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[casi] Mending the U.S.-European Rift over the Middle East

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      Cato Policy Analysis No. 485 August 20, 2003

Mending the U.S.-European Rift
over the Middle East
by Leon T. Hadar

Leon T. Hadar is a research fellow in foreign policy studies with the Cato Institute and author of 
Quagmire: America in the Middle East.

Executive Summary

The war in Iraq has created tensions between the United States and some of its leading allies in 
Europe and exposed a deep diplomatic rift between the traditional transatlantic security partners. 
The controversy over Iraq has also ignited strong anti-American sentiments and threatened 
international cooperation in the war against Al Qaeda.

Neoconservatives in the United States have argued that the Euro-American divisions over Iraq 
reflect an emerging political-cultural clash between Americans and Europeans. The Euro-American gap 
is unbridgeable, the neoconservatives say. Washington should pursue its interests in the Middle 
East, regard European opposition as being determined by a powerful anti-American ideological 
disposition, and try to co-opt into its global camp the "new" Europeans whose views and policy are 
driven by a pro-American outlook.

The neoconservatives have it wrong. The rift between Europe and the United States is driven not by 
culture or ideology but by diverging national interests.

Even in the European countries that supported the United States on Iraq, most elites and the public 
at large are concerned that the American policy in the Middle East will create political 
instability in the region and could inflame anti-Western sentiment in the Arab world, spurring more 
terrorism directed, not just at the United States, but at all Western states. Under these 
circumstances, Europe, with its geographical proximity and close economic and demographic ties to 
the Middle East, could become the first victim of American policy.

The long-term interests of the United States do not lie in dominating the Middle East and 
marginalizing the European role there. Instead, by taking steps to disengage from the Middle East, 
Washington could create incentives for the Europeans to adopt a posture in the region suitable for 
protecting and defending their legitimate interests there. A foreign policy that encourages greater 
engagement between Europe and the states of the Middle East could ultimately redound to the benefit 
of Europeans, Middle Easterners, and Americans alike.


Full text::

The war in Iraq has created tensions between the

United States and some of its leading allies in

Europe and exposed a deep diplomatic rift between

the traditional transatlantic security partners. The

controversy over Iraq has also ignited strong anti-American

sentiments and threatened international

cooperation in the war against Al Qaeda.

Neoconservatives in the United States have

argued that the Euro-American divisions over Iraq

reflect an emerging political-cultural clash between

Americans and Europeans. The Euro-American gap

is unbridgeable, the neoconservatives say. Washing-ton

should pursue its interests in the Middle East,

regard European opposition as being determined by

a powerful anti-American ideological disposition,

and try to co-opt into its global camp the "new"

Europeans whose views and policy are driven by a

pro-American outlook.

The neoconservatives have it wrong. The rift

between Europe and the United States is driven

not by culture or ideology but by diverging national


Even in the European countries that supported

the United States on Iraq, most elites and the public

at large are concerned that the American policy in

the Middle East will create political instability in the

region and could inflame anti-Western sentiment in

the Arab world, spurring more terrorism directed,

not just at the United States, but at all Western

states. Under these circumstances, Europe, with its

geographical proximity and close economic and

demographic ties to the Middle East, could become

the first victim of American policy.

The long-term interests of the United States do

not lie in dominating the Middle East and marginal-izing

the European role there. Instead, by taking

steps to disengage from the Middle East, Washing-ton

could create incentives for the Europeans to

adopt a posture in the region suitable for protecting

and defending their legitimate interests there. A for-eign

policy that encourages greater engagement

between Europe and the states of the Middle East

could ultimately redound to the benefit of

Europeans, Middle Easterners, and Americans alike.

Mending the U.S.-European Rift

over the Middle East

by Leon T. Hadar


Leon T. Hadar is a research fellow in foreign policy studies with the Cato Institute and author of 

America in the Middle East.

Executive Summary

No. 485 August 20, 2003.Introduction

The transatlantic alliance, which has pro-vided

the basis for the security of the West for

the last 50 years, is facing a challenge to its

existence in the aftermath of the war in Iraq.

Indeed, the rift between the United States and

the leading members of that alliance-in par-ticular

France and Germany-has exposed

deep strategic differences between traditional

security partners. "For the first time since the

Vietnam War," the Financial Times noted, "U.S.

forces were engaged in a big military conflict

without the support or even the acquiescence

of several of America's most important

European allies."


Moreover, the rift over Iraq

has ignited strong anti-American sentiments

in both the European elites and the general

public. It has also damaged international

institutions, such the United Nations, the

North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the

European Union, that were conceived and

nourished by the transatlantic allies.

Some diplomatic tensions between the

United States and the EU had already surfaced

in 2001 when President George W. Bush sig-naled

his displeasure with the Kyoto Treaty on

global warming and the treaty forming an

International Criminal Court. Those and

other differences were highlighted during

Bush's first official visit to Europe.



Americans and Europeans seemed to be unit-ed

as never before following the Al Qaeda ter-rorist

attacks on New York and Washington

on September 11, 2001,


the increased stress in

the relationship between the EU and the

United States over the strategy to contain ter-rorism

became evident after President Bush's

"Axis of Evil" speech in January 2002 and was

reflected in their conflicting positions on the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on the proper

means of dealing with Iraq.


At first, the EU and the United States were

able to forge a common diplomatic strategy

on Iraq at the United Nations on the basis of

Security Council Resolution 1441. But a

growing diplomatic alienation developed

between the United States, supported by

Britain, Spain, Italy, and few Eastern

European nations, dubbed by Secretary of

State Donald Rumsfeld as the "New Europe,"

and a European camp led by France and

Germany, Rumsfeld's "Old Europe."



the Bush administration made it clear that

the United States intended to use military

force against Iraq, the French and the

Germans insisted that they would oppose

such a move, echoing the views of most

Europeans. That split on the eve of the war

with Iraq produced two dramatic develop-ments

in the history of the Western alliance.

First, Cold War-era allies France and

Germany refused to provide the United

States with a UN Security Council resolution

authorizing military action against Iraq.

Instead, both countries worked with the

Cold War-era adversary, Russia, to sabotage

American efforts to win support for a second



At the same time, France, sup-ported

by Germany and Belgium, resisted the

American-backed request that NATO pro-vide

a package of defensive measures for

Turkey, which would have implied that a war

with Iraq was inevitable.

The Americans avoided a French veto in

the Security Council by deciding not to sub-mit

a second resolution for a vote.

Meanwhile, a deal on aid to Turkey was

struck in NATO's defense planning commit-tee,

of which France is not a member.



is no doubt, however, that those episodes

pointed to a rupture among the major

Western powers. The split, pitting the United

States and Britain, joined by Italy, Spain,

Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, and

most of the Central and Eastern European

governments, against France, Germany, and

Belgium, backed by Greece, Finland, Sweden,

and Austria, led former secretary of state

Henry Kissinger to pronounce that "the road

to Iraqi disarmament has produced the

gravest crisis within the Atlantic Alliance

since its creation five decades ago."


Explaining the growing divide in the transat-lantic

alliance has become a central preoccu-pation

of policymakers and analysts in

Washington and European capitals. This


The rift between

the United States

and the leading

members of the


alliance has

exposed deep



between tradi-tional


partners..paper shows that, contrary to the claims

made by prominent neoconservatives, the

dispute between the United States and the

EU over the war on Iraq, and the United

States' broader strategy throughout the

Middle East, reflects differences over policy,

not a clash of cultures. European interests

occasionally come in conflict with American

interests in the region. Only by recognizing

each group's interests, and by designing poli-cies

that take account of those interests, can

Washington avoid a bitter and permanent

split with its former Cold War allies in the

21st century.

How the Neoconservative

Vision of Europe

Shapes U.S. Policy

Placing the current Euro-American discord

in context, trying to frame or deconstruct it, is

more than just an academic exercise. The way

American government officials and media pun-dits

assess an international crisis and market

their conclusions to the public shapes not only

popular perceptions but policy. Imposing lim-its

on the range of policy options may produce

a cycle of action and reaction that could trans-form

the initial framework into a self-fulfilling



For example, during the Cold War,

local and regional conflicts that had national,

ethnic, and religious causes were framed by

American leaders as driven by ideological and

geopolitical forces. Many historians fault the

makers of foreign policy and analysts of the

Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations

for framing the war in Vietnam as part of a

struggle between the liberal West represented

by South Vietnam and the communist bloc

represented by North Vietnam. Critics counter

that the conflict in South Asia should have

been conceptualized as part of a nationalist

struggle aimed at uniting Vietnam and

expelling foreign powers. By adopting such a

"nationalist" framework for interpretation

from the outset, the United States might have

avoided the painful and humiliating quagmire

of Vietnam. Indeed, by applying a "nationalist"

framework to explain the policies of

Yugoslavia's Marshal Tito, American leaders

were able to advance a sophisticated strategy for

dealing with the Balkans and to encourage the

growing split between Belgrade and Moscow.


The importance of policy frameworks in

shaping the American approach to the world

was revealed following the September 11, 2001,

attacks on New York and Washington when a

group of neoconservative intellectuals trans-formed

the war on terrorism into a crusade to

remake the Middle East by establishing an

American Democratic Empire there. Initially,

that policy frame seemed to have exerted limited

influence on President Bush's reaction to 9/11.

