The Future of Transatlantic Relations: Perceptions, Policy and Practice

By Andrew M. Dorman; Joyce P. Kaufman | Go to book overview

Introduction

Andrew M. Dorman and Joyce P. Kaufman

ROBERT KAGAN BEGAN HIS 2003 VOLUME OF PARADISE and Power: American and Europe in the New World Order with an appropriately controversial thesis. His argument centered on the thesis that

[Europe] is turning away from power into a self-contained world of laws and
rules and transnational negotiation and cooperation. It is entering a post-his-
torical paradise of peace and relative prosperity, the realization of Immanuel
Kant’s “perpetual peace.” Meanwhile, the United States remains mired in his-
tory, exercising power in an anarchic Hobbesian world where international laws
and rules are unreliable, and where true security and the defense and promo-
tion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might.

This linked directly to Edward Luttwak’s thesis of “post-heroic warfare,”1 and the consequence of all this is that “on major strategic and international questions today, Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus: They agree on little and understand one another less and less. And this state of affairs is not transitory—the product of one American election or catastrophic event.”2

Donald Rumsfeld, the then US Defense Secretary, echoed a similar view in a January 2003 Department of Defense press briefing. He saw Europe as more divided, making reference to an old and a new Europe, with its center of gravity moving eastwards as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) admitted former members of the Warsaw Treaty Organization.3 Four

-1-

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