CIAO DATE: 02/03
Volume XXXVII No. 3 (July–September 2002)
Reassessing the transatlantic partnership
If the political and diplomatic relationship between Europe and the US is now passing through a period of unprecedented conflict and uncertainty, the nature of the economic relationship is less clear. There is little evidence that contemporary disputes over agriculture and steel, the two most important areas of tension within the trading system, portend growing transatlantic economic rivalry or threaten to disrupt the long-range trend towards free trade. Transatlantic monetary relations do contain the potential for serious conflict. While the decline of the dollar would dampen protectionist sentiments in the United States, it might also generate increasing concerns about EMU. However, the euro has several structural features that will limit the extent to which it can challenge to the dollar. The significance of transatlantic economic conflicts derives not from growing trade or monetary rivalry but rather from the impact of subsidies and protectionist policies in both the United States and Europe on developing countries.
US Hegemony and the Roman Analogy: A European View , by Cesare Merlini
References to the concept of empire and to imperial situations in history have become common in US political debate. The corollary generally is that Europe—like Greece at the time of imperial Rome—has become irrelevant. This article argues that the Roman analogy is not really fitting and that what the US now needs to do is to enhance is influence rather than its hegemony. At the same time, it maintains that Europe has an important role to play and Americans would do well to seek and accept its contribution.
Mission Impossible? Managing the Growing Divide between Europe and the US, by Steven Everts
The article analyses to what extent and for what reasons the US and Europe are growing apart in their foreign policy outlook. US-European disputes as such are nothing new. But these days Europe and America are quarreling over the organising principles of the post-post Cold War order. Also, since September 11th the international context has thrown pre-existing differences into much sharper relief. To manage these growing tensions, four tasks are identified for America: curb unilateral instincts; spend more on "soft" security; give non-Americans more opportunities to insert their views into the Washington policy-making process; and don't go to war against Iraq alone. The Europeans, it is concluded, should urgently beef up their foreign policy performance. Concretely this means streamlining decision-making, ensuring better co-ordination across the whole field of external action; making financial assistance more targeted and conditional; and setting clearer policy priorities, for example by focusing foreign policy ambitions on the "near abroad."
US Middle East Policy after 9/11: Implications for Transatlantic Relations, by F. Stephen Larrabee
The events of 11 September have had a major impact on US foreign policy. The article provides a survey of US policy with respect to the Arab-Israeli dispute, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey, followed by reflections on the implications for the transatlantic dimension and NATO's Mediterranean Initiative.
Iraqi Threats: What Common Cause Across the Atlantic?, by Jeffrey Laurenti
What are the implications of the application of the Bush doctrine to Iraq and what does this mean for European allies anxious to check the US drift into unilateralism? Three broad approaches are described as being open to the Europeans, but in addition, the article urges Europeans to do more than just complain. They must ensure that multilateral processes are effective and that they address issues that American elites consider important.
Dilemmas of Western Policies toward Iran (PDF, 16 pages, 56 KB) , by Daniel Brumberg
The unhappy course of US-Iranian relations reflects the fragmented nature of foreign policy making in Washington and Tehran. The competing centers of policymaking in Iran echo divisions over the very nature of domestic political reform. The case of Afghanistan demonstrates how a push by reformists for improved US-Iranian relations can alarm hardliners and thus invite a crackdown. Yet the Bush administration has hurt the reformists by adopting the bellicose language of Washington's own hardliners. Paradoxically, the best way to strengthen moderates in both camps may be for Europe to stop playing "good cop" to the American "bad cop." A tougher line on human rights, WMD, terrorism, and Palestine will signal that Tehran can no longer play Europe and the US off and thus avoid hard foreign policy choices.
Shifting Responsibility in the Balkans: the EU Takes the Lead, by Patrick Moore
Both the US and the EU will continue to play important roles as partners in the Balkans. The EU will increasingly find itself taking the lead in the region as America concentrates its energies elsewhere. This development will be beneficial for both partners, since it will free up US resources for the war against terror while enabling the EU to show that it can formulate and execute a joint foreign and security policy in Europe's most troubled corner. If the EU fails to rise to the challenge, serious questions will be raised as to whether Brussels can ever become a serious actor on the international stage. For now, the Western allies led by the EU face a series of pressing challenges in Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia.
The Bush Doctrine and the UN Charter Frame, by Tom Farer
The measures the Bush Administration is prepared to take in combatting terrorism conflict with the core values and premises of the international normative order embodied in the UN Charter. Neither preventive war nor external dictation of the means sovereign states may choose to develop and deploy for their national security nor distinguishing among states in that connection (some states—e.g. Israel and India—may and some states—e.g. Iran and North Korea—may not deploy weapons of mass destruction) nor the unauthorized exercise of police powers (e.g. to arrest and to execute suspected terrorists) within the territory of a sovereign state are compatible with the Charter system. The U.S. lacks the means and the will to replace that system with an imperial one. Hence the alternatives are Condominium or normative chaos. A condominial system would be one marked by the increasingly institutionalized and normalized management of global issues by the leading states cooperating intensely and openly in a frankly hierarchical system. In order to arrive at such a system, the fuzzy outlines of which can now be glimpsed, the US must take the lead but be prepared to compromise its views on optimal tactics, strategies and outcomes in a wide array of cases.
TEPSA Europe Forum
The EU's Powers of External Relations (PDF, 14 pages, 59 KB) , by Alessandra Mignolli
The question of the EU's powers of external relations and, in particular, its treaty-making powers is central to the current debate on the Future of the Europe Union. The article argues that in a system like that of the EU, a margin of flexibility could be more useful than any strict definition and division of powers.
Book Reviews and Notes
Optimal Choices for Optimal Policies (PDF, 3 pages, 21 KB) , by Stefano Fantacone