The Bush administration's policies in the first

stage of the war of terrorism attacked the perpe-trators

of violence. That initial approach

required a relatively limited military and diplo-matic

response and was successful in disrupting

the operations of the group behind 9/11 (Al

Qaeda), eliminating its military and operational

base (in Afghanistan), and dealing with its

sources of support (in Pakistan and Saudi


The neoconservative intellectuals chal-lenged

those policies, which were intended to

deal with the real threats to American security,

and argued instead that the anti-American ter-rorism

of 9/11 and the Palestinian uprising

(Intifadah) against Israel demonstrated a

strategic and ideological threat that originated

in an explosive mix of radical Arab nationalism

(Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Palestinian terrorism)

and Muslim extremism (in Iran and Saudi

Arabia). Many people in Europe, especially

leaders in France and Germany, disputed this

claim, and they challenged the Bush adminis-tration's

apparent departure from a narrowly

tailored attack on Al Qaeda. As the neoconser-vatives

saw it, the subsequent divisions

between the Europeans and the Americans

couldn't be explained as differences over

American policy; rather, those divisions reflect

a clash of cultures. Although the Europeans do

not directly threaten the United States, they are

seen in the context of the conflict with Iraq as

an impediment to our defending ourselves.

Europe itself, therefore, was transformed into a




transformed the

war on terrorism

into a crusade to

remake the

Middle East by

establishing an



Empire there..major threat to the U.S. global role in the war

on terrorism.

Venus vs. Mars

Adopting terms coined by self-help guru

John Gray to describe the differences between

men and women, Robert Kagan, director of

the U.S. Leadership Project at the Carnegie

Endowment for International Peace, argues

that the transatlantic split demonstrates that

"Americans are from Mars and Europeans

from Venus: They agree on little and under-stand

one another less and less." It is time,

Kagan wrote in Policy Review, to "stop pre-tending

that Europeans and Americans share

a common view of the world, or even that

they occupy the same world."


According to polls, most Europeans (even

those living in nations that were members of

the Coalition of the Willing against Iraq)

opposed President Bush's policies in the

Middle East-some 87 percent of Spaniards

were against the Iraq war, and a majority of

British citizens were critical of U.S. policy

toward Israel.


But according to the neocon-servative

explanation, the fact that most

Europeans opposed the Bush administration

on Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute had

very little to do with perceptions of strategic



Instead, the neoconservatives con-tend

that Europeans and Americans differ in

their approach to a host of contemporary

issues ranging from society and economics to

the environment and the death penalty, fami-ly

and religion, and the Arabs and the Jews.

Reflecting the more traditional view of the

Euro-American relationship, Harvard Univer-sity's

Stanley Hoffman suggested that Euro-American

discord over the war with Iraq could

be seen as "one more episode in a long history

of disagreements" that could be resolved by

applying the tools of diplomacy, as was done

in the past.


But that perspective has been

rejected by neoconservative intellectuals such

as military historian Victor Davis Hanson,

who wondered whether the time had arrived

for Americans to say "Goodbye to Europe"

and prepare for a geopolitical divorce from the



Skepticism about the long-term

prospects for the U.S.-European relationship

is not confined to the right of the political

spectrum. Charles Kupchan, a liberal Demo-cratic

commentator who served in President

Clinton's National Security Council, thinks

that America and Europe are proceeding

toward a political-ideological confrontation of

historic proportions, which will pit a unilater-alist

and militaristic America with its dog-eat-dog

capitalist system against a multilateralist

and peaceful Europe with its welfare-statist,

social democratic system. Drawing an analogy

between the contemporary Western world and

the Roman Empire of the fourth century,

Kupchan concludes that the West would be

divided into two political-cultural churches,

with Washington and Brussels headed down

the same road that Rome and Constantinople

took. "Washington today, like Rome then,

enjoys primacy, but is beginning to tire of the

burdens of hegemony as it witnesses the grad-ual

diffusion of power and influence away

from the imperial core," he writes. "And

Europe today, like Byzantium then, is emerg-ing

as an independent center of power, divid-ing

a unitary realm into two."


The American Macho Man and the

Castrated Euroweenies

If one uses the paradigm advanced by Kagan

and other neoconservative commentators,

Europeans live today in a postmodern or "post-historical

paradise": a self-contained world

based on transnational rules, negotiation, and

cooperation. By contrast, Americans are still

mired in history, operating in a Hobbesian uni-verse

of political interests and conflicts, in

which international law is disdained and only

the fittest-that is, those with the necessary mil-itary



The Europeans are "ide-alists"

who believe in the application of "soft

power" to contain global challenges and want

to rely on multilateral institutions and interna-tional

treaties to apply their pacifist model to

deal with international conflicts. Americans, on

the other hand, are "realists" who know that

only the use of "hard power" can be effective in

containing aggressors and blame the Euro-peans

for trying to constrain American military


According to the


explanation, the

fact that most


opposed the Bush


on Iraq and the


dispute had very

little to do with

perceptions of

strategic interests..power as the United States tries to stand up

against the Saddam Husseins and Osama bin

Ladens of the world.

The Mars vs. Venus interpretation of the

Euro-American split can be broadened into a

clash between Age (Europe) and Youth (America).

In this context, The Economist observed, Europe

can be perceived as "a clapped-out old conti-nent-

a wonderful place to visit but hardly the

anvil of the future."


Other pundits celebrate

America as the "virile" nation whose population,

as a result of higher birthrates and rising immi-gration,

will probably overtake that of "barren"

Europe, with its lower fertility rates and barriers to

immigration. The process of continual change

makes America look (and presumably act)

less and less like the Old World.


An article

in The Economist focused on the cultural split

between the "vigorous and na´ve" Americans,

who seem to be committed to traditional values

of family, religion, and the flag and the more

"refined and unprincipled," if not "cynical and

decadent," Europeans, who attend church ser-vices

less frequently than Americans and are more

tolerant of abortion, euthanasia, divorce, and



Capitalism and the degree of state

control over the market are other sources of ten-sions.

Many American (and European) propo-nents

of the free market emphasized, especially

during the booming economic years of the 1990s,

that the EU economies have failed to adopt the

necessary reforms (cutting government spend-ing,

restructuring welfare systems, unlocking

their immobile labor markets, and removing

barriers to trade) necessary to compete with the

Americans in the global economy. Europeans

counter by noting America's hypocrisy, as reflect-ed

in its huge farm subsidies, selectively protec-tionist

trade policies, and "corporate welfare."


Those are the kinds of comparisons between

Europeans and Americans that neoconserva-tive

intellectuals like to draw as a way of explain-ing

why Americans are ready to fight against

the barbarians at the gate, while the Europeans

are not. Timothy Garton Ash of the Hoover

Institution suggested recently that much of the

neoconservative critique of Europe in such

American media outlets as the Weekly Standard,

the National Review Online, and the Wall Street

Journal editorial page has degenerated into an

ugly anti-European caricature. "Pens are dipped

in acid and lips curled to pillory 'the

Europeans,' also known as 'the Euros,' 'the

Euroids,' 'the peens," or the 'Euroweenies,'" Ash

wrote. Depicting the Europeans as wimps, Ash

contends that they are weak, hypocritical, dis-united,

duplicitous, and sometimes anti-American

and anti-Semitic appeasers, whose

"values and spines have dissolved in a luke-warm

bath of multilateral, transnational, secu-lar

and postmodern fudge." The Europeans

spend their euros "on wine, holidays, bloated

welfare states instead of defense," while

Americans who are "strong, principled defend-ers

of freedom" are standing tall and are doing

all the hard work and dirty business of making

the world safe for those "Euroweenies."


Sex, Lies, and Foreign Policy

Ash and other analysts have highlighted

the way sexual metaphors, an extension of

Kagan's Mars vs. Venus imagery, have been

used by American critics. "The European is

[a] female, impotent, or castrated," who just

"can't get it up," Ash writes, while the

American is a virile, heterosexual male.



in that context, the French seem to be regard-ed

as the "least manly" of the continental

nations and the most despised by the

American "EU-nuch" haters.

Whether one accepts such anti-European

vilification or adopts the more sophisticated

analysis provided by Kagan, the bottom line

is that the refusal by the Europeans to sec-ond

American policy toward Iraq and the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict, combined with

their failure to block American actions, is a

clear indication that the Europeans have

become diplomatically and militarily impo-tent.

As Jonah Goldberg of the National

Review puts it, Europe is nothing more than

"a broad coalition of self-hating intellectuals

and effete bureaucrats who have either aban-doned

their national identities out of embar-rassment

(as in Germany) or are using a new

European identity as a Trojan Horse for their

own cultural ambitions (i.e., the French and




An article in

The Economist

focused on the

cultural split

between the

"vigorous and

na´ve" Americans,

and the more

"refined and


if not "cynical

and decadent,"

Europeans..Interestingly enough, some aspects of anti-Americanism

in Europe mirror the same kind of

sexual imagery employed by American neocon-servatives

as a way of accentuating their metacul-tural

interpretations of the Euro-American split

over Iraq. The Americans, and especially President

Bush, are depicted by European critics as gun-tot-ing

and bullying cowboys.


The United States is

seen as "a testosterone-driven adolescent bereft of

history and tradition."


(The latter is an interest-ing

contrast to American neoconservative Han-son's

depiction of the Europeans as "geriatric



Other European critics of the Bush

administration believe that the decision to use

military power against Iraq reflects the "macho"

inclinations of the Bushies, who are supposedly

committed to such "manly" values as militarism

and a harsh form of capitalism, as opposed to the

more "gentle" forms of peacemaking and social

democracy practiced in, say, Berlin.


According to historian Simon Schama,

some people in the European anti-war move-ment

"see the whole bundle of American val-ues-

consumer capitalism, a free market for

information, an open electoral system-as

having been imposed rather than chosen."


