USA and Europe after E-Day

Posted in Europe | 27-Nov-04 | Author: Dieter Farwick

Many Europeans had to learn a lesson anew: The American president is still elected by the American people and Michael Moore is not the "Voice of America".

Now that the election is over, many European politicians and governments – as well as the media – should rapidly get rid of the illusion that a President John Kerry would have immediately solved all problems existing in the relations between the United States and some European governments.

Many observers stress that John Kerry was not able to tell the American people what he really stands for. That’s evident, but it could also be that that he might have been aware that as the world's lone world superpower, the US has no alternative but to cope with all geographical and/or topical problems. This includes the war on terror, the fight against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the war in Iraq, the commitment in Afghanistan, the conflict between Israel and Palestine and the conflicts with Iran and North Korea would not have disappeared overnight – not to mention huge domestic problems. In the end, Kerry could not offer a convincing alternative to the politics of the Bush administration. A possible change in style and rhetoric was not enough to bring John Kerry the majority.

The Atlantic: a link or a rift ?

It goes without saying that both the US and Europe should try to mitigate tensions. They should realize that they still have a lot of common interests. It also goes without saying that the harmony of the Cold War will never come back. Common global interests should enable common strategies and common means for tackling problems. The US will remain the hegemon, but it should be a cooperative hegemon.

Europeans should use NATO as the strong link across the Atlantic. Division of labour and burden sharing should get more out of scarce resources. The division of labour should not follow the slogan: The US should take the burden of “hard power” and the Europeans deliver the “soft power”.

This newsletter written by Eckard Bolsinger, Germany, concentrates on the relations between the USA and Germany.

Based upon a sound analysis Eckard Bolsinger presents clear conclusions and recommendations for the role Germany should and could play.

He asks for not less than a change of paradigm in German politics.

A lot has to be done to reach the desirable objective: United we stand.