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Chris Patten

Member of the Commission for External Relations

"America and Europe: an essential partnership"

Chicago Council on Foreign Relations

Chicago, 3 October 2002

Introduction: what unites us

When the EU and the US are happily pelting each other with genetically-modified tomatoes as they do from day to day or laying into one another with steel bars or bananas, politicians often take a break from the fun to remind people that "there is so much more that unites than divides us." It is a truism: the stuff of a thousand unread communiques. But like many truisms, it also happens to be true.

For the United States and Europe are indeed more than close allies:

We have common roots in the European enlightenment, and share the body of ideas that emerged from that period of emancipation from received authority;

We made common sacrifice of blood and treasure in defence of freedom in two World Wars;

We also engaged together in the strategy and the structures so brilliantly conceived and implemented under US leadership after the Second World War: a combination of containment of the threat of communist totalitarianism, and promotion of open markets, democracy and the rule of law through global institutions such as the UN; the Bretton Woods institutions; GATT, which became the WTO; NATO; and the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe CSCE too . CSCE is often forgotten, yet it played a crucial role in propagating the idea that armies should be configured primarily for defence, with a high level of transparency in order to build confidence. And it helped to establish the principle that intercession to protect human rights and other international norms could not be dismissed as illegitimate interference in the internal affairs of another state.

All this culminated in what Fukuyama called "the end of history": the triumph of democracy, market economics and individual freedom over "total solutions", whether of communism or of national socialism and over regimes which used those ideas to give intellectual respectability to dictatorship and brutality.

Apart from all this, the US and Europe enjoy a one and a half trillion dollar trade and investment relationship. And we co-operate closely all over the globe from the Balkans to Afghanistan, and in 1001 other places and contexts.

If the US is the "indispensable nation", the US and Europe really do constitute the "indispensable partnership." That was underlined by the recent poll of European and American attitudes to foreign policy which this Council conducted with the German Marshall Fund. It showed that in facing a world transformed ordinary Americans and Europeans still share a strong belief in internationalism, and in many respects a very similar world view.

Cousins and strangers

Yet we are at once cousins and strangers. The relationship may be indispensable. But it has never been straightforward. Apart from the inevitable trade disputes, there are more complicated jealousies, resentments and differences of outlook arising from our separate histories and geographical situations. That is hardly surprising. The United States is still a young country that had to fight Europe well, a part of Europe at least ! for its independence.

I do not want to engage in psychological speculation but at the risk of caricature let me suggest some essential differences:

You are, as President Bush reminded us earlier this year, "a nation with the soul of a church": a nation of believers. 95% of Americans proclaim their faith in God. You also venerate your nation and its symbols with a religious fervour. America the beautiful. You are passionately self-confident, energetic and optimistic. You are self-reliant, too, and largely self-sufficient. You have faith in science, and in the benefits of progress. Your founding myth is almost of Paradise Regained. Your archetypal hero and a hero for many of the rest of us, too is the cowboy: a rugged individualist in a white hat loping Westwards into the sunset across the empty plain, ready to meet any challenge; ever suspicious of external authority.

In Europe, by contrast, the bloody experience of centuries of war has left us profoundly uncomfortable with fervent nationalism. We tend to prize consensus over conviction. We are, perhaps, world-weary: even cynical. We mistrust science and we doubt progress. We tend towards pessimism. We are cautious and ironic.

As I say, I recognize the dangers of caricature. There are of course countless exceptions. But there are, I think, underlying differences of outlook which when combined with our separate situations: with your unparalleled power, and our relative weakness; with your settled Union, and our developing political community, still uncertain of its identity or its destiny fuel misunderstanding and popular resentment. There has long been an ugly tendency for some on our side of the Atlantic to measure their commitment to the European cause by their anti-Americanism. And there has been a tendency on this side of the Atlantic to dismiss European consensus-seeking as wimpishness: condescension masquerading as sophistication. There is resentment, too, that Europeans never properly grateful for your help in two World Wars and for being put back on their feet with Marshall Aid have for so long taken free shelter under your security umbrella.

Randy Newman put it best:

" We give them money but are they grateful? No, they're spiteful and they're hateful" (1)

The post 9/11 agenda

The terrible events of 11 September 2001, and reactions to them, have brought into sharp focus at once what unites Europe and America and what divides us. On day one, both sides of the Atlantic were united in shock and in grief. "We are all Americans now" proclaimed Le Monde of all newspapers. They meant it.