At the same time, French left-wing intellectu-al

Regis Debray, a critic of the United States,

argues that the stakes in this Euro-American

clash are "spiritual," with the Europeans

defending a "secular vision of the world,"

while the Bush administration espouses a

"pre-modern" set of values, a reincarnation of

the "Europe of the Crusades" that is helping

to accelerate the drive toward a confronta-tion

between the West and the Arab world.


>From the perspective of such anti-American

European writers, which is much

like that of their intellectual rivals on the

anti-European American right, the French

opposition to providing UN legitimacy to

the American invasion of Iraq was much

more than just a diplomatic crisis. It was cul-turally

determined, another chapter in a

Clash of Civilizations between Europe and

America. The threat from the United States,

as these individuals see it, is not just eco-nomic

or military; rather, it constitutes an

"American Peril," a social and cultural danger

to European civilization. British writer

Harold Pinter provided a useful summary of

this point of view when he told peace

marchers in London that the United States

was a "monster out of control."


It's Not about Culture

Evidence of deep-seated cultural animosity

abounds, and the contempt is mutual, say the

neoconservatives. That interpretation of the cur-rent

Euro-American tensions, advanced as the

Mars vs. Venus clash, provides the larger policy

framework into which alleged Euro-pean anti-Israelism,

appeasement, and Euro-Arabism can

be integrated. Those cultural differences explain

why Europeans and Americans supposedly can-not

agree on how to define such concepts as

national identity and international relations and,

most important, power. As Kagan and his ideo-logical

allies see it, Ameri-cans should accept the

notion of European "declinism" as a given and

pursue a hegemonic foreign policy based on

democratic expansion. In this policy framework,

the Europeans are transformed from diplomatic

allies into diplomatic pests, a nuisance that

should be either treated with benign neglect or

dealt with in an imperial fashion, through the

projection of military power and the diplomatic

methods of "divide and rule."


But the Euro-American clash is not civi-lizational;

it's not about the definition of

power. It's a political conflict about power

relations. In Middle East policy, Europeans,

including the British and the Spanish, regard

a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

as a top priority. Those views reflect concrete

political and geostrategic interests and are

not a product of anti-Semitism or Euro-Arab

harmony, just as the British-French alliance

with Israel in the 1950s or the Franco-German

partnership in the early 1960s was a

product of geostrategic considerations and

not part of some grand Euro-Zionist accord.

The Rise of the Anglosphere?

That is not to deny that there are political-cultural,

or civilizational, components to


The Euro-American

clash is

not civilizational;

it's not about the

definition of

power. It's a polit-ical

conflict about

power relations..those relationships. Makers of foreign policy

are, after all, political entrepreneurs who can

advance and exploit cultural differences in

order to mobilize support from elites and the

general public for certain diplomatic orienta-tions.

Such political-cultural frictions have

always been part of the relationship between

the Europeans and the Americans (although

less significant than the ones each had with

non-Western nations). Anti-American senti-ments

have been popular on both the political

left and right in France and Germany for

many years. That did not stop either country,

however, from establishing close military

alliances with the United States during the

Cold War era when their national interests

required it. Likewise, strategic ties explained

the U.S. alliance with Canada and Australia,

not strong civilizational ties between English-speaking

people or the Anglo-Americans.

Another Europhobic myth that permits

neoconservatives to portray political interests

as cultural variables is the one that pits New

Europe against Old Europe. That myth,

advanced by Defense Secretary Donald H.

Rumsfeld as a way of engineering a rift

between the European states, is grounded in

the support provided to the Bush administra-tion

during the war in Iraq by certain

European powers (for example, Italy and

Spain, as well as the Central and Eastern

European and former communist bloc

nations such as Poland, Hungary, and the

Czech Republic). The neoconservatives argued

that this support reflected some deep politi-cal-

cultural divisions between the supposed

"New" European nations aligned against Old

Europe (especially France, Germany, and



Other neoconservatives argue that

the British-American-Australian alliance dur-ing

the war in Iraq helped revive Winston

Churchill's old dream of establishing a Union

of the English-speaking nations, a so-called

"Anglosphere" that could include Canada,

New Zealand, Ireland, "and the other educat-ed

English-speaking populations of the

Caribbean, Oceania, Africa, and India."



unified Anglosphere, according to conserva-tive

British historian Paul Johnson, would be

able to confront a Francophone bloc and a

Franco-German-dominated EU.


The Anglosphere vision mirrors the civiliza-tional

dogma shared by some French intellec-tuals

regarding the supposed Anglo-Saxon

challenge or threat. Neither view is sustainable

in policy terms; there is no unified bloc of

English-speaking nations pursuing common

foreign policy ends. Canada refused to join the

U.S.-British-Australian alliance against Iraq.

Former Dominion states, such as India and

South Africa, similarly opposed the Iraq war.

Meanwhile, Australian prime minister John

Howard's Iraq policies were motivated in part

by the aspiration of turning his country into

Washington's "deputy Sheriff " in Asia.



Tony Blair has been a long-time proponent of

British integration into the EU and, if anything,

regarded the alliance with Washington during

the war as a way of helping the Europeans to

restrain the Bush administration.


Similarly, many of the distinctions between

Old and New Europe remain fuzzy: are Italy,

Spain, and Portugal New or Old, and aren't

those cultural-political divisions more evident

inside each European country and therefore

more complex than the neoconservatives sug-gest?

For example, Germany's Christian

Democratic Union party supports many of

the hawkish elements of Bush's foreign policy.

The party was inclined to support a war

against Iraq and should, therefore, be regarded

as a New player, based on the neoconservative

classification. At the same time, the Christian

Democratic Union is also a strong opponent

of liberalizing Germany's archaic immigration

policies and is committed to a German

national identity based on the concept of

"blood ties," echoing Old European political-cultural

sentiments. By contrast, the ruling

Social Democrats opposed the Iraq war yet

back a liberalization of immigration rules.


Old Europe vs. New Europe

In short, this Old vs. New distinction is

misconceived. Are Italy and Spain really more

committed to economic liberalization than

are Germany and France? (They are not.) Are

the Poles and Hungarians striving to adopt




myth that

permits neocon-servatives


portray political

interests as

cultural variables

is the one that

pits New Europe

against Old

Europe..America's version of capitalism or the more

socialized welfare system that exists in the EU

nations? (The latter.) More important, are the

men and women living in New Europe more

pro-American than the Old Europeans when

it comes to Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian dis-pute,

and other issues pertaining to the

Middle East, or do the New Europeans project

a more assertive military or "manly" posture

than the Old? Poll results, including those of

one conducted by the Pew Research Center,

refute the neoconservative assertion: a greater

percentage of Czechs and Italians (as well as

British respondents) assumed that the Euro-American

tensions reflected a clash between

cultural values than did French and German

respondents. The poll also indicated that there

was no major difference between Old and New

Europe in terms of support for the war on ter-rorism

and admiration for American culture.

At the same time, both "parts" of Europe

shared a distaste for U.S. policy on Iraq and

the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


In general,

writes the Wall Street Journal's Andrew Higgins,

"popular opinion in Eastern European

nations, eager to enter both NATO and the

EU, mirrors that of their Western brethren."


The policies adopted by European govern-ments

on Iraq-be they pro-Bush or anti-Bush-

do not reflect a neat European ideo-logical

divide between the Old and the New.

Romania and Poland, which both favored war

on Iraq, are run by former communists.

Poland's prime minister Leszek Miller was in

his country's last communist-era Politburo,

and French president Jacques Chirac-who

opposed the war-is one of Europe's veteran

anti-communist figures.


Moreover, Tony

Blair's decision to back the Bush policy

toward Iraq was opposed by the majority of

the British public on the eve of the war. So-if

one were to take the Old vs. New paradigm to

absurd ends-does that make Blair a "New"

European leader of an "Old" European coun-try?

And, as for a supposed commitment to

"realism" and more "hard power" of the

members of the "coalition of the willing,"

Denmark spends just 1.6 percent of GNP on

defense, Italy 1.5 percent, and Spain only 1.4

percent, all less than Germany spends and

considerably less than France spends.


The pro-Bush posture on Iraq adopted by

Italy and Spain has less to do with the pro-Americanism

of the New Europe than with

those governments' interest in maintaining

the American security umbrella so as not to

be forced to pay for their own defense: in

other words, old-fashioned "free riding."


Similarly, governments in Romania and

Bulgaria-the two poorest countries in

Europe-expected that their support for the

Americans would be rewarded with econom-ic

assistance (as well as backing from

Washington for NATO membership). The

Polish policy probably has less to do with

Poland's support for U.S. policy in the

Middle East than with an attempt to counter

Franco-German supremacy in the EU, com-bined

with an attempt to solidify a long-term

American presence in NATO.


Both Old and New Europe Play EU Politics

Indeed, the intra-European rift reflects ten-sions

over the future of the EU.


Some coun-tries-

including Italy, Spain, Denmark, and the

Central and Eastern European countries-wish

to prevent the emergence of a Franco-German

"directorate" to the exclusion of the smaller

states. At the same time, Blair hoped that

asserting Britain's ties with Washington would

help London strengthen its position vis-Ó-vis

Paris and Berlin in the EU.


The Franco-German

opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq was

clearly affected by the merging of the national

interests of France (in its Gaullist incarnation)

and Germany (driven by a post-Cold War

impulse to "normalize" its world standing) in

the context of the EU and NATO.


