January 19, 2004

U.S. Policy Elites' Views of Europe

IHT's estimable man-about-the-Continent John Vinocur has the first of a two-part series up in today's Trib.

Vinocur quotes Robert Zeollick:

"In an interview, Robert Zoellick, the U.S. trade representative, who is much admired in Europe for his nuanced views of European realities, and was the key State Department operational player in forging German reunification, offered an elegant description of contrasts in American and European world views as he had seen them evolve:

"The post-modern European notion of international arrangements fits the European context, but doesn't apply well in the rest of the world. That means that the European idea that all problems can be resolved through compromises at all-night sessions at nice locations just doesn't work everywhere.

"This European concentration on local circumstances leads to a status quo outlook on the rest of world. And this is because Europe is preoccupied and uncomfortable with major new approaches to match very changed circumstances."

Coming from Zoellick, this appeared a refined reading of an altered relationship, one not necessarily hostile, but colder, and to be played out in the future on an la carte basis."

Call this nuanced Kaganism. As I argued last week, Kagan's thesis is a bit overblown.

Posted by Gregory at January 19, 2004 10:21 AM
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