Unity was reflected in common endeavour. Within days of the attack I joined an EU team that went first to talk to the Administration in Washington, and then on to Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria to help put together the coalition against Al-Qaida. Decisions for example to extend new assistance to Pakistan and to increase textile quotas were taken in close consultation with the US. EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers agreed a long and substantive counter-terrorist agenda, including a legislative framework on definitions of terrorism, for example, and a European arrest warrant to replace national extradition procedures. We have since worked closely with the US on everything from peacekeeping and reconstruction in Afghanistan to international efforts to dry up sources of terrorist funding.

We are continuing to pursue that common agenda. Yet instead of drawing the US and Europe together, the events of the last year have tended, if anything, to drive us apart. The extent of the US trauma was not, perhaps, fully appreciated in Europe: the sense of violation felt by a people who had believed themselves to be invulnerable. The subsequent "war on terrorism" has been understood in Europe as a metaphor: a phrase to describe the myriad responses required of the civilized world to address problems that do not allow of definitive solutions, let alone of military ones. America, by contrast, has really felt itself to be at war, and it is a war that ratcheted up patriotic sentiment to unparalleled heights.

Terrorism is abhorred in Europe. We have every reason to hate it. Look at ETA in Spain. Or the cold-blooded murder of Stephen Saunders, the British Defence Attache, by the 17 November Movement in Greece two years ago. I have witnessed at first hand the bloody consequences of Irish terrorism. I have also had reason to resent past indulgence by some Americans of its champions and paymasters on this side of the Atlantic.

So we hate terrorism. But we are also uncomfortable with the widespread view in America that the beginning and end of any discussion of it is that it is irredeemably evil: inexplicable except as the work of barbarians impervious to reason as if any discussion of the causes of alienation and hatred was evidence of appeasement. The idea of a world divided between good and evil between us and them sits uncomfortably with most Europeans. Throughout recorded time, asymmetric threat has been the weapon of the weak against the strong and we even find it sanctioned by history when the cause is just, the means proportionate, and the outcome good. The morality is not always clear. History, after all, is written by the victors:

" Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason. " (2)

Think about the Sicari in Roman-occupied Palestine two thousand years ago. Or the Irgun and the Lehi more recently in the same part of the world. Or the ANC in South Africa. Or the Mau-Mau in Kenya. Or Henry V's slaughter of prisoners before Agincourt.

Real life is desperately complicated. Many thousands of civilians died in the British bombing of Dresden and other German cities at the end of the Second World War. Passionate argument continues to this day about those raids, as it does in your own country about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not in any sense seeking to excuse or even to explain the outrage of 9/11. The cause was unjust. The means abominable. But these issues cannot be placed beyond rational discussion. Nor, in my view, can terrorism ever be eradicated from the face of the earth. Complete elimination of the threat could only be achieved in an Orwellian police state that denied individual freedom. That would negate the values for which the US and EU stand. Paradoxically, it would also demand of good men the sort of just resistance and potentially violent resistance that it was seeking to eliminate.

Different European and American attitudes to the war on terror and to the level of threat posed by Iraq, for example are explained in Robert Kagan's recent essay on "Power and Weakness" as a mere reflection of different capacities to meet the threat. He takes the analogy of a man and a prowling bear. If the man is unarmed, he will decide, faute de mieux, that the bear constitutes a tolerable threat. If he has a gun he will arrive at a different conclusion, and shoot. That may be right. But there is a positive as well as a negative strand to Europe's lack of enthusiasm for military solutions except as a last resort. "Is it not possible" asks Anatol Lieven, in a recent article in Prospect, "that Europe has learned some useful lessons from its terrible history before 1945?"

I do not here want to rehearse the history of the European Union. But from the beginning and contrary to the assertion of many of my countrymen the impulse for a new European architecture after the Second World War was profoundly political. The EU was never just an economic project. The founders recognised that in the modern world European nations needed to pool their sovereignty to deal with problems that extended beyond national boundaries. They sought not just reconciliation on the European continent, but partnership at a deeper level: a union that would endure because it was rooted in fundamental structures rather than in alliance or deterrence. A community. The result is a sort of miracle.