On another and related level, the intra-European

rivalries and the Euro-American

disputes over Iraq provided an opportunity

for European leaders such as French president

Chirac, German chancellor Schroder, and

Belgium's prime minister Guy Vehofstadt to

strengthen their positions at home as they

prepared for, or recovered from, tough elec-tion



Spain's prime minister JosÚ

MarÝa Aznar decided to take a major political


The policies

adopted by


governments on

Iraq-be they

pro-Bush or

anti-Bush-do not

reflect a neat


ideological divide

between the Old

and the New..gamble, hoping that his pro-war position

would win him U.S. support for his domestic

war against Basque terrorism.


At the same

time, Britain's Blair expected to regain public

support after victory in the war.


In this way,

the European leaders acted no differently than

other political leaders, including, for example,

George Bush, who exploited the war with Iraq

and the tensions with France and Germany to

help solidify his post-9/11 electoral status and

assist the Republicans to regain control of

Congress in the midterm elections of 2002.


It's the Middle East, Stupid!

>From Suez 1956 to Iraq 2003

Confining the examination of the current

Euro-American rift to a focus on its intra-European

aspects and domestic political con-siderations

would be not only incomplete but

misleading. While the divisions among and

between the Europeans and the Americans over

Iraq should not be portrayed in apocalyptic the-Western-

skies-are-falling terms, the dispute

accentuated differences that are based on

strategic interests, as opposed to political, insti-tutional,

and electoral concerns.

Why the Change in European Attitudes?

To understand the Euro-American division,

one must look through the geostrategic lenses

that the Europeans and Americans have been

using as they considered their interests in the

Middle East in the aftermath of the Cold War.

The French government's approach on Iraq,

which echoed the views of most Europeans, was

not a reflection of anti-Americanism rooted in

cultural values and a manifestation of a declin-ing

commitment to multilateralism and "soft

power." Rather, the French were opposed to the

Middle Eastern policies of the Bush adminis-tration-

of invading Iraq as a first step toward

the establishment of a Democratic Empire in

the region in partnership with Israel (a policy

enunciated by the neoconservatives before 9/11

and implemented by the Bush administration

beginning in early 2002)-because this project

conflicted with European interests.

As Middle East expert Oliver Roy argued in

the New York Times, the French and the other

Europeans initially supported the official Iraq

war objectives stated by President Bush, as part

of a transatlantic diplomatic strategy aimed at

destroying Iraq's weapons of mass destruction,

fighting terrorism, and eliminating a tyrant.

But the Europeans eventually came to believe

that the stated objectives of the war were mere-ly

a diplomatic smoke screen to hide the neo-conservatives'

real strategic goals.


The precipitating factor in the change in

European perceptions was President Bush's

"Axis of Evil" speech in January 2002.

Europeans were anxious about the Bush

administration's shift of focus in the war on

terrorism away from pursuit of members of

the Al Qaeda network and toward regime

change in Iraq.


In simple political terms,

many Europeans doubted the neoconserva-tives'

strategic assumption that the ousting

of Saddam Hussein would create the founda-tion

of a more stable and democratic Middle

East. Instead, Europeans were concerned that

the fall of Saddam Hussein and the collapse

of other governments in the region would

lead to renewed civil war between national,

ethnic, and religious groups and eventually

to the rise of radical Islamic governments.

Visions of the Middle East after the Iraq War

Given the Europeans' skepticism toward

the neoconservatives' vision for a Democratic

Empire in the Middle East, it is useful to exam-ine

the assumptions underlying neoconserva-tive

policies in detail. The neoconservatives

advising the Bush administration envision an

Iraqi federal government based on principles

of democracy and economic freedom. They

foresee cooperation between Shiite Arabs,

Sunni Arabs, and Kurds. And they predict a

constructive "demonstration effect" of a

democratic Iraq on the entire Middle East, a

process of "trickle-down" democracy. By con-trast,

the Europeans fear that Iraq will break

up into Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish factions,

forcing the intervention of Turkey (concerned

over potential Kurdish independence that

would affect its Kurdish population) and Iran


While the

divisions among

and between the

Europeans and

the Americans

over Iraq should

not be portrayed

in apocalyptic

terms, the dis-pute


differences that

are based on


interests..(with its ties to the Shiites in Iraq) and that

free elections in Iraq will lead to the emergence

of an Iran-style theocracy in Baghdad. Instead

of looking ahead hopefully to a wave of demo-cratic

reforms, Europeans warn of a destruc-tive

"spill-over" effect of an unstable Iraq on

the Middle East, a process of "trickle-down



At the same time, while Bush's neoconser-vative

advisers downplay the significance of

the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the stability

in the region, arguing that a U.S. military vic-tory

in Iraq would create the conditions for a

solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis ("The

road to Jerusalem leads through Baghdad"),

the Europeans counter that the resolution of

the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is central to

establishing stability in the region and to

mending relations with the Arabs. The view

from Europe was that a war in Iraq would

only aggravate anti-Western attitudes in the

region, already inflamed by Israel's treatment

of the Palestinians, and should have been

postponed until after Washington succeeded

in forcing Israel to make concessions to the

Palestinians ("The road to Baghdad leads

through Jerusalem").


The Middle East: Europe's Mexico

For the Europeans, the Middle East is not

a far-away region. For them, the Middle East

is akin to Central and Latin America for the

United States-their "strategic backyard" (or

what the Muslim Central Asian republics are

for Russia, its "near abroad").

Indeed, to empathize with the European

view, Americans should imagine the following

scenario: A civil war is taking place in Mexico,

and Venezuela's authoritarian leader Hugo

Chavez may be gaining access to weapons of

mass destruction. Washington has a policy

agenda for dealing with both problems, which

includes using diplomacy to mediate between

the sides of the Mexican civil war and sending

UN weapons inspectors to Venezuela. Yet the

EU, under pressure from a powerful lobby in

Brussels, is supporting one of the warring

groups in Mexico and is sending its military

troops to force Chavez out of power.

Americans are concerned that such moves

would hurt their interests in the region and

radicalize the Hispanic community in south-western

states, but the United States cannot do

anything to stop the EU from taking action.

That hypothetical scenario illustrates how

many Europeans view the situation in the

Middle East. They fear that the American

military presence in Iraq and the region, U.S.

plans to bring democracy to the Arab world,

and U.S. support for Israel will only produce

political instability, playing into the hands of

radical Islamic forces and distracting atten-tion

from the war on terrorism. The Euro-peans,

with their geographic proximity, eco-nomic

ties, and demographic links to the

Middle East, would be the first to feel the

impact of a political explosion in the region.

Such an explosion could lead to the coming

to power of Arab leaders who could interrupt

the flow of oil from the region and produce a

flood of Arab refugees to Europe that could

radicalize the close to 15 million Muslims

who already reside there. After all, for the

French and other Europeans, the "Arab

Street" these days is not in a distant part of

the world; it is just around the block, in Paris,

Rome, and Hamburg. The Europeans fear

that if push comes to shove in the Middle

East, the Americans will pack up their bags

and return home, leaving the Europeans to

pick up the pieces.

The Cold War: Euro-American Cooperation

and Rivalry in the Middle East

Indeed, geographic proximity, strategic-military

interests, dependency on the oil

resources of the region, and religious and his-torical

ties with both Zionism and Arab

nationalism were the driving forces behind the

British and French efforts (as well as those of

the Italians, the Germans, and the Spanish) to

establish imperial outposts in the region after

the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World

War I. The Europeans were forced to withdraw

in stages from the Middle East in the after-math

of World War II, but their interests in the

region remained. The United States replaced

the Europeans as the guarantor of Western


For the

Europeans, the

Middle East is

akin to Central

and Latin

America for the

United States-

their "strategic

backyard.".interests in the Middle East by containing

anti-Western threats in the region (Nasserism)

and limiting the influence of outside powers,

especially the Soviet Union.


>From the perspective of the Europeans-in

particular the French and the British-the rela-tionship

between Europe and the United

States in the Middle East during the Cold War

had been marked by alternating periods of

close cooperation and fierce rivalry. In that

context, the 1956 Suez campaign, in which the

United States pressured France and Britain

(and Israel) to withdraw from Egypt, high-lighted

for the Europeans the U.S. objective of

undercutting Europe's status in the area.


The Suez Crisis symbolized the decline of

European powers in the Middle East and the rise

to preeminence of the United States. The

American-Soviet cooperation in resolving the

Suez Crisis was also regarded as a possible precur-sor

of a form of diplomacy in which Europe

would be a bystander unless it organized itself for

an independent course in the Middle East and

elsewhere. According to then-French foreign

minister Christian Pineau, the pro-American

German Konrad Adenauer said on the day that

Britain and France accepted the American ulti-matum

to withdraw from Egypt: "There remain

to (France and Britain) only one way of playing a

decisive role in the world. . . . We have no time to

waste. [A united] Europe will be your revenge."


Gulf War I: The Shape of Things to Come

In the aftermath of the collapse of the

Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War,

and the corresponding disappearance of the

Soviet threat in the Middle East, the continu-ing

effort by the United States to maintain its

dominant position in the region should not

be seen primarily as a way for the United

States and its oil companies to secure control

of the energy resources in the Persian Gulf.

Rather, Operation Desert Storm in early 1991

and the Madrid Peace Conference in October

1991 permitted Washington to project its

hegemonic role in the Middle East, even after

the end of the Cold War, as the protector of

the region's energy resources that the

Europeans, even more than the Americans,

need in order to preserve their economic well-being.

Today, in an international system that

is more and more focused on competition

between economic blocs, the American hege-monic

posture in the Middle East provides

the United States with the power to secure its

post-Cold War unipolar status in the interna-tional



The United States' dominance in the

Middle East did not occur without a fight.

