I originally concieved this idea whilst thinking of the UK support of Iraq war - I believe it is completely justified - although when speaking to others I was having to think of counter arguments to 'justify' the conflict and i began to think about EU/US relations and the possible effect a refusal by any major european power to aid the US. I reasoned, that following increasingly icy relations between the two groups, over trade and other policies, there was a clear seperation emerging, the EU was trying to strengthen itself, and consolidate itself in an attempt to, if not rival America, at least to be a factor in its decision making process. However, the US was seemingly taking these moves as 'aggression' not militarily but economically and politically and I forsaw a problem where a massive trade dispute, or worse, would emerge and the two groups would lose a lot of the contact they have nowadays. IMHO I believed this would lead to a policy of Isolationism in America, at a time when, due to terrorist pressure throughout the world, and a great deal of tension, that America needed a buffer - a number of ntions that could 'calm down' the 'big bully' so that it was not rash in its actions. Without this buffer, the outlook doesn't appear rosy, with the US 'throwing its wiehgt around' the international arena. I believed, a sclearly hinted bove, that a buffer (an EU member) was required. Thus, when Britain joined the coalition I saw this as a very positive thing. The reasons are several, fistly, as stated it would keep relations with the EU and US strong. Also, a buffer existed. thirdly, the British troops on the ground would be a reassuring sight to the Iraqis in country, and also a calming measure to the US troops due to the Brits vast experience in peace keeping and the like. Also, I knew that with Brits in country, if trouble flared up, they could be rapidly sent in. Furthermore, on a political level, Britain declared a clear intent not to fall into the dark and stand idly-by after the abandoning of the Iraqis in the previous conflict. I know there are many counter arguments to this - however please do not ramble them off - I only talk of Iraq to illustrate my point. At this point, at the start of the war, therefore, the EU - US relations were not too bad - Britain was maintaining contact, and although France and the US were having a 'slanging match' it appeared some respect, and relatinoship existed between the 2 groups. However, since then, the bond has weakened, and America has become more introspective IMHO. However, some examples buck the trend, and in response to the Katrina Crisis, the EU responded with aid far quicker after a request than any US agency. (by the way I do not include NATO in this praise as I believe NATO is 90% US influence). I am asking, therefore, for more opinions on the relations between the groups, and the future for I am not a brilliant politician and always like to be better informed!! Thanks in advance!