The question that Europe and America now face is whether this insight has wider application. Nations will always pursue what they believe to be their national interests. But what is that interest in the modern world? And what should be the primary purpose of foreign policy? Is it defensive: to keep bad guys down and to defend the homeland? Or is it positive: to build a system of co-operative global governance an international community legitimised by representative institutions and by the rule of law?

The suggestion might once have seemed naively altruistic: but the emergence of shared global interests means that it has become a matter of hard-headed calculation.

This is a critical moment in history. More than a decade ago we lost the frightening but also reassuring certainties of the Cold War, which defined our friends and our enemies for a generation. The struggle to maintain and extend spheres of influence had many bad effects. We often encouraged poor countries to spend too much on arms. We turned a blind eye to departures from democracy and good government. Above all there was Vietnam, and the appalling fall-out (including Pol Pot). But it was an era of certainty in the superiority of Western values. The transatlantic bond was strong and self-evident. It was a time of unparalleled economic and political success.

New challenges in an interconnected world

Today we are less sure of where we stand: and less confident that our institutions are well adapted to meet the new challenges. The threats we face are at once more complex and more dispersed than they were. We might identify:

First, the revolt of the alienated. Traditional communities and cultures are undermined by urbanisation and modern science which constitute a threat to existing beliefs. What people see of Western culture is not the best: the values of individual liberty and the rule of law that underlie it but the worst licentiousness and brashness and what can easily come to look like cultural imperialism. Reversion to religious fundamentalism is a very human reaction to these circumstances. Poverty acquires dignity if it can be recast as religious simplicity. The church, mosque or temple provides an oasis of certainty, order and beauty from the assault of alien ideas and temptations. The issue is not just of Islamic fundamentalism. It occurs in other religious traditions. And it exists within cultures as much as between them: look at the messages spelt out on some of the Christian fundamentalist websites.

It is not easy to adapt to new ideas, new science and new influences that challenge traditional authority and received opinion. We are inclined to forget how difficult was the Reformation in Europe, and how bloody. We excoriate the Taliban's destruction of statues of Buddha as the acts of irrational even uncivilised vandals. Yet visit almost any English church and you are reminded how recently Cromwell was cutting a swathe through my own country knocking the heads off statues.

What has all this to do with threat? The point is that religious fundamentalism can also find expression in political radicalism and hatred of alien, often Western and specifically American influences. Radicalism may be eminently justified by the brutality, greed and inefficiency of a great many governments in this world. The hatred of America is not justified. But nor will it be eliminated by dropping bombs on the haters.

Closely allied to the revolt of the alienated is the revolt of the dispossessed. The simple fact is that much of the world is desperately poor. More than a billion people subsist on less than a dollar a day. In 1999, the revenue of General Motors with 340,000 employees worldwide exceeded the combined GNP of 45 African countries with a population of about 600 million. And with modern communications and the aggressive marketing of western culture the poor are now much better informed about how the other half live. It is hardly surprising that there is widespread hostility to globalisation as a Western ramp. I profoundly believe that to be wrong. Far from generating world poverty, globalisation if we can learn to manage it better contains the seeds of international prosperity. But, again, bombs and coercion are not going to convince people of that.

A third modern threat is the one that we pose to our own planet, and so to ourselves. Environmental policy is no longer just a national concern. Climate change, for example, is everyone's business and we need a co-ordinated international approach to it. That is why the EU has been such a strong champion of the Kyoto Treaty. It is clear that many other issues from water to fisheries management to biodiversity have to be treated at an international level. Because they are everyone's business.

The environment is only the most obvious example of how problems thrown up by increasing globalisation require co-ordinated international policy responses. Globalisation, as I have said, offers tremendous opportunites. But Dr Jekyll is stalked by Mr Hyde. As well as the benefits of modern science, medicine and communication; and the prosperity that may be derived from the engine of open trade there is also what has been called the 'dark side of globalisation'. I have already spoken of massive inequality. But we also have to contend with the international drugs trade, transnational crime syndicates, communicable diseases like AIDS, international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the threat of information warfare, and so on. All these problems remind us that stability and prosperity the goal of foreign policy in each separate nation can only be achieved if the international community can act together in pursuit of interests that transcend national boundaries.