France, Italy, and Germany pushed for a diplo-matic

resolution to the Iraqi invasion of

Kuwait and resisted American efforts to get

NATO to play a military role in the ensuing

war against Iraq. Those policy differences were

largely repeated in 2002 and 2003 during the

diplomatic and military preparations that led

to Gulf War II. But even France, which had in

the past challenged U.S. policies in the region,

saw no alternative but to play silent partner to

Washington in the Middle East following

Desert Storm and the Madrid Conference. A

French diplomat admitted that the Europeans

"may be sidelined in the Middle East by

Washington," suggesting that a Pax Ameri-cana

was firmly established in the region.


But that position was not entirely secured,

and the status quo that was maintained after

Gulf War I during the first Bush and the

Clinton administrations was challenged both

by regional states, such as Iraq and Iran, and

by radical, nonstate actors such as Osama Bin

Laden's Al Qaeda network. President Clinton

faced some problems in maintaining U.S.

leadership on the periphery of the Middle

East-in the Horn of Africa and in the

Balkans-but he continued to pursue the low-cost

hegemonic policies of his predecessor. He

committed limited resources to protect the

security of pro-American Arab states and

Israel and promoted a policy of unilateral

"dual containment" of Iran and Iraq. He also

supported the Arab-Israeli peace process but

became truly invested in the project only after

having secured a second term in office.

Enter the "Neocons"

The Europeans, led by France, did chal-lenge

some U.S. policies, especially those


The relationship

between Europe

and the United

States in the

Middle East

during the Cold

War was marked

by alternating

periods of close

cooperation and

fierce rivalry..toward Iran and Iraq. They also pressed

Washington to work more actively for an

agreement between Israel and the Palestinians

and, from time to time, pursued an indepen-dent

diplomatic approach to dealing with the

Arab-Israeli issue.


Meanwhile, both the first

Bush and the Clinton administrations refrain-ed

from describing the U.S. policy in the

Middle East as part of a hegemonic American

project. Indeed, both George H. W. Bush and

Bill Clinton rejected the ideas expressed in a

policy paper drafted by neoconservative

Pentagon official Paul Wolfowitz in 1991,

which stated that the United States should

"remain the predominant outside power in

the [Middle East] and preserve U.S. and

Western access to the region's oil." To secure

this dominant role in the Middle East and

other regions, Wolfowitz wrote, the United

States "must sufficiently account for the inter-ests

of the advanced industrialized nations to

discourage them from challenging our leader-ship

or seeking to overturn the established

political and economic order."


But Wolfowitz and other neoconservative

policymakers persuaded the second President

Bush to adopt this ambitious agenda after

9/11, formalizing those ideas in the Bush

administration's official National Security

Strategy of the United States.


The National

Security Strategy served as a basis for the war

against Iraq and the wider goal of forced

democratization in the Middle East. The new

American strategy created a diplomatic envi-ronment

in which it became difficult to main-tain

cooperation between the EU and the

United States over Iraq. Instead, the new policy

played directly into the hands of those in Paris,

Berlin, and elsewhere in Europe who wanted to

advance an independent European diplomatic

and military strategy toward the Middle East.

Hence, Iraq 2003 could be described as

"Suez 1956 in Reverse," that is, an attempt by

the French and the Germans to follow

Adenauer's advice and try to use their growing

diplomatic, economic, and military power to

challenge U.S. policy in the Middle East and

reestablish their status there. Indeed, there

were many similarities between Iraq 2003 and

Suez 1956. The two sides seemed to be re-pro-ducing

a movie in which they were principal

actors. But this time the roles were reversed

with the Europeans and the Russians joining

the majority of the Arab governments (and

UN members) in opposing military action by

the United States, in an alliance with Israel

and the United Kingdom, against a modern-day

Arab nationalist, Saddam Hussein.


Can Europe Reassert Itself?

Unlike the Americans and Soviets in 1956,

the French and their European allies weren't

able to secure a decisive victory during the cri-sis

in 2003. Nonetheless, France and Germany,

two economically powerful nations that repre-sented

the rising economic strength of the EU,

were in a stronger position to contend with the

United States in the Middle East in 2003 than

France and Britain had been in 1956. As some

analysts suggest, it was not France's veto power

in the UN Security Council but the euro that

enabled France to oppose U.S. policy on Iraq in

such an aggressive way. That becomes evident

if one considers how, absent the euro, it would

have been "relatively easy for the U.S. to quietly

bring the French into line" through a "stealth

U.S. attack on the French franc, and on French

financial markets-more likely the hint of it-

would do to the job," according to economist

Stephen Cohen.


Indeed, in 1956 the United

States was able to use its power in the financial

markets to put pressure on the French and

British currencies and force the two nations to

withdraw from Suez.


Euros vs. Dollars and the Middle East

Historian Niall Ferguson points out that

"U.S. reliance on foreign money can matter,

strategically" for the United States as it tries to

fulfill its imperial ambitions. America depends

on foreign investors to maintain its global eco-nomic

position and, by extension, its military

supremacy, which allows it to use its power

unilaterally in the Middle East.


Recent developments in international

financial markets suggest that the European


The new

American strategy

played directly

into the hands of

those in Europe

who wanted to

advance an



diplomatic and

military strategy

toward the

Middle East..powers, especially France and Germany, have

a new tool at their disposal to block U.S. actions

deemed hostile to their interests, a tool that,

if wielded aggressively, could prove highly

damaging to the American economy. Wash-ington

could be deprived of its ability to dom-inate

the international economy, and the EU

could start translating its "soft power" into

"hard power."


Some analysts have speculat-ed

that part of the euro's recent strength

could actually be explained by geopolitics,

including the Iraq war. They note that Saudi

investors who had poured billions of petro-dollars

into the American economy are now

concerned that their funds may be frozen,

and many are buying up euros in lieu of dol-lars.


The Saudi move is troubling as far as

long-term U.S. interests are concerned. The

American economy benefits when oil is trad-ed

in U.S. dollars. Central banks around the

world have to prevent speculative attacks on

their currencies by holding huge dollar

reserves and, as a result, strengthen the Ameri-can

currency. Indeed, the recycling of petro-dollars

is the price that America has extracted

from oil-producing countries in exchange for

U.S. tolerance of the oil-exporting cartel since

1973 and for the protection America provid-ed

to the Arab oil-producing states.

But is it possible that the oil-producing

states could decide for political and econom-ic

reasons to switch from U.S. dollars to

euros? The answer is yes. Unlike the United

States, the Eurozone does not have a large

trade deficit. Europe trades more with the

Middle East than with any other region and

imports a far larger share of its petroleum

products from there than does the United

States. The political argument for a switch

from dollars to euros is even more plausible if

the Middle Eastern oil-producing states see

themselves as threatened by Washington's

policies in the region.

The threat to the dollar's dominance is cur-rently

regarded as remote, because any signifi-cant

decline in the value of the dollar would

hurt major oil producers in the short term. It

should not be discounted as a long-term sce-nario,

however. If the neoconservatives' imper-

ial project in the Middle East is expanded to

include Syria and Iran, if radical Islamic forces

take control of Saudi Arabia or other Arab

countries, or if the U.S. deficit increases as a

result of rising defense spending and the U.S.

dollar continues to slide, a Euro-Arab political

and economic zone may well emerge, threat-ening

U.S. hegemony in the Middle East.

Europe as a Military Midget

That a Suez-in-reverse scenario did not

happen in 2003 points to the challenges fac-ing

France and other European powers as

they try to counter U.S. policies in the Middle

East, because although a strengthened euro

may eventually challenge U.S. dollar domi-nance

in international financial markets, all

the money in the world cannot paper over the

EU's relative political-military weakness.71

Much was written before and after the U.S.

military victory in Iraq about America's over-whelming

military superiority. Many analysts

noted that such a huge military lead is partly

a result of American military spending that

last year exceeded that of all the other NATO

states, Russia, China, Japan, Iraq, and North

Korea combined.


That spending disparity

makes it difficult for the EU to try to catch up

with America, assuming that its members

have the resources and, more important, the

political will to do so. If anything, the war in

Iraq, and the earlier impressive American mil-itary

performances in the Balkans and

Afghanistan, highlighted the fact that, while

the EU is emerging as an economic power, it

still remains a political-military lightweight.

The United States spent 3 percent of its GDP

on defense in 2001; defense spending by indi-vidual

European countries was much smaller

(2.6 percent for France, 2.4 percent for Britain,

1.5 percent for Germany, 1.3 percent for

Belgium, and 0.8 percent for Luxembourg). If

Europe wants to compete with the United

States in the global security arena, European

governments must increase their defense

expenditures. Further, in order to challenge

U.S. policy, the EU will also have to strength-en

its collective foreign and security policy, an

approach that, according to a recent Euro-13

As the euro

becomes an

alternative, or


currency along-side

the U.S.

dollar, the EU

could start

translating its

"soft power" into

"hard power.".barometer opinion poll, is supported by close

to 75 percent of EU citizens.


But as one analyst points out, "Europe's

problem lies in its inability to define collec-tively

its long-term foreign policy interests"

and to respond with a clear policy challenge to

the Bush administration's new National

Security Strategy, especially as it applies to the

Middle East, a region that has a profound

impact on Europe's security and prosperity.


