European Transnationalists (ie many of the usual suspects) are unhappy with the Republican electoral victory. Their fantasy of exercising control over the US in foreign policy has taken a big hit:
Indeed, the view from European capitals is that transatlantic relations will not so much drift but slip into a pattern of US unilateralism and selected bilateralism - the latter taking precedence over any common EU foreign policy.
This has become more apparent over the past year, with European foreign policy shifting back to its natural home in individual capitals. Diplomats said Italy and Spain, for example, were much more interested in cultivating relations with Washington - even to the extent of providing military or political support over Iraq - than helping to promote a coherent EU common view.
While the most recent electoral results certainly do up the odds that the US is going to follow thru on its preemption strategy and take out the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein we have still not reached a point where it is certain that the US will pursue the preemption strategy beyond Iraq. The other regimes which are developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and supporting terrorism against Western targets may still manage to survive long enough to develop enough WMD to be able to deter US attacks on those regimes. What is most notable about the Iraq debate is the sheer number and variety of types of bad things the Iraqi regime has had to do in order for the US government to move in the direction of removing the regime from power. Even then, the US has had to do so with little support from other Western nations.
To the extent that the argument for taking out the regime in Iraq is made for reasons other than to stop the spread of WMD the whole argument for preemption is downplayed in the public debates. The Bush Administration, by emphasising all the other reasons for removing the Iraqi regime, has lost an opportunity to promote preemption as a strategy that should guide US policy toward Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 November 06 06:29 PM Europe and America|