Finally, in this catalogue of modern threats, I should include failed states. In the past developed countries perhaps kidded themselves that they could insulate themselves from the problems of the world. If a country collapsed into penury and civil war that was sad for its people. We might offer them loans and assistance. We might lecture them about the benefits of open trade, good government and so on. But ultimately it was their problem if they could not dig themselves out of their hole. Today we see that we cannot wall ourselves off from the misery around us. First, there is there the so-called CNN effect. It is harder to inure ourselves to starvation and genocide when we witness it in our homes. But even if we could, there is the problem that failed states become the breeding ground for terror. Once, our concern was with state-sponsored terrorism. Today we are equally concerned by terrorist-sponsored states of the kind that existed in Afghanistan. A US official remarked, when your President made his recent statement about pre-emptive action, that the threats in today's world are more often from failing states than from conquering ones.

Responding to the new threats: US choices

So much for the new challenges. The question is how to respond to them. And that question is for the United States, above all, not just as the pre-eminent world power but as the only power with truly global reach. The essential choice, it seems to me, is between two courses:

First the caricature wrongly painted by some of your critics that the US could establish itself as the world hegemon, setting and imposing rules (but not itself bound by them) in pursuit of its own national interest;

Or second, we could move towards a world empire without an emperor, where international rules set the parameters for the legitimate pursuit of interests, but where the same laws apply to all (though the strong of course have more influence on their formulation and application).

The first option would, surely, be a recipe for long-term instability. Even the most benign interpretation that the US, through the pursuit of its own interests, would be seeking global stability and prosperity cannot avoid the problem that it would be doing so according to rules unilaterally and self-referentially conceived. The approach would be a retreat to the dubious charms of a world in which absolutely sovereign nation states seek to define and defend their own interests without reference to international rules and codes. But that is a vision that America herself did so much to dispel after the Second World War. The world is simply too small for us to fence ourselves off from one another. We are too interconnected. "We must love one another or die", as Auden wrote. All my lifetime, theorists of international relations have talked of 'interdependence' but it is only now that the ramifications of globalisation are really borne in upon us.

The other problem with the vision of a hegemonic, imperialist America is that as John Ikenberry put it in a recent essay in Foreign Affairs "When the most powerful state in the world throws its weight around unconstrained by rules or norms of legitimacy, it risks a backlash." Past empires have collapsed when others have joined forces to oppose them. It may be that the US can maintain her political, military and economic superiority in perpetuity, but history suggests that this is unlikely.

The new foreign policy agenda: co-operative global governance

So I believe passionately in the second option I proposed just now: that America should be the leading participant in a system of co-operative global governance. The concept of a rule of law applying universally and equally is fundamental to the values shared by Europe and America. That is why I believe we must work together:

First, to make globalisation more inclusive. The alienated and the dispossessed are a reproach to those of us who live with superabundance. As I have said, they will become an increasing threat, too, if we cannot make a better job of spreading the benefits of progress.

The European Union, with its Member States, manages some 55% of all international aid, and 66% of all grant aid and I have a particular responsibility in my present job for overseeing how and where much of that money is spent. In the past though we should not underestimate the progress that has been made too much international development aid has been wasted. But my conclusion is emphatically not that we should give up. It is that we should try harder. And we are gradually getting better at choosing projects with beneficiaries, at overseeing their implementation, and at building in incentives that will encourage growth. I have been overseeing a complete shake-up of how aid is managed by the European Commission, and we have made important improvements.

In particular, we now pay much more attention to corruption, which is one of the most certain ways in which governments have destroyed their own economies; and one of the greatest sources of poverty and misery in the world. The European Union's trade and co-operation agreements now contain clauses establishing good governance as a condition for their application. In the same way, we focus on human rights. I have never doubted that those countries that treat their own citizens most decently are also the most likely to attract investment and to achieve growth.

The international community still has much to learn about how to encourage growth. There have been fascinating debates in recent months about IMF and World Bank policy. Of one thing I have no doubt: that improving access to markets is one of the most certain ways in which the developed world can help the less developed. Both Europe and the United States have to face up to their responsibilities here not least when it comes to agricultural products and textiles.

The world needs a stronger WTO and a successful Doha Development Round, because only with stronger rules will it be possible to see fair play. One of the great ironies of recent times is that those most passionately concerned about world poverty and injustice have tended to be the most outspoken critics of the World Trade Organisation. That seems to me plumb wrong.