There are some indications that the American

military victory in Iraq, and the fear that

Washington seeks to maintain U.S. global

supremacy and to marginalize and divide the

Europeans, is putting pressure on the EU

members. Threats by the Bush administration

to "punish" the Old Europeans for their Iraq

policy by relocating U.S. military troops from

Germany to Central and Eastern Europe, for

example, could create incentives for the

Europeans to move in the direction of strate-gic


Reconsidering American

and European Engagement

in the Middle East

In March, as the debate among the EU

members and between the Europeans and

the Americans was continuing, EU peace-keeping

troops, led by a French general, took

over from NATO the responsibility for keep-ing

peace in the protectorate of Macedonia.

According to one report, "The U.S., at the

height of its bitter and continuing dispute

over Iraq, approved the experiment and made

it possible by agreeing to let the EU rely on

NATO for support."


That independent EU

troops, instead of military forces dominated

by the United States, could play a direct role

in a region that is vital to European security

could be seen as an intriguing precedent for

future military roles in other areas that affect

European interests, such as the Middle East.

One could envision, for example, an EU

peacekeeping force between the Israelis and

the Palestinians as part of an overall peace

settlement or, for that matter, EU troops pro-

tecting the borders between Northern Iraq

and Turkey, or even being deployed to other

parts of Iraq, when American troops with-draw

from that country. Any one of those

hypothetical scenarios would be conducted

within the context of the protection of vital

European security interests.

Indeed, the time has come for Washing-ton

to consider a long-term policy of "con-structive

disengagement" from the Middle

East and to encourage the Europeans to take

upon themselves the responsibility of secur-ing

their interests in the region. After all, the

main rationale for military intervention in

the Middle East during the Cold War was the

need to help secure the strategic and econom-ic

interests of Western Europe (and Japan) as

part of a strategy to contain the global threat

of the Soviet Union. As noted above,

America's expanding presence in the Middle

East came in response to the inability of the

Europeans, with their eroding economic base

and military power in the aftermath of World

War II, to protect their interests in the region.

Washington assumed the diplomatic, mili-tary,

and financial burden almost entirely on

its own because European (and Japanese)

interests were deemed compatible with, if not

identical to, American interests.

That U.S. policy permitted the Europeans

to extract the strategic benefits of "free riders":

America protected Western interests in the

region and assumed the costs of doing so.

Even during the 1980s, when Europe was

emerging as an economic competitor to the

United States, the Europeans didn't have to

devote many economic and military resources

to protecting their interests and instead spent

more money on their growing social welfare

system. At the same time, this strategic deal

also created resentment among Europeans,

who felt that the direction of U.S. policy in the

Middle East, including America's alliance with

Israel, was hurting their interests.

The price that America paid for maintain-ing

its leading position in the Middle East dur-ing

the Cold War went beyond military and

economic costs; for example, the threat of

nuclear war with the Soviets during the 1973


If Europe wants

to compete with

the United States

in the global

security arena,



must increase

their defense

expenditures..Middle East War and the Arab oil embargo.

Anti-American terrorism was another very

tangible cost of the United States' highly inter-ventionist

posture in the Middle East.


But now, more than 10 years after the end

of the Cold War and the disappearance of the

Soviet threat, and at a time when Europe has

become an economic superpower, there is no

reason why the Europeans should not return

to play a more active role in defending their

interests in the Middle East. This is not a call

for a revival of European imperialism in the

region; rather, it is a recognition that Europe

has an interest in a stable and peaceful

Middle East (not unlike America's approach

toward Central and Latin America), and

there is no reason why the United States

should continue paying the lion's share of

the costs of maintaining order in that region

on behalf of the Europeans.

America's Autopilot Mode in the Middle East

Neoconservative analysts such as Kagan

supported the deployment of EU troops to

Macedonia and Kosovo, but the neoconserv-atives

have opposed such a plan in Israel and

the Palestinian territories. In the neoconserv-ative

view, only Israel or a large American mil-itary

presence can contain threats in the

Middle East.


Indeed, from the perspective

of policymakers in the Bush administration,

the long-term U.S. objective is to "make the

Middle East a different place, and one safer

for American interests," starting with Iraq,

and to bring about an agreement between

Israel and the Palestinians "that will come

more on the terms of America's staunch ally

in Israel."


In such a grand scheme, the

Europeans could play only a supporting role

by backing the United States and its policies.

They will never be permitted to occupy the

driver's seat. But such a scenario would obvi-ously

not be acceptable to either Old or New

Europeans in the long run. Moreover, a poli-cy

of trying to prevent the Europeans from

protecting their interests in the Middle East

runs contrary to the long-term U.S. interest

of lowering its diplomatic and military pro-file

in the region.

Since the end of the Cold War, however,

American policies in the Middle East have

seemed to be running on autopilot. Despite

the disappearance of the Soviet threat,

American presidents from George Bush the

elder to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush have

operated on the assumption that the United

States should continue to maintain its hege-monic

position in the Middle East while

simultaneously minimizing the role of the

Europeans. During the administrations of

George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton the costs

of maintaining a dominant U.S. role seemed

to be relatively low and were framed mainly in

Realpolitik and multilateral terms. But under

George W. Bush the high costs of such a U.S.

hegemonic role have become evident-a large

military presence in the region, rising animos-ity

toward the United States, and occasional

acts of violence against Americans-and have

been framed as part of an ambitious and

never-ending Imperial Democratic project.

America's hegemonic policy has set the

stage for the current Euro-American rift.

Policymakers in Washington should under-stand

that at the center of the growing ten-sions

between the Europeans and the

Americans is, not a civilizational Mars vs.

Venus clash, but serious policy differences

over the Middle East. Following 9/11

Washington could have adopted different

policies based on strategic cooperation

between the United States and the EU (as

well as Russia) in the war on terrorism. Such

cooperation might have extended to dealing

with sources of instability in the Middle East

and the entire Crescent of Instability, stretch-ing

from the Balkans to the borders of China.

In that context, Iraq's alleged acquisition of

WMD could have been dealt with through

the mechanism of a strategic oligopoly, a

kind of Congress of Vienna system involving

several great powers, instead of by an

American monopoly. A U.S.-EU-Russian

strategic partnership, based on a sense of

common interests, would have a more coher-ent

foundation than the current system,

which elevates the supposed cultural aspects

underlying the Euro-American divide.


Trying to prevent

the Europeans

from protecting

their interests in

the Middle East

runs contrary to

the long-term

U.S. interest of

lowering its

diplomatic and

military profile

in the region..Is a Euro-American Clash Inevitable?

In the United States public officials, jour-nalists,

and the general public seem to have

bought into the neoconservative thesis that

European attitudes toward the Middle East

are a reflection of the Europeans' anti-American

and anti-Israeli (if not anti-Semitic)

disposition. But as analysts Christina Balis and

Simon Serfaty have suggested, to "all

Europeans, the Middle East is as important

as it is inescapable-disruptive (terrorism),

dangerous (four wars), unstable (socioeco-nomic

conditions), expensive (with even

greater costs for peace than for war), and

intrusive (because of the domestic dimen-sions

of policy decisions in the area)." Even

for the United Kingdom and the most pro-American

governments in Rumsfeld's New

Europe, Balis and Serfaty write, European

"interests in the Middle East cannot be left to

U.S. policies alone."


It shouldn't be surprising, therefore, if the

Europeans react to America's Middle East

policies by providing an alternative agenda,

perhaps even by exploiting the growing anti-American

sentiments in the region to their

political and economic advantage. Indeed,

the current U.S. policy plays directly into the

hands of those forces in Europe (led by a

Gaullist France) that are interested in estab-lishing

Europe as an ideological-cultural and

strategic counterweight to America.

It is difficult to predict whether the

Americans and the Europeans would be able

to prevent a Suez-in-reverse from taking place

in the future. Great powers have rarely been

able to adjust to changing power relations.

But the Congress of Vienna system that

helped to manage the complex relationship

between the great powers of Europe in the

19th century provides a model for the United

States and Europe to follow in working

together to deal with their frequently com-mon,

but occasionally diverging, strategic

interests in the Middle East. If one assumes

that the current Euro-American rift reflects a

clash of interests and not a clash of cultures, it

is possible to envision a process whereby

Europe and America could manage their

respective relationships in the Middle East to

mutually beneficial ends.

In the short run, as the Europeans continue

to move toward political and economic unifi-cation,

but still lack diplomatic and military

muscle, they will not be able to advance an

ambitious strategy aimed at challenging U.S.

preeminence in the Middle East. But the

Europeans will probably also not wait for the

American hegemon to throw them a few diplo-matic

and economic crumbs in the form of oil

deals in Iraq or a marginal role in drawing the

"road map" to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Instead, the Europeans could try pursuing

another and more activist and constructive

path by using their "soft power" in dealing

with the Middle East. More specifically, Europe

could use its growing economic influence to

maintain a relationship with the Middle East

that is similar to the one between the United

States and Mexico.

The EU: A Middle Eastern Power?

