Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Now Berlusconi Steps Up

Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is now presenting himself as a possible mediator between Washington and Moscow over the question of missile defense. This comes as expectations rise in parts of Europe that an Obama administration is going to change course on the deployment of components in Poland and the Czech Republic. The parliamentary leader of Germany's Social Democrats said as much on Friday.

Again, it would be interesting to see whether there would be much enthusiasm on our side of the Atlantic for having a European leader play the role of mediator. Both Berlusconi and Sarkozy belong to the "engage Russia and keep talking" school, rather than the "isolate" approach one sees in eastern Europe and a stance it seems many in DC have greater affinity for.

So an Obama administration does have European partners who want to work with it--but whether their help is wanted may be another question altogether.

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