The US and EU have both been guilty of preaching free trade where we are most competitive, and then closing our markets, or introducing other obstructions, as soon as we find that others can match or outperform us. The recent US steel decision was a classic example but I could quote others against the European Union, too. Stronger WTO rules will help to prevent such protectionism.

This is part of the second strand of what I see as the agenda that the US and the EU should be following, jointly: as well as making globalisation more inclusive, we need to strengthen the global rule-book. The US was the progenitor of the great international institutions of the past half century: of the United Nations, the Bretton Woods international financial institutions, the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs that has now become the WTO, and so on. We need to strengthen that infrastructure and to give it deeper democratic roots.

A third strand of what I see as an essential common agenda for the EU and the US is that we should encourage regional co-operation. Nation states are here to stay and my appeals to multilateralism are not from the perspective of one who believes that nations will gradually fade away, let alone that they should. But international relations cannot be managed by 189 independent voices. It is neither efficient nor equitable that major world issues should be addressed at international conferences in which the US has the same number of votes as Tuvalu. The World Conference against Racism in Durban last year almost descended into farce, and showed up, cruelly, the limitations of the approach.

Regional groupings are one obvious way to address this dilemma. I believe that regional groupings are also valuable because the compromises required to achieve common positions tend to mute ethnic passions and hatreds, and to develop wider loyalties. The European Union, as the most advanced system yet developed for pooling national sovereignty, has a particular role to play in promoting regional integration.

We are engaged around the world, from ASEAN in South East Asia, to Mercosur in South America, to the Andean Pact, to the San Jose Group further north, to the new African Union, in sharing our own experience and forging new inter-regional structures and relationships. It can be frustrating work but I think it is important. And this is an area in which the EU can perhaps offer more than the US, which has such a strong national ethic.

A fourth strand in our common agenda should be to attempt more preventive diplomacy. Together, the US, Europe, and other developed countries devote fantastic sums of money and expend untold energy on the management of crises and on mopping up after catastrophes. But we do too little to avert them. There have been successes. The decision to send NATO troops into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia last year calmed ethnic rivalries that threatened to spiral out of control. The troops gave credibility to the peace plan that we had helped to negotiate. They have made a real contribution to stability in the country and in the region. In the Balkans, again, the European Union helped to draw Serbia and Montenegro closer together earlier this year, as an exercise in preventive diplomacy. The US, for its part, is playing a quiet but hugely important mediating role in Sudan. And there are many other examples.

But more often, as a world community, we fail. It is difficult to spot impending calamity; and it is hard, in a democracy, to arouse sufficient Congressional or public concern to take decisive action until a storm actually breaks. But with the benefit of hindsight, should we not have done more to help build Afghanistan more than a decade ago, after the departure of the Russians?

Should we not have done more not just to impose sanctions but to apply them effectively on Iraq through the 1990s? Should the world community not have co-operated more closely and sooner to counter the international terrorist threat? Should we not have engaged sooner to prevent the bloodshed and ethnic cleansing that accompanied the break-up of Yugoslavia or the genocide in Rwanda?

Some problems are foreseeable. We know that the Middle East is a powder keg, and that UN Resolutions have been flouted there with impunity over many years. Scientists have given us good notice of the problem of global warming. We have an opportunity over the coming period to help build better relations between India and Pakistan before events spiral out of control with potentially devastating consequences. We know that the international community will have to devote enormous resources to Afghanistan over a long period if we are to achieve stability there. The EU as an institution has promised $1bn over five years and the Member States of the European Union have offered rather more than that in their own right. But my impression over the last few months is that the international community is still not doing enough in Afghanistan especially on the security side, and to control the drugs problem there.

A credible threat of force: the challenge for Europe

I do not pretend that we can build Utopia. Diplomacy will only be effective if it is backed by the credible threat of force. Thank God serious power in this world is in the hands of a beneficent US. But it is in the US interest that that power should be constrained by global rules and that it should be used with international agreement. That is why President Bush's decision to work through the UN in addressing the problem of Iraq was so significant, and so welcome. It is, I believe, crucial that the same should apply to the policy enunciated in the Administration's strategy paper of a couple of weeks ago that the US should be ready to "act against…emerging threats before they are fully formed." If the US were to fall prey to the temptation to act alone and outside the framework of international order, even for the best of motives, it would be setting off down a very dangerous path. What if its new doctrine found admirers and imitators in other parts of the world such as India or Pakistan?

