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EU - US relations

  1. No - you silly man!

    4 vote(s)
    30.8%
  2. Yes - bring on a 2 sphere world!

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  3. Yes - because of Iraq

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Yes - because of Bush

    3 vote(s)
    23.1%
  5. No - Because of Bliar

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. No -they are redeemable but only!

    6 vote(s)
    46.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Sep 6, 2005 #1
    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!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2005 #2
    Those are some weighted options and I can't rightly pick any of them.....
     
  4. Sep 6, 2005 #3
    Isolationism and unilateralism are not the same. Isolationism would be a policy of nonintervention. Bush has opted for unilateralism (e.g., "Bully Bush - The president is botching the Iraq crisis with his clumsy, naive unilateralism." http://slate.msn.com/id/2079678/). After Bush is gone (which could not be too soon), there is hope that relations can normalize between the US and long time allies in Europe.
     
  5. Sep 7, 2005 #4

    vanesch

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    There's not really something such as "the viewpoint of the European Union on international affairs". There is only such a viewpoint when all European nations agree and decide to put it forward through the EU. The constitution that was in the making was supposed to change that, so that the EU WOULD have had such a viewpoint, but as that constitution has been shot down, there's no such thing. However, there seems to be a large consensus (much more now than in 2003) between most European leaders to distantiate themselves from the US adventure in Iraq (and probably any other joint venture with guns with the US), and at the same time to "turn that page" and try to build a new relation with the US - however, I think most won't forget easily how they've been handled by the US back then and I think it will be much harder than it was before to steer the EU blindly in a "transatlantic" pact.

    It is my opinion (and a bit my hope too) that the EU will become a bit more independent from the US, and not systematically swallow everything that comes from over the big pond, as it used to be before. Which doesn't mean that the EU would become an "opposing pole" ; it is politically a much too weak structure to have an aggressive foreign policy to build its own "empire" - and personally I find this weakness the biggest asset of the EU ! In fact, I don't think that the EU is threatened military in whatever way, so there's not much need in rolling the muscles (with all loss of resources that goes with that) - it can only attract troubles and cost money. Ok we might have also our share of terrorism (but we're used to that) and our economical problems with the emerging powers like China and India - we're trying to deal with that.
    So no, the EU will not "threaten" in any way the US, and will probably improve its relations again, but there will probably be a kind of "coldness" which wasn't there before. All depends how the future presidents present themselves. I think with the current one, we're just waiting until he leaves and try to stay polite.
     
  6. Sep 7, 2005 #5

    DM

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    With Tony Blair being the European council, I seriously doubt it. Nonetheless the possibility of the EU becoming independent from the US may still happen when Tony Blair decides to give his role as prime minister to Gordon Brown, if such promise occurs.

    [EDIT] Such possibility is relied on the assumption of Tony Blair also giving his European seat to another candidate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2005
  7. Sep 7, 2005 #6
    If the EU consititution got through, the EU would have drifted further away from the US than you can image... Creating a "super state" to counter balance the US isnt going to pull the US closer.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2005 #7

    vanesch

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    I would think that even the British got a bad taste in their mouth about the Iraqi war and the way they got in there because of their blindly following the US. I'm inclined to think - I may be wrong of course - that, if, for instance, Bush decides upon military operations against Iran (I seriously doubt it, he's enough in deep **** for the moment but let's assume that for the sake of argument), that the UK (even with Tony Blair) would follow him this time. But maybe I'm just having illusions, I don't know. What do you think ? Would Blair put his head again on the block just to stay buddies with the US ?
     
  9. Sep 7, 2005 #8

    vanesch

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    Yes, but unfortunately that constitution is dead and gone.
     
  10. Sep 7, 2005 #9

    Art

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    When the US made threatening noises against Iran a few weeks ago within hours the British Foreign minister was on TV saying the British gov't could not contemplate any circumstances under which an armed attack on Iran would be justified. So if the US go down that route they'll be doing it entirely on their own.

    Edit - I found the original quote
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2005
  11. Sep 7, 2005 #10

    DM

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    It's a challenging question that will demand a series of diverse opinions. If Tony Blair decided not to support Bush's campaign on a possible war against Iran, he would literally - if not totally - disintegrate his whole political career. Just like George Bush, Tony Blair is also playing the legitimate theatrical play. If Tony Blair ever refused to go to war in Iran, it would be so because it would be ILLEGAL. Otherwise I don't see any other reasons for Blair to reject America's plea (or even if you exclude any plea, just for the sake of supporting America). But I doubt it, I believe Blair would buttress Bush's campaign on the Iran war, I believe he'd be compelled to because otherwise how would he explain his decision to go to war against Iraq and not Iran?

    [EDIT] Please note that an amendment was made to the last sentence.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2005
  12. Sep 7, 2005 #11

    vanesch

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    Ah, thanks. Ok, that confirms my suspicion that EVEN the UK (with Blair) will now have a slightly more independent course of action from the US. We could even dream of the UK feeling slightly more connected to the continent now, but I should stop smoking sh*t :-)

    EDIT: I now see there was a confusing error in my preceding message: I was inclined to think that the UK would NOT follow the US this time, I meant to say.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2005
  13. Sep 13, 2005 #12
    depends on how badly he wants that seat on the board of the Carlyle Group.
     
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