Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Last Thoughts from the Dialogue: America's Involvement

One last comment from yesterday's trans-Atlantic dialogue--having to do with America's role in Europe and the rise of anti-Americanism. One participant suggested that perhaps, when Europe is faced with threats or problems that don't immediately impact the United States, Washington's best bet is not to immediately become involved (and help to stoke the feeling of America as the overbearing hegemon) but let Europeans deal with it (or choose not to deal with it). For example--if Russia withdraws from the CFE treaty and the INF treaty, and a tank battalion moves back to Pskov and intemediate range missiles get built--that doesn't really affect the U.S. (in the short term. Why then should Washington have to take the lead in framing a response?

This comment echoes themes that Justine Rosenthal will explore in her contribution to the forthcoming issue of the magazine--whether America should embrace its role of global "relief pitcher" rather than the first intervener.

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