November 20, 2007

Europe and America update

"The signs are encouraging but Europe still lacks what it takes to share the global responsibilities that America takes on board" ...

"A Europe that wants more say in world affairs and NATO is acceptable and advantageous but as it stands today it is unable to shell out for it "...

A new sense of warmth has appeared between Washington and Berlin and Paris. We recently witnessed President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talking frankly about Pakistan and Iran. A week earlier, President Sarkozy was given rare honor of addressing a joint session of congress with one senator suggesting that Mr Sarkozy had outdone even Mr. Blair's 2003 address, adding that the response to a foreign leader had been the “most positive that I’ve heard in 30 years”. And finally Gordon Brown pledged stronger ties with the U.S. The latter was particularly welcomed as relations between Downing Street and the White House were cool following the U.K.’s withdrawal from Southern Iraq not to mention Foreign Office Minister, Lord Malloch Brown’s inflammatory remarks; comments that embittered Republicans when at the U.N.

I draw your attention to Gordon Browns recent and first major Foreign Policy speech, although lengthy let's focus on three (3) points deemed pertinent to the central premise of this blog.

Firstly, on matters of foreign interventions, Mr. Brown appears to have adopted a let’s wait and see approach. The broad rhetoric is only slightly more interventionist that that of the conservatives accordingly, British politics is keeping its foreign policy options open.

Secondly, on continuity with Mr. Blair, Mr. Browns overtones were positive and signaled no detrimental break from Blairism. Like many commentators I found some comments illuminating.

“resolutions matter results matter even more.” Now I might be vastly over-interpreting this line but in foreign-policy speak this kind of reasoning is a standard defense for working outside the framework of the UN when necessary."

Thirdly, on elements of anti-Americanism in Britain, in a recent speech at the Lord Mayor of London’s banquet Mr. Brown said

"It is no secret that I am a life-long admirer of America. I have no truck with anti-Americanism in Britain or elsewhere in Europe and I believe that our ties with America - founded on values we share - constitute our most important bilateral relationship. And it is good for Britain, for Europe and for the wider world that today France and Germany and the European Union are building stronger relationships with America."

The new found accord with Europe is welcomed and contrasts greatly with the impetuous days of Schroeder and Chirac. Even Bush appears to have softened showing a willingness to seek consensus and to pursue a multilateral methodology to internal affairs. When meeting with Chancellor Merkel the President stressed the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to the present Iranian crises.

The signs are encouraging but Europe still lacks what it takes to share the global responsibilities that America takes on board. To date both France and Germany have not gone as far as committing troops for Afghanistan to assist NATO with a resurgent Taliban. Furthermore the Europeans lack the necessary resources to offer tangible support, here I do not refer to military hardware’s, more accurately I foresee problems with the financing of any operations over a long haul due to matters economic.

The continents economic decline is pronounced with GDP per head over 20% below America’s. Population factors (something I touched on here), specifically, growth and fertility rates have declined markedly. The latter being fuelled by poor economic performance amongst factors associated with culture. Businesses face demanding tax burdens, Labour laws are restraining growth and constrictive regulation is rife. Based on current developments U.S. citizens (and Australian) will be far better off than there Euro counterparts in the coming years.

A Europe that wants more say in world affairs and NATO is acceptable and advantageous but as it stands today it is unable to shell out for it. Unlike the United States, European nations have not acknowledged nor addressed, the relationship between power and responsibility.

Comments always appreciated...

19 comments:

Karen said...

I love the post! Thanks for the holiday wishes. Will you have some turkey there? I've blogged about Sarko and the new friendships with Merkel. Now I'll be blogging about the new guy in Denmark! I'm liking the trend!

Have a good one.

Goat said...

Otto, things are looking better but I can understand their loathing for war considering what that small part of the world has endured in the not so distant past. Now on the economic end things are looking up as a weaker dollar improves our exports and encourages foriegn tourism. The EU's economy is very stagnate and our policies now have more appeal as we grow. Its a shame the Democrats want to institute failed euro-socialist policies here.

