Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Different strokes

Once again I must thank Iain Murray for pointing out this thought provoking article in the Washington Post.

Basically its a justified moan about how Europe (1) dislikes America and (2) thinks that military preparation is for other people.

He (Jeffrey Gedmin and not Iain Murray) concludes:

But the old alliance holds little promise of figuring prominently in U.S. global strategic thinking. That's why the administration's tactical doctrine, namely for the mission to define the coalition, makes sense. Sure, we still need allies for the long haul. The Eastern Europeans like us. The Turks and Israelis grasp the threat and spend for defense. The Brits do too -- and can help enormously if they guard their independence from Brussels in years to come. If the old alliance is gone, it's time to start building something new.

Now the slant could be a good one for the Anglosphere types. Europe = weak and sickly, America = strong and vibrant.

And yet, and yet, in this matter aren't we more with the Europeans? I'm not talking about the absolutely hopeless state of their armed forces or their dislike for America - but in our lack of global ambition.

We may be more like America than the Germany and France, but this does not make us Americans. America is a world power, and we to be blunt, are not. We may have been there, but we're not there now.

So this article is saying what should be obvious, America is a global power and its old allies are not. That means the old allies have different priorities. And that includes us. But sometimes the obvious things are the hardest to see.


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