The EU has already formed its own version

of the North American Free Trade Agreement

in the Middle East, in the form of the Euro-Mediterranean

Partnership. The EMP was

launched in Barcelona, Spain, in 1995 and

aims to bring 12 Mediterranean countries,

including the Palestinian Authority and Israel,

into a free-trade zone by 2010. Two of those

countries, Cyprus and Malta, are due to

become EU members in 2004. The EU has

committed $5 billion to its developing part-ners

to encourage them to liberalize their

economies. That ambitious effort by the EU

created bilateral trade accords with several

Arab countries and pressed them to encourage

free trade in the Middle East. The EMP has

become the only forum of its kind to have

Israel and the Arab countries sitting around

the same table. The EU also established coop-erative

economic arrangements with the six

states of the Gulf Cooperation Council in

1989 and concluded a common external tariff

arrangement this year.80

Figures published by the European

Commission in 2003 point to the growing

level of trade integration between the 12


A U.S.-EU-Russian

strategic partner-ship,

based on a

sense of common

interests, would

have a more


foundation than

the current

system, which

elevates the

supposed cultural

aspects of the


divide..Mediterranean countries and the 15 EU

members since 1980. In 2001, 53 percent of

exports from Mediterranean economies went

to the EU, and 62.9 percent of those economies'

imports came from the EU. At the same time,

all the Mediterranean countries, with the

exception of Syria, have bilateral trade agree-ments

with the EU. In that context, it is inter-esting

to note that, notwithstanding the

accusations that Europe is "anti-Israeli," EU-Israeli

trade relations "reveal a striking pat-tern,"

according to Balis and Serfaty. "In the

last decade alone, their bilateral trade volume

has seen a threefold increase . . . confirming

the EU as Israel's major trading partner and

the number-one market for Israel's imports,

surpassing even the United States in volume."


The process of trade liberalization has not

been perfect. European markets have remained

closed to some of the Mediterranean coun-tries'

main products, especially agricultural

goods. And the initiative was severely under-mined

as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

faltered. But the level of economic ties between

the EU and the Mediterranean countries,

including the growing dependency of Israel on

trade with the EU, provides the Europeans

with an opportunity to assert their diplomatic

status in the region, preferably as part of a

cooperative strategy with the United States.

To accelerate the process, the European

leaders should remove the obstacles to the

prompt entry of Turkey into the EU. That

act, combined with the entry of Cyprus and

Malta, will confirm the EU's status as both

an Eastern Mediterranean and a Middle

Eastern power. An even more ambitious

approach would be for the EU to announce

its readiness to open negotiations with a free

and democratic Iraq, as well as with Israel

and an independent Palestinian state. That

could lead to the Palestinian state's gradual

accession to the EU-a goal that would

admittedly take many years to achieve.

European Constructive Engagement in

the Middle East

By adopting a strategy of constructive

engagement in the Middle East, the EU could

try, through the use of both diplomatic and

economic resources, to achieve the kind of

goals that the Bush administration is trying

to advance through the use of its military

power: challenging the status quo in the

Middle East while advancing the cause of

peace and political and economic reform.

Indeed, it is time for the Europeans to

conclude that they cannot secure their inter-ests

in a region with which they maintain

strategic, business, and demographic ties by

burnishing their ties to corrupt political

elites. That policy may have helped to protect

short-term economic interests, while redi-recting

the hostility of the "Arab street"

against the United States; however, perpetu-ating

the rule of Arab autocrats has only

helped to turn the strategic and economic

periphery of Europe into one of the least

advanced and most unstable parts of the

global economy. The Middle East exports not

only oil to the EU but hundreds of thou-sands

of poor and angry immigrants as well.

Some Europeans look upon them as a demo-graphic

time bomb.

As long as both the Israelis and the

Palestinians regard Washington as central to

any resolution of their conflict, the EU will

remain marginalized in the peace process. That

is true despite the fact that Europe is the largest

provider of aid to the Palestinian Authority

and is Israel's most important trade partner.

The EU has so far failed to translate that eco-nomic

leverage into diplomatic influence.

Signaling to the Israelis and the Palestinians

that a peaceful resolution to their conflict

could be a ticket for admission to the EU

would be more than just enticing them with

economic rewards. Conditioning Israel's entry

into the EU on its agreement to withdraw from

the occupied territories and dismantle the

Jewish settlements there would strengthen the

hands of those Israelis who envision their state,

not as a militarized Jewish ghetto, but as a

Westernized liberal community.82

The tragic

fate of European Jewry served as the driving

force for the creation of Israel, and welcoming

the Jewish state into the European community

makes historical and moral sense.


Economic ties

between the EU

and the


countries provide

the Europeans

with an opportu-nity

to assert

their diplomatic

status in the

region, prefer-ably

as part of a


strategy with the

United States..The prospect of joining the EU could even

help launch a process of economic and politi-cal

liberalization in an independent Palestine

and an Iraqi federation. In the same way that

the establishment of NAFTA produced pres-sure

for democratic reform in Mexico, the

evolution of trade and institutional ties

between the EU, Palestine, and Iraq, and even-tually

Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, could lay

the foundations for a movement toward

democracy in the entire Levant.

Hopes for EU membership have already

played a critical role in accelerating democrat-ic

change in Turkey, leading to the collapse of

the old political order and the election of a

reform-minded democratic party. Putting

Turkey's EU membership on hold only gives a

boost to those in the military and nationalist

Islamic groups who want to reorient Ankara's

foreign policy from the West toward Iran and

Russia. If anything, the recent tensions

between Washington and Ankara over Iraq

and the Kurds only demonstrate that anchor-ing

Turkey in the EU is in the interest of both

the Americans and the Europeans and could

also help stabilize post-Saddam Iraq.

Indeed, notwithstanding the recent rift

between the EU and America over Iraq, it is

possible to envision these two players work-ing

together to achieve some of their com-mon

goals in the Middle East, which include

integrating Turkey into the West, resolving

the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and working

together to liberalize the economic and polit-ical

systems in the region. America should

certainly provide incentives for the Euro-

peans to devote more of their resources to

creating a stable and prosperous Middle

East, which would have a direct effect on

European interests. The much-maligned

Europe could end up providing the econom-ic

and diplomatic resources needed to help

create a New Middle East.


1. Gerard Baker et al., "The U.S. Has Come to See

the Status Quo as Inherently Dangerous,"

Financial Times, May 30, 2003, p. 13.

2. See "George Bush's European Tour: A Bumpy

Landing," The Economist, March 16, 2001, p. 29.

3. See Alan Cowell, "A Worried World Shows

Discord," New York Times, March 19, 2003; and Marc

Champion et al., "Behind the U.S. Rift with

Europeans: Slights and Politics," Wall Street Journal,

March 27, 2003, p. 1.

4. See Steven R. Weisman, "A Long Winding Road

to a Diplomatic Dead End," New York Times,

March 17, 2003, p. 1.

5. "Outrage at 'Old Europe' Remarks," BBC News,

23 January 23, 2003,,


6. See Felicity Barringer, "UN Split As Allies

Dismiss Deadline on Iraq," New York Times, March

8, 2003.

7. See "NATO Crisis Deepens Rift between US

and Europe," Financial Times, February 11, 2002;

and Judy Dempsey, "NATO Agrees to Strengthen

Country's Border Defense," Financial Times,

March 20, 2003.

8. Henry Kissinger, "Crisis of Allies," New York

Post, February 9, 2003.

9. On the framing of political reality, including foreign

policy, see David L. Altheide, Creating Reality

(Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1976);

James Arnson, The Press and the Cold War (New York:

Bobbs-Merrill, 1978); Peter Berger and Thomas

Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality (Garden

City, N.Y.: Doubleday-Anchor, 1967); Murray

Edelman, The Symbolic Use of Politics (Urbana: University

of Illinois Press, 1985); Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis

(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1974);

Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead, The Rise and Fall

of the Bulgarian Connection (New York: Sheridan Square

Press, 1986); and Gaye Tuchman, Making News: A Study

in the Construction of Reality (New York: Free Press, 1985).

10. See Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of War: Vietnam, the

United States and the Modern Historical Experience

(New York: New Press, 1994); for a counterargu-ment,

see Michael Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary War

(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999).

11. Robert Kagan, "Power and Weakness," Policy

Review, no. 113, June 2002,

/JUN02/kagan_print.html. Kagan developed his

thesis in a book, Of Paradise and Power: America vs.

Europe the New World Order (New York: Knopf, 2003).

12. "Fear of America," The Economist, February 1,

2003, p. 46.

13. For the results of the latest Chicago Council

18.on Foreign Relations survey on European and

American attitudes on those and other policy

issues, see Craig Kennedy and Marshall Bolton,

"The Real Transatlantic Gap," Foreign Policy,

November-December 2002. See also "Differences

over the Arab-Israeli Conflict,"


html, quoted in Tony Judt "The Way We Live,"

New York Review of Books, March 27, 2003, p. 8;

and, on opinion polls in Europe and the United

States on the Middle East, see "Dealing with Iraq:

When Squabbling Turns Too Dangerous" The

Economist, February 15, 2003, pp. 23-25.

14. Quoted in "Enough, Children," The Economist,

March 1, 2003, p. 34.

15. Victor Davis Hanson, "Goodbye to Europe?"

Commentary, October 2002, p. 4.

16. Charles A. Kupchan, The End of the American

Era (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002), p. 153.

17. See Mark Steyn, "War between America and

Europe," The Spectator, December 29, 2001.

18. "Old America v. New Europe, The Economist,

February 22, 2003, p. 32.

19. See "Half a Billion Americans?" The Economist,

August 2002, pp. 20-22; and George W. Will,

"Europe's Decline," Washington Post, March 11, 2002.

20. "American Values: Living with a Superpower,"

The Economist, January 2, 2003, http://economist.


21. Richard Bernstein, "Germans Balk at the Price of

Economic Change," New York Times, March 19, 2003.

22. Timothy Garton Ash, "Anti-Europeanism in

America," New York Review of Books, February 13,


23. Ibid.

24. Goldberg is quoted in Paul Gottfried, "Cheese-eat-ing

Surrender Monkeys," The Spectator, June 1, 2002.

25. See Tony Judt, "Anti-Americans Abroad," New

York Review of Books, May 1, 2003.

26. "Old America v. New Europe."