If, however, the US accepts, as it has, the merits of working within the framework of the United Nations, then it is essential that the international community, for its part, should accept the corollary: that nations cannot flout UN Security Council Resolutions with impunity. In the last resort, we must be prepared to back the use of force to require compliance.

The European Union is still in the very early stages of developing a Common Foreign and Security Policy that adds up to much. There are reasons why it has taken so long. We are not one nation, like the US, but a union of separate nations. Inevitably it is difficult to agree and then to execute a single policy between many countries, because independence in foreign policy goes to the heart of what it means to be a nation. Yet, as I say, we have made remarkable progress over the past few years, and we are now also seeking to develop some independent European military capacity. But we owe it to the US to move faster and with more determination so that we can do more to hold our end of the rope in the maintenance of international order.

Europe cannot hope to match US defence capacity nor do I believe that we should try. If we were sharply to reduce our development assistance and our other contributions to soft security in order to devote all that money to higher defence spending hard security I do not believe that the world, with more poverty and degradation as a result of that switch, would become safer.

Nevertheless, Europe needs to be able to make a more credible military contribution. At present, although we are contributing to 10 peacekeeping missions around the world and provide about 85% of the forces in the Balkans, we do not do enough. European Governments, in general, went too far in reaping the so-called 'peace dividend' after the collapse of the Soviet Union. They have since made good resolutions: to develop an independent European rapid reaction force and now perhaps to develop the equivalent NATO capability. But they have not been willing to devote the budgetary resources to make that a really credible ambition. And they have not done enough to break old patterns of national research, national policy on arms trade and production, and so on, which vitiate the common effort. It is absurd, for example, that defence reviews in Europe are still conducted essentially as national exercises.

These are sensitive areas of national policy in which the European Community as such has a very limited role so I speak as much as a layman as in my capacity as a European Commissioner. But the European Union will not deserve to be taken seriously as international actor, and as a counterpart if not a counterweight to the US, if it does not make a more serious effort in the field of defence and security.

The US, for its part, might do more to encourage that development. You were a champion of European integration from the beginning, in the 1950s. But I sometimes feel that you want to have your cake and eat it. You complain when we have no common policy but you often resent it when we do get our act together, as we are increasingly beginning to do. You happily seek to divide and rule on issues like defence contracts or air service agreements. If the US more systematically sought to deal with the European Union as a whole, and to encourage an EU single voice for example in UN bodies and in the international financial institutions then you would help us to develop our capacity to share the burden of global governance.


The US is a nation of believers. The challenge you face is to channel your energy; your can-do; your optimism, beyond America, and to embrace your wider responsibilities not just as the world's greatest power but as the champion of ideals of peace, justice and individual liberty that have universal application. The idea that America should concentrate, in its foreign policy, on defending itself from actual and potential enemies, is a pessimistic vision. It is at odds, I believe, with your national genius.

Henry Kissinger has written that the challenge facing the US is "to transform power into consensus so that the international order is based on agreement rather than reluctant acquiescence." Yes. But much of your power is rooted in a consensus: in the belief, as Tony Judt has put it "that the United States really does stand for a better world and is still the best hope of all who seek it…What gives America its formidable influence is not its unequalled capacity for war but the trust of others in its good intentions."

The US is so strong, as a nation, that some in this country are tempted to think that she has both the capacity and the duty to manage the world order on her own, unconstrained by international agreements and organisations unless they happen to suit her agenda. I profoundly believe that to be wrong: that strong international institutions are more than ever necessary in our interconnected world; that they restrain unilateralist tendencies in others who might otherwise threaten the world order underwritten by the US; and that the US gains more by working with the grain of international opinion than she loses in freedom of action by accepting external disciplines.

If America relinquishes respect and affection in favour of fear and coercion, the world will be a colder and more frightening place. It is sometimes forgotten that Kennedy's famous inaugural "ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country" concluded:

"My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

One thing that Europe and America can do, together, is to strengthen the flawed but necessary apparatus of international governance.

(1)Randy Newman : Political Science

(2)Sir John Harrington (1561-1612). Seneca made much the same point : Prosperum ac felix scelus / Virtus vocatur(Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue).

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