Saturday, February 19, 2005

Bush Defends NATO and Questions EU "Counterbalance"

In an interview with London´s Daily Telegraph, President Bush shores up NATO´s position against Chancellor Schroeder´s attack (see Germany´s Interesting Plans..) , and questions whether the role of the EU is to "counterbalance" US power. Given the values the EU and US share, he asks:
"Some have said we must have a unified Europe to balance America. Why, when in fact we share values and goals? As opposed to counter-balancing each other, why don't we view this as a moment when we can move in a concerted fashion to achieve those goals?"
The answer depends on the perspective you want to take: champions of a "counterbalancing" EU tend to see the world as containing a limited pot of goodies - goodies to be scrapped over by competing power blocs, the "zero sum game" approach. According to this view, the EU must unite and counterbalance the US or else the US will take all its goodies away. Bush (for the purposes of this interview) sees the world as one in which different power blocs can make common cause to promote shared values. In his view, more value will come from cooperating than from competing. It is an interesting moment of reversals: the leftist EU constitution-mongers championing a stance of Realpolitik and "self-interest", whilst the Republican President champions a stance of crusading freedom and democracy.
Telegraph News Bush rejects moves to boost EU military might

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