Tehran to Islamabad, Delhi, Beijing, Pyongyang and Tokyo. Does it really make any sense in this Asian Century for the US to tie up such extraordinary amounts of bandwidth and resource in nations that can neither help nor harm us in that region from which all our security nightmares derive?
Or is NATO just containment in disguise?
It is conceivable that Europe may in the distant future become useful again as an ally. For that reason we must certainly maintain the communication channels. But as the US slowly stops subsidizing the Europeans, stops paying for their defense and R&D, they will begin to feel the pain of withdrawal.
Without the US defense umbrella, the Europeans will soon be warring among themselves, as is their normal way of relating to each other. But since their militaries have atrophied under the american shield, their capacity to do harm is proportionately reduced.posted by: Jim on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
What Europeans can't seem to understand is that we Americans don't give a damn about them, never think about them and in fact, they are so irrelevant to our lives that if Europe suddenly disappeared it wouldn't make a ripple in our lives.
The courageous, adventurous, capable and intelligent Europeans came to America to seek their fortune leaving behind the fearful, timid, inept and stupid.
The former are now Americans and the latter are now Euroweenies.posted by: erp on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
You mean apart from the disappearance of one of America's biggest export markets as well as one of the largest origins of foreign investment?posted by: sam on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
“UPDATE: Home now. The conference was actually very illuminating -- more about it later this week.”
My imagination is running wild. I can see it now, the majority of conference participants are calling for the election of John Kerry, a true multilateral candidate---a man willing to kiss the rear ends of our country’s “allies.”posted by: David Thomson on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
Yes, we and the Europeans are joined at the hip economically. But why do we need a military or a political alliance? After all, we are at least as economically integrated with Japan and soon will be with China. And arguably, aren't we much more dependent on a good relationship with those two nations that own, what, 50% of our national debt?
So, if diplomatic and political resources are limited, doesn't it make more sense to shift them away from Europe toward Asia?posted by: thibaud on 05.20.04 at 05:22 PM [permalink]
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