Remarks made at the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations, April l8, 2013, at the Omni Hotel
Even though continued viability of the European Union may be important to the U.S., both politically and economically, success of a common European currency (euro), is at best a major, not vital, U.S. interest. NATO, however, will remain a vital U.S. interest and its continued viability requires major American participation, and nominal leadership. Nevertheless, Europe lags seriously in its support of defense budgets which are required if Europe expects to play a larger role in North Africa and the Middle East. As a result, U.S. reliance on Europe's participation in providing security in those areas has declined.
Washington should emphasize to Europe's governments that they alone should resolve the euro problem and preserve the European Union. The U.S. should be ready to confer, but should refrain from giving unsolicited advice.
U.S. leaders should continue to support NATO solidarity while encouraging Europe's governments to take more responsibility for continental defense. But the U.S. should encourage NATO members to be more involved in providing assistance to African and the Middle Eastern countries where European interests have historically been large.
U.S. policy should adopt a lower profile in Europe while its governments slowly work out their political and economic difficulties. A more united and confident Europe will eventually emerge and become a stronger U.S. ally in dealing with international challenges, not least international terrorist activity.
File last modified on Monday, 15-APR-2013 11:16 AM EST