Debbie said...

Another excellent article. Thanks for the comments at Right Truth and for your friendship. I know Thanksgiving Day is a U.S. holiday, but I'm thankful for all my friends, and you are a valued friend.

Incognito said...

Yes, indeed, thank you for your Happy Thanksgiving wishes! We are very grateful for our Aussie friends and thankful there seems to be an about face trend happening in Europe. We always had friends in the newly freed ex-soviet union countries..but not in the rest of Europe.. so this is all good news. Although the Dems must be dying, what with their continuous "we're hated" because of Bush.

Jeb Koogler said...

This is not entirely related, but speaking of a warming of transatlantic relations, I thought I'd pass along this interesting piece from The New York Observer:

http://www.observer.com/print/59382/full

American Interests said...

Karen: Thanks will check your posting soon

goat: war and Europe...indeed it was a "not so distant past" wasn't it. Euro socialist policies can engage broad appeal but bring economies to a halt...

Debbie: I notice you linked to the article at Right Truth...I appreciate!

incog: Generally I think it is good news about the warming in trans atlantic relations and it probably displeases Bush opponents as does the continuing improvements in Iraq.

Jeb: Kind of you to visit and comment. I am sure to use the link provided.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Excellent post as always. It is good to see Europe get back on board and leaders like Cheraque gone. Let's hope that it continues to grow and not take the turn it has in the past.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tapline said...

AI, This is an outstanding Post....I agree with your analysis. We still are depended upon around the globe. stay well.....

American Interests said...

lib lie conserv truth: Thanks for the praise and visit...

Tap: Thanx and you stay well too.

heidianne jackson said...

otto, thanks so much for your thanksgiving wishes. i am thankful for your friendship and always look forward to seeing your posts. this one is no exception.

it is wonderful to see the relationships between the u.s. and europe warming up again. i beleive that the biggest reason neither france nor germany have "gone so far as committing troops..." has less to do with the wars in their not so distant past and more to do with the large number of muslims in their countries. muslims who are outproducing their native populations by 2-1 or more.

these leaders realize that they need the u.s., but are unable to figure out a way to support us in our war efforts without angering their muslim populations at home. neither of them want a repeat of the riots in france...

WomanHonorThyself said...

power and responsibilty.ah yes my friend...excellent read!.Happy Thanksgiving..almost time to eat and count blessings! :)

Donald Douglas said...

That's a good post, and I love the magazine cover.

Good job, Ottavio, and Happy Thanksgiving!

American Interests said...

heidianne: great thing about blogging is the ideas and thoughts shared. In this case you have brought up a most valid point about Muslim population growth in in the aforementioned nations as oposed to native growth of same. Excellent observation.

Angel: I know you will appreciate the bleesings, as always good to see you here.

Donald: Thank you Donald, keep up the good work at American Power...

courtneyme109 said...

Something that may have been missed in this realignment of the EU. Iran now has missiles that are in range of Europe's capital cities.

http://fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/missile/

American Interests said...

courtneyme109: Just visited the link, very interesting. I feel confident that something is brewing, Iran is under the microscope, being watched amd scrutinised very carefully by not just the U.S. Crunch time soon...on a massive scale..

Aurora said...

This looks like a fantastic blog. I'm blogrolling you and look forward to reading you often.

Jeff said...

Excellent post, AI. I will be adding you to the blogroll.

American Interests said...

aurora and jeff: Thank you and welcome to American interests, I shall reciprocate.

Aurora said...

The thing that should worry every person in society about the GW 'debate' is that there is no debate! Only one side of the picture is permitted in the media (most of the time) and the vast number of scientists who present very credible evidence to support the fact that the emperor is naked, are being drowned out, ignored, threatened, blacklisted. Once a society has lost it's balancing voice, things are on their way downhill.
Kyoto is, in my view, after reading those other voices, a complete farce and one which will pauperize the country and every citizen in it. America is smart not to ratify it's draconian demands.

Aurora themidnightsun.org