Summer 2002

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Letter from the Editor

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Dialogue of the Deaf

Too often in these days of Transatlantic tension we hear complaints that the other side is just not listening. Worse yet, instead of listening, Europeans and Americans are rushing to form their views of each other on the basis of stereotypical caricatures that have precious little to do with reality.

Just as a previous generation of Europeans arrogantly dismissed President Ronald Reagan as a brainless B-movie actor, so today it is considered smart by many Europeans who should know better to sneer at President George Bush as an ignorant cowboy leading the United States in the style of the Lone Ranger.

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U.S. and EU Must Stop Questioning Each Other's Motives

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(D-Delaware) United States Senate 

As a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, several areas outside Europe, some of them until now scarcely known in the West, have suddenly been thrust into the international spotlight. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, until recently only sleepy destinations for intrepid travelers, now bustle with American troops.

Next door in Afghanistan, U.S. and European forces engage in sporadic firefights with al Qaeda, and attempt to provide some security for the establishment of a new Afghan government. The huge South Asian subcontinent is now under the watchful eye of the West, fearful that nuclear war could claim millions of lives.

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EU-U.S. Differences Have Evolved Over Half a Century

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Business Editor, Wall Street Journal Europe

President George Bush's recent trip to Europe gave Europeans a closer look at some of the differences of substance and style that have bedeviled Transatlantic relations since Mr. Bush took office.

Europeans now know that Mr. Bush likes Texas and his ranch and cowboy hats. He also likes to play the country bumpkin, to say things like "Jacques tells me that the food in France is real good" and so on.

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Transatlantic Clashes Are Not All Bush's Fault

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Chief U.S. Commentator, Financial Times

That the administration of President George Bush has ruptured the polite drawing-room conversation of U.S.-European diplomacy is not seriously disputed by anyone who has participated in it on either side of the Atlantic.

Periods of tension between Americans and Europeans have been somewhat frequent in the six decades since World War II. Today, however, most officials and serious commentators on both sides of the Atlantic would echo (with varying degrees of concern) the view recently expressed by a senior European diplomat in Washington that relations are "at least as bad as they have been in 20 years."

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History Suggests U.S. and Europe Need a More Equal Partnership

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Professor and Chair, Department of International Affairs and Politics, American University of Paris

Relations between the United States and a Europe in the process of unification have reached a historic turning point that poses significant risks. These risks, however, can be dealt with successfully if the United States and European Union can ultimately adopt a truly concerted strategy with regard to a broad range of new threats and potential conflicts that are arising from both inside and outside the Euro-Atlantic region.

NATO, led by the United States, and the European Union have been expanding their memberships in the Euro-Atlantic region in a largely uncoordinated fashion. On the one hand, NATO has had the tendency to expand without consideration of the potential geopolitical and political-economic consequences.

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