27. Victor David Hanson, "Geriatric Teenagers,"

National Review Online, May 2, 2003, www.nation

28. This view is also popular in liberal-leaning East

and West Coast urban centers such as San Francisco.

See "The Left-Out Coast," The Economist, April 12,

2003, p. 15. Mark Hertsgaard, The Eagle's Shadow:

Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World (New

York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002), provides a

favorable California-oriented liberal interpretation

of left-wing anti-Americanism in Europe.

29. Simon Schama, "The Unloved American," New

Yorker, March 10, 2003, p. 39.

30. Regis Debray, "U.S. vs. Europe: To Each Its Own

Worldview," International Herald Tribune, February

24, 2003.

31. Quoted in Schama.

32. See Robert Kagan, "Resisting Superpowerful

Temptations," Washington Post, April 9, 2003; and

Max Boot, "America Must Not Be Tied by

Lilliputians," Financial Times, March 10, 2003.

33. See Anne Applebaum, "Here Comes the New

Europe," Washington Post," January 28, 2003; and

Amity Schlaes, "Rumsfeld Is Right about Fearful

Europe," Financial Times, January 28, 2003.

34. The leaders of Italy, Spain, Portugal,

Denmark, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech

Republic, together with Britain's Tony Blair were

signatories to a letter in the Wall Street Journal and

the Times (London) backing President Bush. See

"Europe and America Must Stand United," Times

(London), January 30, 2003. On the Bush admin-istration's

efforts to divide Europe, see Quentin

Peel et al., "The Rift Turns Nasty: The Plot That

Split Old and New Europe Asunder, Financial

Times, May 28, 2003, p. 13.

35. See James C. Bennett, "An Anglosphere Primer,"

Address before the Foreign Policy Research Institute,


36. See Paul Johnson, "Au Revoir, Petite France,"

Wall Street Journal," March 18, 2003.

37. Doug Struck, "Australian Leader Reaps Political

Benefits of War," Washington Post, May 18, 2003.

38. Glenn Frankel, "Blair's Policies Driven by

International Vision," Washington Post, April 3, 2003.

39. See Amity Shlaes, "New Europe, New Divide,"

Financial Times, February 22-23, 2003.

40. "American Values: Living with a Superpower."

41. Andrew Higgins, "'New Europe' Wary of U.S.,

Too," Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2003.

42. "Central Europe and the United States: We

Still Rather Like the Americans," The Economist,

19.February 1, 2003, pp. 43-44.

43. Figures from New York Times, January 24,

2003, quoted in Judt, "The Way We Live," p. 8.

44. For a slightly different perspective on U.S.-European

military cooperation, see Christopher

Layne, "Casualties of War: Transatlantic Rela-tions

and the Future of NATO in the Wake of the

Second Gulf War," Cato Institute Policy Analysis,

no. 483, August 13, 2003.

45. See Robert Graham, "Chirac Vents Ire over

Behavior of EU Candidates," Financial Times,

February 19, 2003.

46. See George Parker and Kevin Hope, "Leaders

Exchange Euro-Visions at Signing," Financial

Times, March 17, 2003.

47. See James Blitz, "Europe and the US Must

Unite, Says Blair," Financial Times, March 3, 2003;

and Quentin Peel, "An Understanding Lost in

Translation," Financial Times, March 3, 2003.

48. See Quentin Peel, "Paris and Berlin Remember

What Links Them," Financial Times, January 21,

2003; and "French Word, German Accent:

Rapprochement," Wall Street Journal, March 25,


49. See Robert Graham, "No One Dares Put a

Price on the Cost of Breaking So Sharply with the

US over a Major Issue," Financial Times, March 12,

2003; "Why Gerhard Schroder Has Gone Out on

a Limb," The Economist, September 14, 2002, pp.

51-52; Marianne Brun-Rovet and Hugh William-son,

"Wary Berlin Takes Tough Line against

Waging War, Financial Times, January 23, 2003;

and Michael Gonzalez, "Lest We Forget," Wall

Street Journal, April 10, 2003.

50. Pamela Rolf, "For Spanish Leader, War Is a

Gamble," Washington Post, March 20, 2003.

51. Boris Johnson, "Bush's War, Blair's Gamble,"

New York Times, March 16, 2003; and Robert

McCartney, "Blair Braces for War's Political

Costs," Washington Post, March 17, 2003.

52. Marc Champion et al., "Behind the U.S. Rift

with Europeans: Slights and Politics," Wall Street

Journal, March 27, 2003.

53. Olivier Roy, "Europe Won't Be Fooled Again,"

New York Times, May 13, 2003.

54. Ibid.

55. See Martin Sieff, "Making the Middle East

Safe for Bin Laden," American Conservative, May

19, 2003.

56. See Philip Stephens, "If America Is to Remodel

the World, It Must Start in Israel," Financial Times,

January 1, 2003.

57. For a comprehensive analysis of European

involvement in the region, see Leon T. Hadar,

Quagmire: America in the Middle East (Washington:

Cato Institute, 1992), chaps. 6, 7. See also Leon T.

Hadar, "Meddling in the Middle East: Europe

Challenges U.S. Hegemony in the Region,"

Mediterranean Quarterly 7, no. 4 (Fall 1996).

58. See Donald Neff, Warriors at Suez: Eisenhower

Takes America into the Middle East (New York:

Simon & Schuster, 1981).

59. Quoted in Henry Kissinger, "The Atlantic

Alliance in Its Gravest Crisis," Sunday Times (Manila), feb/16/opin


60. This argument is developed in Leon T. Hadar,

"The Persian Gulf: Iraq and the Post-Cold War

Order," in The Persian Gulf after the Cold War, ed. M.

E. Ahrari and James H. Noyes (Westport, Conn.:

Praeger, 1993).

61. Quoted in Shada Islam, "European Community:

Let US in, Or Else," Middle East International 19 (April

1991): 14.

62. See Scott C. McDonald, "European-Middle

Eastern Relations: What Looms on the Horizon,"

Middle East Insight 8 (July-August 1991): 41; and

George Jaffe, "Jacques Chirac and France's Middle

East Policy," JIME Review (Japanese Institute of

Middle Eastern Economics), Summer 1995.

63. Quoted in Patrick E. Tyler, "U.S. Strategy Plan

Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop," New York

Times, March 7, 1992.

64. The National Security Strategy of the United States

of America, September 2002,


65. Barry Rubin, "1956 Suez Conflict Presents

Striking Parallels to Iraq," Jewish Bulletin of Northern

California, February 21, 2003,


66. Stephen Cohen, "Euro Shield," Wall Street

Journal, March 29, 2003.

67. For a detailed discussion of this policy, see

Diane B. Kunz, The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez

Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina

Press, 1991).

68. Niall Ferguson, "True Cost of Hegemony:

Huge Debt," New York Times, April 20, 2003.

20.69. See Joseph Nye, "Europe Is Too Powerful to Be

Ignored," Financial Times, March 11, 2003.

70. Melvyn Krauss, "The Euro Also Rises," Wall

Street Journal, April 15, 2003.

71. See Robert McCartney, "French Businesses

Say U.S. Boycott Is Hurting Them," Washington

Post, April 16, 2003.

72. According to figures supplied by the Center

for Defense Information and quoted in Gregg

Easterbrook, "American Power Moves beyond

Mere Super," New York Times, March 7, 2003.

73. See Brandon Mitchener, "Europe Hears a Call

for Arms," Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2003.

74. Judy Dempsey, "Europe Needs Its Own

Security Strategy," Financial Times, March 9, 2003.

75. Marc Champion, "Balkan Balm for Fractured

Ties," Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2003.

76. See, for example, Ivan Eland, "Does U.S.

Intervention Overseas Breed Terrorism? The

Historical Record," Cato Institute Foreign Policy

Briefing no. 50, December 17, 1998, p. 21; Barbara

Conry, "America's Misguided Policy of Dual

Containment in the Persian Gulf," Cato Institute

Foreign Policy Briefing no. 33, November 10, 1994;

and Christopher Layne and Ted Galen Carpenter,

"Arabian Nightmares: Washington's Persian Gulf

Entanglement," Cato Institute Policy Analysis no.

142, November 9, 1990.

77. Robert Kagan "Can NATO Patrol Palestine?"

Washington Post, April 18, 2003.

78. Robert S. Greenberger and Karby Leggett,

"President's Dream; Changing Not Just Regime

but a Region," Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2003.

79. Christina Balis and Simon Serfaty, "Trading

Battles: Europe's New Economic Crusade in the

Middle East," Euro-Focus (Center of Strategic and

International Studies) 9, no. 5 (May 22, 2003): 1.

80. See Tom Burns, "EU Turns Attention to Southern

Flank," Financial Times, November 27, 1995.

81. See figures in Balis and Serfaty, p. 2.

82. I first broached the subject of Israel's accession to

the EU in an op-ed published in May 2003; see Leon

Hadar, "Iraq and Israel in the EU: Peace through

Accession?" In the National Interest, May 21, 2003, Vol2Issue

19/vol2issue19hadar.html. That same week, Israel's

foreign minister Silvan Shalom informed an EU dele-gation

that his country was considering applying for

membership in the body; see Martin Walker, "Analysis:

Israel Weigh-ing EU Membership," United Press

International, May 21, 2003. Italian president Silvio

Berlusconi, who assumed the six-month rotating pres-idency

of the EU in July 2003, likewise indicated an

interest in an expanded EU that would include Israel.

See Zia Iqbal Shahid, "Israel Wants Full EU

Membership," News International (Pakistan), July 7,


07-2003/main/main 17.htm.


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